Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters


“The Merry Pranksters were cohorts and followers of American author Ken Kesey in 1964. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters lived communally at Kesey’s homes in California and Oregon, and are noted for the sociological significance of a lengthy road trip they took in the summer of 1964, traveling across the United States in a psychedelic painted school bus called Furthur or Further, organizing parties and giving out LSD. During this time they met many of the guiding lights of the mid-1960s cultural movement and presaged what are commonly thought of as hippies with odd behavior, tie-dyed and red, white and blue clothing, and renunciation of normal society, which they dubbed The Establishment. Tom Wolfe chronicled their early escapades in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; Wolfe also documents a notorious 1966 trip on Further from Mexico through Houston, stopping to visit Kesey’s friend, novelist Larry McMurtry. Kesey was in flight from a drug charge at the time. Notable members of the group include Kesey’s best friend Ken Babbs, Carolyn ‘Mountain Girl’ Garcia, Lee Quarnstrom, and Neal Cassady. Stewart Brand, Paul Foster, Dale Kesey (his cousin), George Walker, the Warlocks (now known as the Grateful Dead), Del Close (then a lighting designer for the Grateful Dead), Wavy Gravy, Paul Krassner, and Kentucky Fab Five writers Ed McClanahan and Gurney Norman (who overlapped with Kesey and Babbs as creative writing graduate students at Stanford University) were associated with the group to varying degrees. … On June 17, 1964, Kesey and 13 Merry Pranksters boarded Furthur at Kesey’s ranch in La Honda, California, and set off eastward. Kesey wanted to see what would happen when hallucinogenic-inspired spontaneity confronted what he saw as the banality and conformity of American society.  …”
Wikipedia
Ken Kesey (1935-2001) and the Merry Pranksters
YouTube: Ken Babbs of The Merry Pranksters ‘Live in London’. Includes footage of Ken Kesey & Timothy Leary

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Counterculture, Grateful Dead, Haight-Ashbury, Hippie, Ken Kesey, LSD, Marijuana, Merry Pranksters, Timothy Leary and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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