Thursday, October 20, 2005

Zane Kesey ,Ken's son,& the Babbs brothers,Ken Babbs' sons, are commemorating in Las Vegas on Halloween the 40th anniversary of the first Acid Test which occurred at Ken Babbs' house in Santa Cruz on Sunday, November 27, 1965.

Here's Simon Babbs' pitch from

Welcome to my auction. I am Simon Babbs, son of Ken Babbs, the Intrepid Traveler. I was born on the Farm back in 1968, Ken Kesey's farm in Pleasant Hill. In a log cabin next to the pond. In 69 I went to Woodstock with my dad who ran the free stage. Items up for bidding are trips with the Merry Band of Pranksters with them on their bus from Kesey's Farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon down to S.F. for some shows during the weekend of the 29th and the 30th of October and then on to Las Vegas Nevada for Halloween on the 31st for the 40 year commemorative Acid Test with the Merry Band of Pranksters at the Front Door, 4813 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada.

You are not just bidding on the right to tag along, you are bidding on becoming a member of the Merry Band of Pranksters for this show. You must be prepared to take the stage with the Pranksters and perform with them at the first Acid Test they have performed at in 40 years. The time the bus leaves has yet to be decided. The route has yet to be announced. Your bid for this historic event will make it all happen for us that much easier. There are at this point three extra spots available. Fee free to call my Brother Eli who will be driving the bus on his phone at 503-939-5373 if you have bid on this auction.

photo of Ron Bevirt's sign, courtesy of

Ron Boise's sculpture being installed

From an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel :

Few downtown merchants knew Bevirt was one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, a photographer on the psychedelic International Harvester bus that would, on occasion, be parked outside. Other Pranksters, like Neal Cassady, the notorious Dean Moriarty of Jack Kerouac’s ‘‘On the Road,’’ occasionally worked at the store, and Kenneth Babbs had a home in the area. Lee Quarnstrom, today a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, had connected with the Pranksters in La Honda and then drifted here. He took a job at the Hip Pocket for $20 a week and all he could read.

Meanwhile, Ron Boise, 33, a former neighbor in La Honda who had done a little artistic modification on ‘‘Further,’’ the Prankster bus, was now showing his sculpture as part of the developing cultural scene in Aptos. The artist, known for massive metal sculptures, particularly of nudes, staged his first local show at the beat generation coffee bar and gallery called The Stickey Wicket.

Ken Babbs corrected our PSYCHEDELIC WORLD HISTORY version of him hosting the Earth's first ACID TEST found at

Subject: Re: Po' Ole Buddy May Have Had A Brain Fart, Jimmy Dean Came Through & Capn Keeps Us Up Wid Katrina

[host of the very first Acid Test almost 40 years ago at his book
store in Santa Cruz,CA on November 27,1965]

at my house, not a bookstore, and the bookstore probably being
referred to was owned by peter dema and ron bevirt and was called the
hip pocket bookstore.


I forgot to say I never have owned a bookstore and can confidentally
predict I never will, but you never know, you never know so I will
curb my tongue.

From deadlists

Merry Pranksters
Unknown Venue
Soquel, Santa Cruz, CA
11/??/65 - Sunday

Soquel, near Santa Cruz (Warlocks?): 1st Acid Test? The Deadhead's Taping Compendium -- p.85: "The parties were outgrowing La Honda...first acid test was held in November 1965.
Master recordings of "Acid Tests" by Pranksters: "were several Ampex 601 two-track stereo reel-to-reel tape decks..." -- [Ref.: The Deadhead's Taping Compendium -- p.6 Ken Babbs & p.85].
Teddy GoodBear , The Deadhead's Taping Compendium p.85, Owsley Stanley III.
Teddy Goodbear


Ken Kesey decided to go public with his own parties. On November 27, 1965, he put up a small poster in a bookstore advertising an "Acid Test" in a private home. It was clear to an acidhead what Kesey hoped to do: throw a big party where everyone took LSD and made some collective cosmic breakthrough. Not by meditation and listen­ing to Indian music, the way Timothy Leary was recommending on the East Coast, but by court­ing the unexpected. If you came to an Acid Test, you'd find Kesey's Merry Pranksters messing with microphones and gadgets, plus a light show, a slide show about American Indians, a rock band called the Warlocks, Kesey's own musical group (the Psychedelic Symphonette) and lots of weird people.

But how to describe what he was inviting people to? Kesey considered it participatory theater, like the Happenings that were the current rage in the art world. Everybody paid a dollar admission, including Kesey.