Tom Forcade

Thomas King Forçade (September 11, 1945 – November 17, 1978), also known as Gary Goodson,[1] was an American underground journalist and cannabis rights activist in the 1970s. For many years he ran the Underground Press Syndicate (later called the Alternative Press Syndicate), and was the founder in summer 1974 of High Times magazine.[2] High Times ran articles calling marijuana a "medical wonder drug" and ridiculing the US Drug Enforcement Administration. High Times became a huge success with a circulation of more than 500,000 copies a month and revenues approaching $10 million by 1977 and embraced by the young adult market as the bible of the alternative life culture. By 1977 High Times was selling as many copies an issue as Rolling Stone and National Lampoon. Forcade published several other publications such as Stoned, National Weed, Dealer and others that always were laced with some of the best humor, pop culture and a forum for some of the best writers, artists and political savvy mostly veiled as the counter culture entertainment magazine. Many of the writers went on to be published in premiere papers and magazines in North America.

Tom Forçade
Born(1945-09-11)September 11, 1945
DiedNovember 17, 1978(1978-11-17) (aged 33)
OccupationUnderground journalist, activist

Life and careerEdit

He was born in Phoenix, Arizona. His father, engineer and hot rod enthusiast Kenneth Goodson, died in a car crash when Forçade was a child.

Forçade graduated from the University of Utah in 1967 with a degree in business administration. He went into the United States Air Force but was discharged after a few months. He used the skills he learned, however, to fly across the border for several years trafficking drugs from Mexico and Colombia,[3][4] and used his proceeds to form a hippie commune and underground magazine called Orpheus. After this, he moved to New York City, where he became famous for founding High Times as well as contributing funding to the Yippie newspaper, Yipster Times,[5][6][7] while also bankrolling an ailing Punk Magazine.[8]

In 1970, Forcade was the first documented activist to use pieing as a form of protest, hitting Chairman Otto Larsen during the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.[9][10][11][12]

According to the 1990 nonfiction book 12 Days on the Road: The Sex Pistols and America, by Noel E. Monk,[13] Forcade and his film crew followed the Sex Pistols through their chaotic January 1978 concerts of the U.S. South and West, using high-pressure tactics in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the band's management and record company to let him document the tour.[14]

Forcade was a co-founder of the Underground Press Syndicate,[15] which he ran for many years.[5] The name was changed to the Alternative Press Syndicate in 1973.


Forçade committed suicide by gunshot to the head in November 1978 in his Greenwich Village apartment after the death of his best friend, Jack Coombs.[16][17] Forcade had attempted suicide before and bequeathed trusts to benefit High Times and NORML.


  1. ^ Gross, Michael (February 18, 1991). "Ivana's Avenger". New York Magazine.
  2. ^ Bienenstock, David; and editors of High Times magazine (2008). Chapter 1 HIGHstory Archived 2014-04-07 at the Wayback Machine. The Official High Times Pot Smokers Handbook: Featuring 420 Things to do When You're Stoned. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0811862054. ISBN 9780811862059.
  3. ^ Al Aronowitz. "Tom Forcade, Social Architect". The Blacklisted Journalist. Retrieved 2002-02-01.
  4. ^ Arnett, Andrew. "Hippies, Yippies, Zippies and Beatnicks – A Conversation with Dana Beal". The Stoned Society. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b New Yippie Book Collective (1983). Blacklisted News: Secret Histories from Chicago, '68, to 1984. Bleecker Publishing. ISBN 9780912873008. (Chapter titled "Zeitgeist: The Ballad of Tom Forcade" by Steve Conliff)
  6. ^ Martin A. Lee (2012). Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1536620085.
  7. ^ Reinholz, Mary. "Yippies vs. Zippies: New Rubin book reveals '70s counterculture feud". The Villager (Manhattan). Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  8. ^ Armstrong, David (1981). A trumpet to arms: alternative media in America. J.P. Tarcher, ISBN 978-0-87477-158-9
  9. ^ Vinciguerra, Thomas (10 December 2000). "Take Sugar, Eggs, Beliefs . . . And Aim". New York Times.
  10. ^ Staff report (May 13, 1970). Witness Presents Pornography Commissioner With a Pie (in the Face). New York Times
  11. ^ Weiner, Rex (April 1, 2014). Here’s Pie in Your Eye. The Paris Review.
  12. ^ Anthony Haden-Guest. "Throwing Custard Pies Looks Like Fun. It's Also Art". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  13. ^ Noel Monk (November 25, 1992). 12 Days on the Road : The Sex Pistols and America. William Morrow and Company. ISBN 978-0688112745.
  14. ^ Anthony Haden-Guest (December 8, 2009). The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night. It Books. ISBN 978-0061723742.
  15. ^ John McMillian (February 17, 2011). Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America. Oxford University Press. pp. 120–126. ISBN 978-0195319927.
  16. ^ Torgoff, Martin (2004). Can't Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945–2000. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-7432-5863-0.
  17. ^ Clayton Patterson (2007). Resistance: A Radical Political and Social History of the Lower East Side. Seven Stories Press. pp. 514–517. ISBN 9781583227459.

External linksEdit