The story of Reg Llama of Brixton is a strange one indeed. Reg started life in a small town near Veracruz in Mexico. His original name is Reginald Antonio Santiago González and was the son of Francisco and Olwen González. Reg got his name from his grandfather Reginald Llywelyn, a coal miner from south Wales. Olwen grew up in south Wales but was abducted, sold to child traffickers and taken to Mexico when she was only 7 years of age. She managed to escape and was harboured and then adopted by a local family. Olwen never made it back to her native Wales.
Reg grew up with a love of movies and football and went to film school in Mexico City. After graduating he got a job working for the Mexican Football Federation (FMF). He was part of a team dedicated to documenting on film, as many aspects of the national team as they could. And in 1966 he got to travel to England to help document Mexico’s involvement in the FIFA World Cup. Reg spoke very good English, albeit with a strange Welsh/Mexican accent, and was a great help to the team during their stay in London. And Reg loved London. This was the swinging sixties and London was a great place for a young, free and single man and Reg lapped it up.
Once the tournament was over, Reg decided to stay in London. He fell in love with a young lass from Wales and moved to the country of his mother’s birth. Whilst in Wales he connected to a shamanic community and began to experiment with psychedelics. By the early 1970’s his relationship had come to an end and he moved to Brixton in south London.
All this time he had been making short films and documentaries. He was particularly into London’s music scene and became a familiar face at all the best clubs and gigs. At one such gig he met Terry Gillian and Terry Jones from the Monty Python crew. It is important to note that by this time Reg had changed his name to Llama and because he loved Brixton so much would quite often tell people his name was Reg Llama of Brixton.
He made an impression on the Python team and in 1974 he joined the team that created Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And it was his surname that gave rise to one of the opening credit sequences . He was however not one of the directors as claimed in those credits. His main job was making tea and coffee.
Reg loved his time on that set but didn’t progress in the film industry. He did, however, continue to make short films with his cine camera. Throughout the late 70’s and into the 80’s he documented the life in Brixton’s vibrant squatting scene. Reg loved the squatting life and the freedom it gave him. He put on many punk, reggae and ska parties with his crew. When the rave scene hit London, he started organising some of the first warehouse parties and he became an integral part of that scene.
In 1994 he returned to Mexico to attend his mother’s funeral. He didn’t plan to stay long but after a serendipitous meeting with a shaman he decided to stay and train in shamanism. He returned to London in 2001 but was shocked by the gentrification of his beloved Brixton and decided not move back there. He got himself a van, converted it to live in and set about going around the UK putting on ayahuasca ceremonies.
At one such ceremony he met some folk from planet Dooda. They told him about the entheogenic plants of Dooda and how the whole planet embraces shamanic practises. During his shamanic training Reg had travelled to a few planets through inter-dimensional portals. He liked the idea of living on planet Dooda and with the help of his new Doodarian friends he managed to get there. Reg had also learnt how to shape shift and loved turning himself into strange creatures. The image below is one his psychedelic avatar. These are used when taking entheogenic plants on Dooda. Reg asked me to design a psychedelic avatar for him, which was a a great honour for me. I designed it the style of the Aztec/Mayan art that Reg grew up around. I fell in love with the art of Mesoamerica when doing my research for this piece, and it continues to influence my work to this day.
Reg Llama of Brixton’s psychedelic avatar.