Bore Hole, by Joe Mellen

This is the story of how I came to drill a hole in my head to get permanently high. What this book, I hope, will do is give an answer to the question why do people want to take drugs, as they always have throughout history.


Cover illustration by Amanda Feilding

Joey Mellen’s memoir has achieved a legendary status that reaches far beyond the 500 long-vanished copies he printed in 1970. It has been hailed as the blueprint for the next step in human evolution, denounced as a tragic example of the dangers of drug experimentation, and retold endlessly as an irresistible anecdote of high craziness. It has become the ne plus ultra of consciousness expansion, the extreme high water mark of the psychedelic sixties.

–From the introduction by Mike Jay.

Just published in the UK by Strange Attractor, this heavily expanded edition of Joe Mellen’s legendary, long out-of-print auto-trepanation memoir, Bore Hole, takes us deep into the dawning of the UK’s psychedelic counter culture, and into a mind breaking free from the confines of a traditional English upbringing.

Travelling to Morocco and Ibiza, then back to the first spring of swinging London, Joe Mellen discovers the pleasures of hashish, is captivated by the visionary intensity of LSD and, after meeting the Dutch psychedelic guru Bart Huges in Ibiza, attempts the ultimate head trip, the bore hole.

As well as a selection of unseen archive photographs, this edition includes a new postscript, essays, appendices and a 1967 interview with Bart Huges.

Here’s Joe Mellen giving a talk about trepanation at Breaking Convention.