The book ‘The Seventh Seal’ is on the bookshelf of the Kesey mural, a book away from the ‘Big Beat Club Acid Test. The SS was first a movie about a knight that cheats death. The Big Beat does not appear to be a book. I have stated in this blog I died while on a large dose of LSD, by the sea. I get it, these are video tapes!
I asked Kim Hafner if she took LSD, and she freaked. She told me she used to party with members of the Kesey family. I wonder if she had a bad trip and ended up in the Johnson Unit. The point is, these images and subject matter are a part of Springfield’s cultural history and no one who took part should be assigned a Mind Leech Thought Police Lump that attaches themselves to their host, and sucks the life out of them. I think Kathy also had a bad trip and is looking to blame it one someone. This is why they both want me to lose my family and end up in the Coo Coo’s Nest. This is what happened to them. I represent the dude who made acid and gave them some, and, if given a chance I will give their children some acid.
I lived with the Loading Zone who played at the first Acid Tests. Neil Cassidy came home with them and jabbered at them for a week high on speed.
In 1975 I did a painting of the Angel I saw at McClure’s beach – from memory – gifting me the world after I died.
Oh my! I just realized the book case in the Kesey mural is like my bookcase that I erected eight years ago! Kim and Kathy busted my ass after sensing a strange light coming from my abode. I have not ingested drugs or alcohol in thirty years! Must be – acid flashbacks! Best get me a lobotomy at the Coo-Coo’s Nest. My Dumb-ass Daughter will sign the papers – with glee!
I should be paid by the City of Springfield to give a lecture of this mural. But, I may not pass the Springfield Sanity Test, thanks to Kim Hafner who worked at the Johnson Unit. Why not do a HUGE mural of………..BIG BLUBBER MOUTH? Folks from allover the world will recognize her.
John Presco 007
|home | Acid Test Chronicles | The Acid Test Chronicles – Page 14 – . . .|
This is a One-of-A-Kind handbill for the Big Beat Acid Test in Palo Alto Dec. 18, 1965. This item was hand-colored at the time, in colored pens and either markers or pastel crayons. It is not printed. It is completely done by hand. Notice the band mentioned is the Warlocks and not the Grateful Dead. So, it appears that some friends advertised them to followers as the Grateful Dead, but some people were advertising them still as the Warlocks, since that is the name they were commonly known as. This was likely the last Acid Test played where they went by the name of the Warlocks. This is the only other known item besides the Babbs Spread poster that features the name “Warlocks” and advertises an Acid Test. It was taken down from alocal coffe shop in either the Palo Alto or the Santa Cruz area, most likely the Catalyst, the location the other Warlocks Poster was removed from, for the Spread. Extremely Unique!
All the essentials are here.
Location, City, Date, Name of Band
The Big Beat Acid test was the fourth Acid Test and occurred on Dec. 18, 1965.
Apparently, the band was still being promoted as the Warlocks at this time. This is likely the last event they were ever billed as the Warlocks.
I found this kind of odd at first, but then I found a quote from a participant and they mention the band they saw as the Warlocks, not the Grateful Dead.
Neal also took Annette to her first Acid Test, at the Big Beat in Palo Alto. The entertainment that particular evening was a band Annette had heard about from David Nelson, but had never seen: the Warlocks.
“I spent most of the time under a table,” Annette recalls in her office at the Dead’s headquarters, where she is now in charge of the band’s music publishing company, Ice Nine. Over her desk, in a charcoal sketch, Pigpen looks back at us over his shoulder.
“The Warlocks frightened me. I sensed a tremendous amount of power up there, and I wasn’t sure if it was good or evil. I wasn’t immediately comfortable with it. “Like Deadheads’ll tell you today, I was in one of those situations where I was in the second row dancing, and all of a sudden I thought Jerry looked over and was angry or something – like I’d pissed somebody off – and I crawled all the way to the back and found a table and got under it and waited till Neal came and got me and we went home.” – Goin Down the Road – Blair Jackson – Page 100
Lee Quarnstrom: “Then there was another Acid Test in Mountain View. This one was bigger. It was held in a dance hall where the Grateful Dead could actually hook up electric intruments. I would guess that there were about 200 people at the one in Mountain View. I don’t have any idea how they heard about it. Probably on the acid grapevine.” — On the Bus – Paul Perry Page 148
Denise Kaufmann: “Mountain View was an amazing event. The Grateful Dead were fully set up and playing great stuff. That was when Pigpen was singing R & B songs like “Turn on Your Lovelight.” Pigpen’s dad was the only white deejay on a black station and he was raised listening to R & B, so he sounded black.
At one point, I was standing out in the parking lot talking to Jerry Garcia, and this police car drove up and the officer got out and started questioning us. It was the usual: “What’s going on here?” Jerry did most of the talking. Whatever Jerry said satisfied him because he turned to leave. As he turned to walk away, Jerry kind of tipped his hat and said, “The tips, captain.”
The way he said it just knocked me out. I told Kesey about this interaction and out of that Jerry got his name Captain Trips.” — On the Bus – Paul Perry Page 148
“Another eventful Acid Test was the nightclub in Palo Alto called the Big Beat, a plushy club in an L-shape with a stage in the angle. The Grateful Dead had their equipment set up on the stage, and the Pranksters had their equipment set up on the other side of the room on tables — a Day-Glo organ, tape recorders, microphones, and a strobe light. The strobe light, in between the two setups, would flash the whole room.
Rock Skully, who had worked with the Family Dog, met the band at this gig. Skully remarked, “Ken Kesey was lecturing around the Bay area at that time and I went and saw him. Owsley had shown up at the lecture and he told me about this band, the Grateful Dead. I went to an Acid Test down on the Peninsula [Big Beat] and I heard them and thought they were great.
Skully also recalled, “I was standing by the bar and [Pigpen] walked up to me wearing his biker jacket with all the medals on it and he says, ‘Owsley told me to come over and talk to you. He says you’re gonna manage us or something.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to. I don’t know what were gonna do, though — you guys are ugly as sin.’ He said, ‘Yeah, aren’t we?’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s neat! The Rolling Stones are ugly, too! He said, ‘Yeah, we do the same kind of music, except we do it better!’
Stewart Brand was at the Big Beat Acid Test with his side show of taped music and slides of Indians, a multimedia presentation that was a total environment where you could see the sights and hear the sounds of Indian life. Brand has fallen in with the Pranksters around the time of the Big Beat Acid Test and before long was organizing an even larger version, which became known as the Trips Festival.” — Captain Trips – Sandy Troy – Page 76
“A week or so later, we all gathered at the Big Beat nightclub in Palo Alto for the first full-scale Acid Test. People from outside the local area had heard about the events, and a lot of folks had come down from the city. The highlight of the Big Beat Test was unquestionably the performance of a multimedia event called “America needs Indians”, created by Stewart Brand, later to become famous for the Whole Earth Catalog. This audiovisual presentation of Native American myths and spiritual thinking revealed Native Americans to us as a people with a great depth of culture and a natural philosophy unsurpassed in the traditional world. To many of us — white kids who had grown up watching Westerns in the fifties — these revelations struck like lightning bolts. Also that evening, Ken Babbs showed us what may have been the world’s first music “video” — his smokin’ little three minute film inspired by and illustrating a pop hit by Del Shannon called “Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow the Sun).” The later Tests and Trips Festival would see the evolution of these “compositional” audiovisual works into a fully improvisational art form: the rock ‘n’ roll light show.” — Searching for the Sound — Phil Lesh – Page 67 –
(Note: Phil Lesh remembers Palo Alto coming before Muir Beach, however, the handbill below contradicts that. It could be Phil Lesh’s memory of the events got jumbled since these two were the third and fourth tests. I have been able to track and find many conflicting accounts. Owsley remembers Palo Alto coming afterwards. Mountain Girl remembers it coming before Muir Beach. For now, until someone can actually PROVE otherwise, we can assume it happened after Muir Beach since the date below is filled in and the handbill did come from a very important collection of legitimate material. Then Phil goes on below and contradicts himself in certain ways, on Page 69, as shown below, where he never mentions Muir Beach, after Palo Alto)
“After Palo Alto, the Test was ready for the big time — the Fillmore Auditorium.”
(Now that makes more sense, and shows how memories can often get confused. Dennis mcNally’s book also brings up the tests in this same order, Palo Alto, then Muir beach, however, there is nothing in the book that indicates any proof that Palo Alto came first.)
And phil continues, then relating events of the Fillmore. How can this be explained. Well, one thing, they were all on acid at the time! – I have spoken to numerous Pranksters now, including George Walker, who has an excellent memory, Lee Quarnstrom, also excellent memory, but many of the other folks cannot remember very much. Mountain Girl herself admits she remembers very little about the posters and handbills, and has often claimed the memory is kinda of foggy on details. Many people I have spoken to do not remember very well. I would assume being on lots of acid forty-five years ago….those kind of memory details are not so easy to cough up. However, Tom Wolf’s account in Electric Kool Aid WAS written in 1968, and in his book, it is stated a couple times, Muir Beach came first, and right after San Jose, such as in the following statement on page 250 of Electric Kool-Aid – This followed the account of Muir Beach in the same book.
“The Pranksters went on to hold Tests in Palo Alto, Portland, Oregon, two in San Francisco, four in and around Los Angeles—and three in Mexico”
Not sure exactly what this is, but it was billed as a “Danny Rifkin Business Card” when it appeared in a Rock and Roll auction several years ago. It is an oddity, but I included the pic here because of the location of Palo Alto being included on it. It could have been an invite for this gig, handed out to friends of the band or Danny, but doubling as a business card. That is what I think, but it’s mere speculation on my part. Anyone who recognizes it is encoraged to followup and get me the info, so I can post it here.
Here is a recent poster that turned up from a lady who attended the event and took it from the table. It was the admission Poster.
It’s unfortunate that this poster does not have the date filled in along with the location. Oh well, you can’t have everything, now can you?What is interesting is that they had already started to use the name “Grateful Dead” on the Paul Foster poster one week prior to this event at Muir Beach on Dec. 11, however, the artist who designed the handbill above was still pitching them as the “warlocks”, obviously because some fans, who would have seen the handbill up in the coffee shop, where it was removed, may not have known the band as the Grateful Dead yet, so the Warlocks were used instead.
Back of the Big Beat Poster – $1.00 – Can’t “Beat” that!