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Magic Bus

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1308496.  Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:48 pm Reply with quote

IrishDon wrote:
I was a courier on the Magic Bus , Hired by Chris in Athens to do the Athens to Amsterdam run in 1980, I used to play the gutair to the bus ( we partied from Italy through to Greece ) Many a great tale was told on those trips.
People used to send me post cards to the Hotel Tempy in Athens for a long time after they had moved on.. Great days..
I used to busk in the Plaka in Athens as well to get funds for my exploits .. Best memories ever ... Thank you Magic Bus and all who sailed in her, Remember George the Greek ( na Creten) driver ,, what a great guy

Don The Mad irish Courier :)

I remember the Athens office and there was a hotel called Hotel California. I went there being really the courier between Copenhagen and Amsterdam, I went down to Greece. I forgot the names of the two couriers, although we were friends. We left Amsterdam a couple of days after the death of John Lennon in the start of december 1980, and i had previously as always stayed at the Magic Inn in Amsterdam, where I stayed for free, since I worked for the company. I remember the trip first heading for Paris, where we parked in the night by the Madeleine church and then I remember being zonked on magic mushrooms driving through the South France landscape and the setting sun. After going via Munich we passed Graz and ended in Maribor, Slovenia (or rather Jugoslavia) where we switched to the mad greek drivers. It was freezing cold going south between Zagreb and Belgrade, and we traded drugs. The greeks had a deal with my colleagues. They were crazy about amyl nitrate, and would do the poppers, as it was also called, at full speed driving the bus. I remember the whole bus swerving viciously as the driver had his rush and then he'd be back and drive on. The were mad. We ended up in the Plaka, where I stayed at our hotel, the California. I also remember George. It was great times.

1308497.  Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:02 pm Reply with quote

Somebody further up mentioned the legendary driver, Spacey Pete. I was hanging out a lot with Pete and tripping with him in Amsterdam in the summer/autumn of 1980. He lived in his old Setra bus down by the docks. He could tell amazing stories, both from his trips to India and also once to Morocco, where a whole bus was tripping it turned out. They were in Ceuta going into Morocco, and on the way down through Spain Pete had realized, that his courier was dealing acid on the side. And practically all the 40-50 passengers were tripping. It ended in absolute mayhem. Suddenly they were parked sideways across the street and Moroccan police was all over the place. Many of the passengers were perhaps not quite equipped mentally for the situation. Pete was kind of sorting out the situation, tripping but still coping and knowing that he had a bus to save and a situation to solve without having to pay to much in bribes. He told me of one girl in particular. He asked her: "Do you know who you are?" She didn't. "Do you know where you are?" On learning that she was in Morocco, she just started to scream. But as always somehow they got out of that jam as well. True Magic Bus survival style.
There were so many of those stories. Like the driver who had picked up a bus full at Delhi and somewhere around the Khyber Pass going into Afghanistan drank all the money up or something, and the next day had to hustle the passengers for more money. They got through. People were very much for the adventure in those days. Crazy days.
I don't know what happened to Spacey. Hope that he is around somewhere. He'll probably be around 70 these days. I am 61 and was 23 at the time.

1353335.  Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:35 am Reply with quote

I worked at the Magic Inn in Amsterdam shortly after Greg Williams opened it. I managed the restaurant after Terry Williams, and Mary Callaghan managed the hotel.
Anyone remember Steve Wright, Liliana? Spacey Pete used to come in regularly for breakfast and a 'smoke' outside.
I'm 62 now...amazed I survived and lived this long when I remember how we used to party! Crazy times...

1353391.  Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:53 am Reply with quote

Hi KimW and welcome to the forums :-)

1366689.  Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:35 pm Reply with quote

I was a courier on Amsterdam-Copenhagen in 1980-81. But off course also went to and from Greece, the first time in June 1978 with an outfit called Consolas from Syntagma in Athens and in 1979 with Magic Bus via Maribor and Munich to A'dam.
But you are right about things changing at the border of Germany/Ex-Jugoslavia (now Slovenia). I went for free from Amsterdam to Athens in december 1980 right after the killing of John Lennon. We went from Amsterdam to Paris, where we stopped by the Madeleine Cathedral, then on to Munich and to Maribor on the German/Jugoslavia border, where a major change happened: the Greek drivers came on!!! I had indulged in various psychedelics on the way, taking some acid while enjoying the sunset in eastern France, but as usual in those day I carried an assortment of goodies for the trip, as I expected to travel in the Middle East for many months (I returned in June 1981), including some potent mushrooms. But that ended on that border, because my fellow couriers, who were mostly into coke (which I never was) told me, that there was a deal with the Greek drivers, who liked to get very high, and then they had a special thing: they liked to do amyl nitrate aka poppers while driving. So they got my sacred mushrooms, and then we went for an interesting ride. Jugoslavia on a normal day was a dangerous road, where only the bit around the capital Belgrade - in what is today Serbia - could be called a road or a highway. Everything else was nasty shit, and especially going from Nis via Skopje to Thessaloniki in Greece was accident prone. To think that it was a main thoroughfare in Europe for many years was crazy!!
But this was december, and it was freezing in central Jugoslavi with icy roads, and the Greek drivers were driving very fast through the night, while they were doing poppers all the time. This means that each time they inhaled the stuff, they would pass out for a split second and then regain consciousness, and the bus going perhaps 100 miles an hour would shake violently. It was pretty scary, and from my place in the back seat, I would feel the whole effect. We couriers always had the back seat, because there was a groupie thing attatched to the job, and not rarely a particularly pretty female passenger on a boring three day journey would find a place in the backseat with one of us. Good times!

1366690.  Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:54 pm Reply with quote

KimW wrote:
I worked at the Magic Inn in Amsterdam shortly after Greg Williams opened it. I managed the restaurant after Terry Williams, and Mary Callaghan managed the hotel.
Anyone remember Steve Wright, Liliana? Spacey Pete used to come in regularly for breakfast and a 'smoke' outside.
I'm 62 now...amazed I survived and lived this long when I remember how we used to party! Crazy times...

Hi Kim.
I'm 63 and used to stay at the Magic Inn a lot, pehaps we met? I was the Copenhagen courier, and would often come down to Amsterdam and spend the week at the hotel between busses in the autumn of 1981 and 1982. I was tall (205 cm) with long blond hair hippie style. It was glorious times with the incredible The Egg Cream around the corner in Sint Jacobs Straat.
I too was a friend of Spacey Peter, who lived in his old Setra Bus down by the docks. Once I remember that we took acid together at the Magic Inn and was sitting upstairs, where there was a lounge with a television. It was during the day. So we sat there, Spacey and I, and it was very potent acid, and watched the test picture in the television. We watched it intensely, seeing things in it, that for sure was for our eyes only. Then suddenly the picture ans screen started rolling, faster and faster, and suddenly it gave out a noice of sorts and the tube died. The screen was dead! Pete and I jubilantly joked about how our psychic powers had killed the television. But then the dutch kid, whose parents worked at the Inn came home from school. He turned on the tv and it did not work. We felt SO GUILTY!!!
Spacey Peter always had great stories from the road. Like that time, when he went on the Maroccan Express to Morocco, which had a sign at the Rokin street office, where some tape was placed over part of the name, so it simply stated Maroc Press!!
But in Peter's story he was taking a full bus down to Morocco, and during the trip, he realized, that his so-driver was dealing acid on the side, and that virtually the whole bus was tripping! It went crazy, when they came to Morocco, presumably on the way from Ceuta into Morocco? Because the customs or police went absolutely nuts and started strip searching the entire bus, and some of the younger girls were tripping and in a state, and the aggressive male customs officers did not make things better.
According to Pete one girl in particular was lost:
"What is your name?"
I don't know.
"Do you know where you are?"
"You are in Morocco!!"
Great drama. But off course, a little bribe and off they went..


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