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End of the road for trailblazing hippy

PUBLISHED: 10:32 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:57 07 September 2010

Mourners at Fraser Clark's funeral

Mourners at Fraser Clark's funeral

Tan Parsons A WRITER, spiritualist and trailblazing hippy from West Hampstead who spent his life promoting peace and love has died. Fraser Clark, best remembered as founder of London s Megatripolis nightclub, finally succumbed to his battle with liver can

Mourners at Fraser Clark's funeral

Tan Parsons

A WRITER, spiritualist and trailblazing hippy from West Hampstead who spent his life promoting peace and love has died.

Fraser Clark, best remembered as founder of London's Megatripolis nightclub, finally succumbed to his battle with liver cancer at the age of 66.

Megatripolis, which began in the mid 1990s, was an underground nightclub in Charing Cross Road that sought to fuse rave culture with New Age ideology.

On the top floor there were lectures and classical music, on the middle floor there was relaxing ambient music, while on the bottom floor there was techno house music.

He believed rave and dance music could teach people how to live in an overcrowded world because it involved lots of people moving in a small space in a co-ordinated way.

The club was founded with his former partner Sionaidh Craigen, with whom he would sit around a tiny stereo listening to aspiring dance artists desperate to play at the venue.

"He was a ray of sunshine," said Ms Craigen. "He had a great sense of humour and was always planning practical jokes. He was a very noticeable character - he was 6ft 2ins tall and had long blond hair and a broad Glaswegian accent.

"He was a great enabler - if someone wanted to do something he would always try to help them to do it."

Mr Clark, of Woodchurch Road, was born in Glasgow and attended the city's university, graduating with an MA in psychology.

During the 1960s he followed the hippy trail, travelling the world from India to the US and South America. From these travels were born two novels, Shazam and New World Trips. His spiritual pilgrimage also led him to enjoy friendships with psychedelic writers Terence McKenna and Timothy Leary.

In the late 1980s he founded the independent magazine Encyclopaedia Psychedelica with his friend James Hamilton.

Mr Hamilton said: "Fraser was like an urban shaman. We were really the first people to chronicle the advent of rave culture. He was quick-witted, sharp-minded and had a perceptive intellect. He was a great traveller and he believed that young people were the best critics of culture."

Another close friend, Alex Gunningham, met him in 1977 at a gig at the Roundhouse where Mr Clark was dressed in flamboyant clothes and surrounded by an adoring group of women.

"Fraser was a real futurist," Mr Cunningham said. "He was a wonderful man and everyone who knew him loved him. His death is a great loss to the planet.

"He was also a very good writer. He wrote some amazing magazine articles as well as radio plays and novels."

At the time of his death, Mr Clark was working on a rave opera, Megatripolis: The Future Perfect State.

Ever fond of coining phrases, one of his favourite concepts was "pronoia", the sensation that the world is conspiring to help you - something he believed in fervently. He was a pacifist to the extent that he would not even watch violent films or thrillers and he once drove a bus on an electioneering campaign for the Hampstead-based Rainbow Alliance in Derby. He was also a distinctive and regular dog walker on the Heath.

Mr Clark's memorial service was held on February 11 at St Luke's Church in Kiddepore Avenue, presided over by Christian and Buddhist ministers. He was later buried in Hampstead Cemetery in a pagan ceremony.

On his gravestone is inscribed the phrase: "Dying - it's not the end of the world."

He is survived by his two brothers and his son.


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