Songs for Wilhelm Reich

Two great tunes that pay tribute to Freudian psychoanalyst, Wilhelm Reich.

Hawkwind’s ‘Orgone Accumulator’:

“…..Reich first said he had discovered a biological or cosmic energy, an extension of Freud’s idea of the libido. He called it “orgone energy” or “orgone radiation,”….”In 1940 he began to build insulated Faraday cages, “orgone accumulators,” that he said would concentrate the orgone. The earliest boxes were for laboratory animals. The first human-sized, five-foot-tall box was built in December 1940, and set up in the basement of his house. Turner writes that it was made of plywood lined with rock wool and sheet iron, and had a chair inside and a small window. The boxes had multiple layers of these materials, which caused the orgone concentration inside the box to be three to five times stronger than in the air, Reich said. Patients were expected to sit inside them naked…..”.

And, in the badly underrated film version of ‘On The Road’, Viggo Mortensen’s William Burroughs/Old Bull Lee gives his demonstration of his own Orgone Accumulator:

Kate Bush’s ‘Cloudbusting’

“…..The song is about the very close relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his young son, Peter, told from the point of view of the mature Peter. It describes the boy’s memories of his life with Reich on their family farm, called Orgonon where the two spent time “cloudbusting”, a rain-making process which involved pointing at the sky a machine designed and built by Reich, called a cloudbuster. The lyric further describes Wilhelm Reich’s abrupt arrest and imprisonment, the pain of loss the young Peter felt, and his helplessness at being unable to protect his father. The song was inspired by Peter Reich’s 1973 memoir, A Book of Dreams, which Bush read and found deeply moving…..”

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