Thursday, June 24, 2004
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
THE MERRY BAND OF PRANKSTERS LOOK FOR A KOOL PLACE
Produced, filmed, directed, edited and staring Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.
- It was 1964. Mercury sold a convertible. The Beatles wanted to hold your
hand. Barry Goldwater was running for president. Hud was the best movie. A
group of people were getting together on the West Coast. Ken Kesey had just
written, "Sometimes A Great Notion." The publication party was to be in
Madhattan the middle of June. The whole group decided to go. They bought a
bus, painted it, outfitted it with a sound system, bought movie cameras and
tape recorders, their plan: to film and record everything along the way,
inter-acting with Americans, swilling big jugs of electric kool aid.
When done, they would put out a feature film of the whole trip. Their
fortunes and careers would be made. It didn't happen. Matching the film and
the sound was too grueling. The whole thing was arrested. There were fits
and starts, other attempts, but it wasn't until the digital age that the
possibilities smiled and nodded. 35 years later, we achieve primal success.
#This is Episode 1, 'Journey To The East,' which shows the preparing and
painting in California, the bus stuck in Arizona's Big Muddy River, the
loss of a Prankster in Houston, Texas, the integration of Lake Ponchatrain
in New Orleans, plus numerous wild adventures inside the bus, featuring
Neal Cassady at the wheel, rapping and rolling.
56 MINUTES. STEREO
PLUS: Bonus Stuff at the end of the tape!
$29.00 (SPECIAL TODAY $25.00) also see "Hassle Free" combo deal below!
"NORTH TO MADHATTAN"
THE MERRY BAND OF PRANKSTERS LOOK FOR A KOOL PLACE #2
Episode 2 is a little more than an hour, and it's pretty good. Not beatifically clumsy and surprisingly inspired like episode 1, but still pretty good. For one thing it's Cassady's best driving footage-- two cameras on him and words finally fitted accurately to his whirring lips. His face is healthy and tight and his rap righteous, and his spirit is flying. And his mind? Terrific. Vintage Speed Limit.
But it's more than his mind. His mind is like his healthy face, and it's more than that. More, even, than his spirit. It's, aww... wait, I got it! Here's a sample of what I mean:
In episode 1 when Cassady first comes driving over the bridge to our place in La Honda, you hear him before you see him, jabbering over the exhausted vehicle and the scratchy old radio-- talking us stuff that you can't make out until he turns off the car and the radio. And as soon as the song stops you realize it was Love Potion No. 9. A charming little entrance for Neal at the Wheel-- The 1960's Acid Anthem.
Then in this 2nd episode he resumes this theme, driving the freeway and slipping into the subject just as the stuff begins to buzz through our brains. It's a wonderful frill of words-- "Strict!" he says. "It's strict! Strict, uh, as they say in 'Arsenic and Old Lace'-- it's strict-nine...strict-uh-nine...nine... Look! Sign! ....says it's nine miles to exit nine... nine... number nine..."
Then he begins singing in that low vaudevillian voice he used when he wanted to make a profound pronouncement but didn't want anybody to get real serious or hung up or brought down-- "And we mixed up a bottle of-- Love Potion No. 9 doop de doodle doodle dee...."
Now, I know that isn't exactly gospel. Of course not. It's just... Cassady behind the wheel, driving and jerking, spewing words on the world....
But it makes you think.
Produced, filmed, directed, edited and staring Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. This was Kesey's final project!
$29.00 (SPECIAL TODAY $25.00) also see "Hassle Free" combo deal below!
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
IF YA LOVE THAT OLD TIME BEACH PARTY MUSIC, CLICK ON LOUIE WEAR'S PAGE. LISTEN TO THE RUBBERBAND PLAY "CHARLENA" AND IMAGINE YOURSELF BACK AT THE OLD HICKORY IN PCB OVER 35 YEARS AGO!!!!
I have the swinging med/allman joys what songs from
what lp ..james gang i got most of their lp..Be Bop
has one of the 5 menites..k-otics their was several
bands under this name or i have several 45 with
about some of the off hits from here The Del Rays
,Charlie Senn Band Others ????
and I belive I have Ben Akins the one of him on a
A MESSAGE FROM CAPN SKYP [A.K.A. KEN BABBS]
mmm, tom wolf writing from his own mind out of stuff sandy tole him
form out of his mind. the best stuff from the bus trip are the audio
tapes and the movies which show what really happened unfiltered
through another person's perceptions.
if you haven't seen them you can get the vidies of the movie from Zane
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 15:32:10 -0800
From: Deathwatch Central
Subject: Sandy Lehmann-Haupt, 60's prankster, 59
Merry Prankster of the '60s, Sandy Lehmann-Haupt
By The Associated Press
CALLICOON CENTER, N.Y. — Sandy Lehmann-Haupt, 59, one of the 1960s
Merry Pranksters and a principal source for the best-selling book "The
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," died Oct. 29 of a heart attack at a
hospital here near his home, his family told The New York Times.
At age 22, he rode aboard novelist Ken Kesey's psychedelic bus, which
helped define the hippie generation.
Mr. Lehmann-Haupt, a sound engineer, met Kesey when the author visited
New York for the opening of the stage version of his book "One Flew
Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Mr. Lehmann-Haupt then moved into Kesey's home in Palo Alto, Calif.,
and experimented with LSD, then legal, with a group of Kesey's
companions who became known as the Merry Pranksters.
In 1964, Kesey bought a school bus and Mr. Lehmann-Haupt installed its
sound system and occasionally drove it.
Mr. Lehmann-Haupt later described his experiences on the Merry
Pranksters' LSD-fueled bus trip across America to author Tom Wolfe, who
immortalized the journey in his 1968 book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid
Over the last decade, Mr. Lehmann-Haupt stopped using drugs, took a job
as an advocate for the mentally ill, married and bought a house.
The Week of June 21, 2004:
THE FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF FURTHER'S ARRIVAL IN ALABAMA
AN EXCERPT FROM THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST
That was when it was good... grinding on through Alabama, and then suddenly, to Sandy, Kesey is old and haggard and the organizer. Sandy can see him descending the ladder down from the roof of the bus and glowering at him, and he knows-intersubjectivity!- that Kesey is thinking, You're too detached,Sandy, you're not out front, you may be sitting right here grinding and roaring through Alabama but you're... OFF THE BUS...And he approaches Sandy, hunched over under the low ceiling of the bus, and to Sandy he looks like an ape with his mighty arms dangling, like The Incredible Hulk, and suddenly Sandy jumps up and crouches into an ape position, dangling his arms and mimicking him- and Kesey breaks into a big grin and throws his arms around Sandy and hugs him-
He approves! Kesey approves of me! At last I have responded to something, brought it all out front, even if it is resentment, done something, done my thing- and in that very action, just as he taught, it is gone, the resentment...and I am back on the bus again, synched in...
Always Kesey! And in that surge of euphoria- KESEY APPROVES!-Sandy knew that Kesey was the key to whatever was going right and whatever was going wrong on this trip, and nobody, not one of them who ever took this trip, got in this movie, would ever have even the will to walk up to Kesey and announce irrevocably: I AM OFF THE BUS. It would be like saying, I am off this... Unspoken Thing we are into...
You want stories . . . I've got stories! (or at least I think I do . .
.. my memory of those years has been reduced to disjointed snippets).
I remember the year that I spent in Tuscaloosa from June of 1970 to
September of 1971. I had just gotten done teaching a semester of
seven grade science at an all black high school in Greene County (my
first job after college). I had taken the job to kill time while I
awaited being draft (I ended up flunking the physical thanks to my
surgically reconstructed ankle). Between 1968 and the end of 1969 I
had undergone a transformation from a Barry Goldwater conservative
into an SDS radical (I wonder whatever happened to Paul Scribner?).
After the fall of 1969 some of that political activism started
morphing into the counterculture lifestyle.
The year and a half that began with the summer of 1970, in hindsight,
was probably the best part of my life. I didn't have a job, didn't
pay rent, didn't make car payments, and didn't have any kids. I lived
on Bubba Hayward's houseboat during the summer (up behind the Holt
Lock and Dam) and crashed on the food co-op's couch during the winter
(I was their unofficial night watchman). I got around town on my dirt
bike. Practically every night there was a party somewhere. People
would leave their doors open in the student ghetto neighborhood and
you could always expect visitors to drop by. In those days
Chuckernation felt like a one big extended family. Some of its
members were into "leftist politics", others were hippies, other were
gay, some were blacks, still others were simply "liberals". The
common thread uniting this diverse group was more than simply liking
to drink beer at the Chucker. In those days in Alabama there was
clear sense of repression, racism, and intolerance. If you were
somehow perceived as being "different" you had a sense of potential
hostility. You instinctively huddled with the other outsiders. You
knew who were your friends and who were your enemies. There was "us"
and there was "them".
Of course the underlying economics that supported the original
Chuckernation was weak. The bulk of its members lived off of mommy
and daddy paying their expenses while they attended college. Others
lived off the underground economy surrounding the student community
(selling drugs, waiting tables, etc.). As the students graduated (or
dropped out) many of them had to face the reality of holding down a
real jobs (which tended to undermine the 'peace, love and happiness"
ethic very quickly).
It was fun while it lasted however. I remember a party at Sydonna
Dyers apartment. Everyone there, of course, was high on something.
Naturally there was lot of alcohol. Beyond that almost everyone was
smoking pot and fair number had taken LSD. I remember Chuck Schwartz
arriving late. He had taken some LSD earlier that evening and had
gone see a Beethoven concert (no shit). Hogdew was there, of course,
along with many other Chuckernation legends. Sydonna had a pet boa
constrictor snake in a cage in her living room. She took it out at
one point so that people could get a better look (oblivious to that
fact that the loud music and the rowdy drugged crazed party goers
might be alarming the reclusive reptile). One of the guests (who
happened to be tripping) reached out to touch it. The snake proceeded
to bite the shit out of this guy's hand (so hard that it drew blood).
Sydonna, very calmly then said, "I think that it's time to put him
back in this cage now".
Another time me and Bubba (and some others) were at the Chucker
drinking beer. Bubba was always telling his wild stories about his
days in Air Force in Texas and about all the great times that he had
experienced at the whore houses in the Mexican border towns. As we
got drunker someone said "hell, we should go out their some day".
Some else said, "damn straight, lets go out there someday". Someone
then said "talk, talk, talk, let's get in the god damn car right now
and go" . . . "Tonight"? . . . "Hell yes, tonight". "Fuck yes, lets
go tonight, someone get me another goddamn beer". The conversation
continued like that for a while getting louder and more rowdy as the
beers went down (of course deep down inside we all knew that this was
total bullshit because we were definitely NOT going to go to Mexico
THAT night). Then this guy sitting at the next table leans over to
me and whispers that he and his friend were leaving for Arizona within
the hour and that Bubba and I could ride with them as far as Del Rio
Texas (which was directly across the river from Ciudad Acuna).
Apparently these guys (whose names escape me) had a "well thought out
plan". They were going to buy a few kilos of pot in Mexico and then
smuggle it back into Arizona where they would sell it for a handsome
profit. The next thing you know we were all in the car speeding down
I-20 westbound. After an all night drive Bubba and I were dropped off
in Del Rio. As it turned out, a few days later our driver friends got
busted bringing the pot across the boarder into Nogales and they ended
up doing some serious prison time. Bubba and I spent a few hedonistic
days in Mexico and then, for some unknown reason, we decided to hitch
hike down to Key West Florida. We got back to Tuscaloosa about two
I probably have other stories to tell but for now they are lost to the
clouds of time (its like George Carlin used to say "if you can
remember the 60's you weren't there")
Oh gosh... I did a 10 day gig at the Red Rooster once in 71 before
the hurricane wiped it out. Absolutely wore us out. The money was
great, but the hours were TERRIBLE.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Get your copy of SAILCAT's album at
I am really interested in Wilbur Walton Jr. & The James Gang, The Candymen, The Pieces of Eight, The Swingin' Medallions, The Rubber Band, The Allman Joys, The Five Minutes[Men-ites] [the Minutes], The K-Otics, The Rockin' Gibraltas, The Omen and Their Love, Big Ben Adkins and the Nomads, Buttermilk, Sailcat, Misfits, Gents, Southcamp and This Side Up. Tiger Jack Garrett is on the radio again in Tuscaloosa, 9 till noon on Saturdays on WTBC. He's already playing some of this stuff, especially "Georgia Pines" by the James Gang and "Come On Over" by Big Ben.
THE JAMES GANG AT FT. BRANDON ARMORY
Check out the WTBC history at
Wilbur Walton Jr. is still big in England. His "24 Hours of Loneliness" 45 sells for between 20 and 30 pounds. I think it's posted at http://www.soul4u.net/webspace
Also would love anything connected to The Beach Party, The Old Hickory, The Old Dutch and The Red Rooster in Panama City Beach.
Thank you for your interest and always review our progress at "Cuba, Alabama" http://robertoreg.blogspot.com
eldredge wear wrote:
I am the record collector of this list and is their
other music you are looking for . I sent Johnny T the
mp3 of the rubber band .Do you have some of the
Stanford Towsend Band or is their any othe band 's
music you are looking for ???
from the linux box
Sunday, June 20, 2004
FROM DA DUDE WHO COINED THE TERM "CHUKKER NATION"[chukkernation] the Tuscaloosa All Stars
Greetings from Miami. As we learned from his recent message, Robert
Register has been kind enough to post a whole bunch of great old
photos on his "Cuba, Alabama" blog (thanks!!). One of them is labeled
the "Tuscaloosa All stars" and shows a group of musicians that
includes Joe Rudd. I hadn't thought about Joe Rudd in many years. Some
of you may recall the famous Tuscaloosa "urban legend" that involved
him. Back in 1970, so the story goes, Joe came into the kitchen one
afternoon all hot and thirsty. He opened the refrigerator and saw a
big ice cold pitcher of Kool Aid. He took it out and gulped down a
big refreshing drink. He was so thirsty that he damn near drank the
whole thing. What he did not know (because his no one had bothered to
tell him) was that this particular pitcher of Kool-Aid had been spiked
with large amounts of LSD in anticipation of the big party planned for
that evening. The story ends with Joe having a very "intense"
psychedelic experience (something about him being in a Kansas wheat
field for three days, but I might be getting my stories mixed up).
The good news was that he lived to tell his tale. Such is how legends
are made. 1970 was probably a very good year but we were all so fucked
up that none of us remember much about it.
JOE RUDD AND THE DISTORTIONS AT FT. BRANDON ARMORY
Re: CAUTION! WEIRD LOAD!!!!
yas, a mere forty years ago, blink of an eye . . .
81774 Lost Creek Road
Dexter OR 97431
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2004 04:33:15 -0000
Subject: Re: [MFV] "THE RUBBER BAND" ON MY WEBLOG
THat really kicks ass Robert. Thanks.
--- In MIGHTYFIELDofVISION@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Foster
Thanks for the info Robert. That's rare stuff.
Hey folks, my name is Robert Register and I live in Northport. I
brought up in Dothan so I was around the Webs, The Candymen, Wilbur
Walton Jr. and the James Gang. I have put a bunch of their stuff on
my weblog "Cuba, Alabama." Thanks to Johnny Townsend, I now have a
bunch of Rubber Band stuff posted. Check it out at
> Stephen Foster
> IDNMusic, The World's Largest Indie Website
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