Hey, Roberto. Here's an old photo that was on my wife's computer that I thought you might be interested in having. It's a picture of the James Gang in one of our more sober moments, obviously. That is me in the lower left corner, most certainly holding a Bud which you can't see. That is Fred Guarino, our drummer, holding a cheap picture he removed from the wall of this motel, wherever it was. Under him is Johnny Mulkey, guitarist, Bubba Lathem (piano player) pretending to talk on the phone, and that is Wilbur Jr holding a lamp on his head. Yes, a lamp on his head. As you can see, our primary interest from the beginning was elevating the standards of Southern Rock and Roll. Well, that and rendering motel rooms unoccupiable for some time after we went to the next town. Don't give Holiday Inn, Inc., my address.
Mon, 8 Aug 2005 18:02:18 -0700
Re: Babbs, Forgot To Mention August 7 Was The 40th Anniversary of Kesey's '65 Hell's Angels Party
you know that hells angels party has taken on a lot of clutter,
seeing how's kesey never had a hells angels party but the hells
angles swung in to meet him and get together with him for at that
time the Frisco chapter and the oakland chapter had done some acid
and that was the connection; not the fact kesey was a writer of
renown. The angels had some great guys, smart guys. these were the
ones we got to know.
81774 Lost Creek Road
Dexter OR 97431
This comes from a book on the Internet which has a chapter about The Merry Pranksters
Thompson met Kesey in early August 1965 at WQEVD, San Francisco's educational television station. After repairing to a nearby bar for some drinks, he invited Ken to tag along to a nearby bike shop and meet a few of his research subjects. Kesey was an instant hit, and "after several hours of eating, drinking and the symbolic sharing of herbs," he suggested that the San Francisco chapter of the Angels come down to La Honda for a weekend?long party.
On the day of the party a huge sign, fifteen feet by three feet, was displayed near the gate: THE MERRY PRANKSTERS WELCOME THE HELLS ANGELS. The sign had, as Thompson, who attended, observed, "a bad effect on the neighbors." Stopping at Baw's General Store, he overheard the following conversation:
"That goddamn dope addict," said a middle-aged farmer.
"First its marywanna, now it's Hell's Angels. Christ alive, he's just pushin our faces in the dirt."
"Beatniks!" said somebody else. "Not worth a pound of piss."
There was talk of divvying up the ax handles in the store and "going up there to clean the place out."
But somebody said the cops were already on the job: "Gonna put 'em in jail for good this time, every damn one of 'em … " So the ax handles stayed in the rack.
The San Mateo police had four cars on the scene, their lights revolving in the dusk. Each new arrival was stopped and questioned, while his license and registration was checked for outstanding traffic violations. At least one was handcuffed and driven off to jail. But otherwise the police were powerless to interfere in the weird scene that was developing across the stream. It was a scene, Thompson wrote, "that must have tortured the very roots of their understanding. Here were all these people running wild, bellowing and dancing half naked to rock 'n' roll sounds piped out through the trees from massive amplifiers, reeling and stumbling in a maze of psychedelic lights …. WILD, by god, and with no law to stop them." Girls in scarlet tights and long soft hair danced with a "steady stream of college professors, vagrants, lawyers, students, psychologists and high style hippies." Kesey was dressed like a druid priest in a hooded white robe. Cassady was in a corner rapping. Allen Ginsberg was sitting on the living room floor, tapping his finger cymbals and chanting.
The Angels never had a chance. From the moment they roared en masse across the bridge, their Harleys momentarily competing with the thundering rock 'n' roll, they were firmly within the Prankster movie. Far from being fawned upon, the Pranksters treated them with the same calculated rudeness that all new arrivals received. No sooner had they killed their bikes than one of the Pranksters began serenading them over the sound system with a kind of talking blues about Angel life, punctuating each stanza with
Oh, but it's great to be an Angel
And be dirty all the time!
Beer was pressed upon them—the Pranksters had laid in a prodigious supply—and LSD, which most of the Angels swallowed under the impression that it was a kind of superamphetamine. It wasn't, of course, and within the hour strange explosions were occurring within their frames of reference. An Angel named Freewheeling Frank, for example, suddenly discovered that he could read the thoughts of all his brother Angels. Watching Ginsberg tap his finger cymbals, he felt like he was "in the land of Oz." Someone said, "Allen Ginsberg is a fruit," but Freewheeling's once potent homophobia had vanished. Like Albert Hofmann, twenty years before him. Freewheeling Frank was feeling like he had been reborn.
"The real Hell's Angels are the ones who've taken LSD and had the carpet jerked out from under them," he later said. "I never really became a Hell's Angels until I took LSD. Not to speak of becoming a man and finding myself … LSD is a medicine not a drug. I only hope it gets in the right hands, and is used for Love rather than Fortune and Fame."
According to Hunter Thompson: "Contrary to all expectations most of the Angels became oddly peaceful on acid. With a few exceptions, it made them much easier to get along with. The acid dissolved many of their conditioned reflexes. There was little of the sullen craftiness or the readiness to fight that usually pervades their attitude toward strangers. The aggressiveness went out of them; they lost the bristling, suspicious quality of wild animals sensing a snare. It was a strange thing, and I still don't quite understand it."