Up at the Fillmore Auditorium, Ken Kesey’s Acid Test event was in action when I got there around the middle of the evening. The people were like the backstage crowd at the California Hall dance (that the Airplane played the same night). The costumes were, wow! A strobe light was flickering at a very high frequency in one corner of the hall and a group of people were bouncing a golden balloon up and down in it. It was a most perturbing frequency. It hurt to look at them.
In one corner there was a piece of metal, tubular sculpture by Ron Boise, a thumping machine. If you hit it, you got different sounds if you hit it different places. There was a lot of electronic equipment which sent out a low reverberation that resonated throughout the hall. And the whole place was filled with streamers and balloons. There were TV cameras and a TV screen, and you could see yourself in it. Onstage there was a rock group; anybody could play with them. It was a kind of social jam session.
A guy in a white mechanic’s suit with a black cross on the front, and on the back a sign saying ‘Please Don’t Believe in Magic’, ran up and down all night. Oh wow! Periodically the lights went out and everybody cheered. Giant Frisbees, balloons like basketballs, acrobats, girls in felt eyelashes four inches long, people with eyes painted on their foreheads, glasses low on the nose with eyes painted on them, men with foxes on their shoulders! Wow!
– Michael Rossman (S.F. Chronicle, 1/66)
See Page 25 for the other half of this Acid Test poster and the story behind it.
The Prankster bus, Furthur
Prankster Ken Babbs
Photos: Further – Gene Anthony, Jerry and Ken – Ron Bevirt