Ken Kesey & The Merry Pranksters

Can You Pass the Acid Test? cover

Can You Pass the Acid Test?

From Paul Grushkin, The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk New York: Abbeville Press, 1987. Special Collections Department.

With the commercial success of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey bought property in La Honda and moved his wife and children and assorted Merry Pranksters to the mountains outside of San Francisco. There they began throwing parties Kesey called Acid Tests, where revelers would ingest LSD, sometimes without their knowledge, and attempt to survive the often harrowing night. Kesey believed that one's personal fears should be confronted under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. The surrounding woods, with trees painted day-glo colors, dissonant music blasting from hidden speakers, and the very odd invited guests—including members of the Hell's Angels—made the parties an experience that not all endured without physical and psychological consequences. Kesey constantly pushed the limits with his own experimentations and eventually moved the Acid Tests into public places such as the Longshoreman's Hall, Muir Beach, or musical events at Bill Graham's Fillmore West.

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