"Journey To The Center Of The Mind" is about hallucinogenic drugs, which were big at the time. It describes the feeling of an acid trip. Nothing unusual about that, since 1968 was the height of the psychedelic era, but Amboy Dukes founder and guitarist was Ted Nugent, who takes pride in his drug-free lifestyle. The song was written by the group's other guitarist, Steve Farmer, and Nugent claims he had no idea it was a drug song.
"I was oblivious," he told Songfacts in 2022
. "I was as ignorant as they come to the drug culture. But my co-author, God rest his soul, the great, talented Steve Farmer, he was deep into hallucinogenics and opiates."
"I was into Samurai, into martial arts," he continued. "I didn't know that Steve was writing about an LSD trip. I was playing a lick based on examining one's path in life. I couldn't articulate it this way then, but aspiring to accountability so that you could continue on a quality path of life."
Nugent was so out of touch with the drug culture that he really didn't hear the drug references, and his bandmates were not likely to tell him. He smoked some joints in 1967 and hated it. He went straight edge, believing that any outside element makes you "lesser than you were prior to taking it." Even though he had long hair and looked like a hippie, he made it clear that he had no use for that lifestyle, and thought marijuana made people lethargic and lazy. He never told his bandmates they couldn't smoke pot, but thought that if they did, they wouldn't be able to keep up with him.