Ken Kesey & The Merry Pranksters

Hell's Angels cover

Hell's Angels

Hunter S. Thompson New York: Random House, 1966. Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature.

Freelance journalist Hunter S. Thompson introduced Kesey to a group of Hell's Angels in July 1965. The Hell's Angels were as impressed with Kesey as he was with them, and in August Kesey hosted his first Acid Test with the Angels at his home in La Honda. Thompson believed it would be a disastrous mix—the Angels had never taken LSD, but after a night of wild revelry that approached insanity at times, the Hell's Angels rode away peacefully the following morning. The Merry Pranksters and the Hell's Angels would participate in numerous events together over the next two years. Thompson continued his close association with a group of Angels to gather material for his book, but he parted company suddenly in September 1966 when several members, some of whom he considered friends, turned on him and nearly beat him to death.

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