If a bridge from the Beatniks to the Hippie Era existed, it was Ken Kesey and his band of 'Merry Pranksters', who travelled the west coast in a psychedelic school bus called 'Further' dishing out LSD to those they encountered. This was called the Acid Test.
Kesey was better known as the author of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest",among other,lesser, works.
The nascent Grateful Dead,or the Warlocks as they were first known,or The Dreadful Dead as I prefer to call them, were frequently seen at the various venues for the Acid Tests, and contribute some extra drugged up nonsense to this recording of Ken's Gibberish, with BFF, Ken Babbs, adding more unhinged lunacy as resident 'Non-Artist'.
Kesey,like all self-promoting Artist types, wanted to see what would happen when hallucinogenic-inspired spontaneity confronted what he saw as the banality and conformity of American society.Predictably, lots of arrests and middle class outrage was the result, which, contrarily, led to LSD being banned in late 1966.Little did Kesey realise,or maybe this was the underlying metaphor that most artists seem to strive for, that he was creating another form of conformity and banality in the rich kids playground called the counter culture of the mid-1960's.There really is nothing more banal than a drugged up idiot who thinks he's pushing the boundaries,but in reality is just another drugged up idiot who,apparently, doesn't need to work to feed himself,or pay for the drugs needed to extend his realm of idiocy further.
Yeah, they obviously had 'fun', but don't read too much more into it than that.The adolescent challenge to conformist society was already happening,it just didn't have a name,or a semi-celebrity benefactor,all done in the name of 'art'.Most of the sub-culture elite 'artists only please', passengers on the bus either died early, or became part of the post-woodstock society that they were allegedly against.There's no escape.
Alternatively, I suppose they could have done nothing? Now that's a real challenge to the status quo.....do nothing.Buy nothing,say nothing,create nothing,just enough to eat,drink,.... exist.End.
A1 Ken Kesey
A2 Ken Babbs And Harmonica
A3 Take Two
A5 Peggy The Pistol
B1 One Way Ticket
B2 Bells & Fairies
B4 Trip X
B5 The End