Recently I blasted off an email containing my "creative re-writing" of the 60s counterculture (see below) to one of its prime movers and shakers, the second in non-command of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, that colorful troupe of acid-fueled rabble rousers whose legendarily prescient 1964 trans-continental bus trip (driven by Beat Generation avatar and non-stop babbling visionary Neal Cassady) and subsequent "brain-melting" (to borrow a recent phrase from Phil Lesh) Acid Test events/happenings gave birth to the Grateful Dead and many other strange and wonderful things: Ken Babbs of Skypilot.com. A key concept these aging hipsters promoted back in the day was the blurring of boundaries between audience and performer...and in that spirit I have worked my way into the pudding...with a little help from the internet.
Note: the following content was recently posted at Skypilot.com. - ed.
[Ken Babbs writes:] In answer to all the emails wanting to know, is TS Minton for real or what?, the man hisself sent me this clarification:
Dear Ken,Thank you for posting my preposterously inaccurate email and website excerpt on Skypilot.com. Looks like I finally pranked a Prankster - or did I? Surely you could not take seriously my deliberately absurd mish-mash of historical fact, riddled as it was with grammatical and typographical errors (made even worse by the glitches from your cut and paste job!) and suffused with a generally subliterate level of rhetoric. Most likely you didn't know what the hell to make of it, although I'm glad you found it to be a laff-riot and put it on your site.
Keeping in mind that brevity is the soul of wit, and that to over-explain satire surely diminishes its impact, allow me a few words of clarification. The inspirations that impelled me to craft this piece were several: the back-asswards statements of the late rapper Proof that "the Grateful Dead had previous to their shows (been) the protestors to legalize acid"; Sacha Baron Cohen's hilarious persona of Ali G, that know-nothing Generation Y hip-hopper masquerading as a know-it-all; Kesey's story in "Demon Box" about that befuddled hippie straight outta Woodstock who straggled up to his Oregon porch and claimed he never read "Sometimes a Cuckoo Nest" but saw the movie; and my mixed sense of bemusement and disgust at those lovable dim-wits among us who are too slovenly to properly research the chronology and key players of events that are not, in the span of history, that many decades old.
My intentionally asinine email and webpage were attempts to see how many inaccuracies I could compound, and how many laughs I could compact into such a tiny space. Apparently I have succeeded on both counts.Thank you for allowing me to work my way into the pudding.
Ciao for now,
Meanwhile, I have received an email of such weirdness and laffs I thought I'd share it:
Dear Mr. Babbs,
I understand you were one of the main antagonists in the "Electrical Cool Aid Acid-Test", a famous novel from the swinging sixties and that you actually rode with Dr. Timothy O,Leary on his Magical Mystery Bus and did many other "far out things back in the day. As such, I am very interested in your perceptions about that era,s long-term effects on cognition and memory. Also, do you still smoke "grass, to use the vernacular of the time?
Please review the little ditty I have cut and pasted below, from one of my web pages at...http://interfusionpress.tripod.com/id37.html
and let me know if I have all my facts straights as sometimes I myself get a little "fuzzy. Or at least recall as much as you can, ha ha.
A while ago I emailed to Mr. Paul Krassner, a famous pornographer and from what I understand co-founder along with Jack Karoake and Wavy Gravy of the "Merry Prankster acid test concept and magical mystery tour movie. However, he wrote back that he didn,t get the joke or couldn,t open the link or something like that. Please help clarify my confusion and get me up to speed on this wonderful era that I missed out on.
Also, I look forward to the new Magical Mystery Bus movie by Stevie Ray Van Zandt.don,t you?
T.S. "Steve MintonTucson, Arizona
Tribute 2 "The Greatful Dead"
"The founders of the Electrical Kool-Aid Acid test and the "Koolest band in the world..."
by T.S. Minton
I like the Greatful Dead because they were always "drivin' that train hi on cocaine"!!The Greatful Dead were a bunch of wild longed hair Psychodelic Tripster Hipster acid rock and rollers from back in the 60s. Man what a wild time flowers in your hair, chicks always particpated in "free love" what a concept, no worries just sex & drugs & rock & roll 24/7..."Come and join the party everyday" like that song goes...
What a time...I wish I was around then but I'm only 19: but I guess if I was I'd only be an old man by now with a "Touch O'Grey" and I wouldn't have my whole miserable malcontented life ahead of me...
The "Dead" as Dead-heads (there devoted followers) used 2 call them used to ride "On The Road" with Dr. Timothy O'Leary's Magical Mystery Bus. All they did was have wild acid rave parties and free love orgies, the "Sexual Revolution" as (My Personal hero) Hugh Hefner called it was running rampage across the land. (Right on!) Also always "on the Bus" was the Deads' personal mentors Neil Cassidy and Jack Karaoke; 2 wild Old School hipsters who did it *all* back in the day (See the upcoming movie by Francis Ford "The Godfather" Coppolla, I can't wait and will get very loaded in homage to these three Great Men when this picture comes out)
Jerry Garcia (the same guy behind "Cherry Garcia" ice cream from ben and Jerry's, another personal favorite of mine) and The Dead also used to run around with Ken Kessey author of "The Electrical Kool Aid Acid test". He also did the screenplay for "One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest" by jack Nicholas. Plus Bob Dylan the poet laureaute world reknown as the singer of "Everybody must get stoned" and "Like A Rolling Stone" (of which the band and magazine took there namesake) was very much "On the Bus" as attested to the fact when he toured together with them.
They all used to get very loaded together with Tim O'leary at The Woodstock Nation peace & Rock festival and introduced the "Electrical Acid test" concept of which it has been an endurable influence on today's youth (to wit: witness the "rave" and "acid jazz" phenomenons) (Plus the work of rapper Proof has been an influence of "high" importance).
Again I just wish so bad I was around back in the day so I too could have been "Ridin' that train high on cocaine" straight thru to "Terrapin (*"TER-IPPIN" or "Trippin'" get it?) Station"...then we would get off and "Walk in the Sunshine" and be "skippin' thru the lilly fields" til we get down to the Black Muddy riverside and here "Uncle John's Band" and then me and my baby would go off in the woods 2 "d-scover the wonders of nature" wink :) wink. Man what a long strange (lysurgical acid) trip that would've been...!!
Now let's here from 2 recognized experts on Jerry & The Kool Aid Acid Tester Gang:
Searching for Jerry Garcia by Proof (up & coming rap star)
"The EP came about because I was putting out the 'Searching 4 Jerry Garcia' album and of course, the Grateful Dead had previous to their shows the protesters to legalize acid so they had electric coolaid acid testers. So therefore by the album being Searching 4 Jerry Garcia I thought that'd be dope to have the Electric Cool-Aid Acid Testing EP to hit off the DJs and radio stations and mix rotations across the nation. So I put six songs on there. The lead single is featuring MC Breed from 'Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin'' and 'Gotta Get Mine.'"http://www.rapindustry.com/proof.htm
Homer Simpson (popular Television patriarch on Fox TV)
"Hello. I'm Homer Simpson. There have been many great counter culture heroes I have admired over the years. Steve McQueen, Dr. Demento, Dr. Denis Leary and Wavy Gravy. Mmmmm gravy. "http://www.paulkrassner.com/homersuppressed.htm
(NOTE: I think Homer needs to get his facts straighter - ed.)
T.S. (Steve) Minton
"We had gone to a party in La Honda in 1963 that followed us out the door and into the street and filled the world with funny colors. But the prank was on us."
Prime Green, Robert Stone