Archive for August 3rd, 2011

August 3, 2011

Acid Tests

koolaid

The Acid Tests were a series of parties held by Ken Kesey in the San Francisco Bay Area during the mid 1960s, centered entirely around the use of, experimentation with, and advocacy of, the psychedelic drug LSD, also known as ‘acid.’┬áThe name ‘Acid Test’ was coined by Kesey, after the term ‘acid test’ used by gold miners in the 1850s.

He advertised the parties with posters that read, ‘Can YOU Pass The Acid Test?,’ and the name was later popularized in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book, ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.’ Musical performances by the Grateful Dead were commonplace, along with black lights, strobe lights, and fluorescent paint. The Acid Tests are notable for their influence on the LSD-based counterculture of the San Francisco area and subsequent transition from the beat generation to the hippie movement.

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August 3, 2011

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

acid test

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a work of literary journalism by Tom Wolfe, published in 1968. Using techniques from the genre of hysterical realism and pioneering new journalism, the ‘nonfiction novel’ tells the story of Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters.

The book follows the Pranksters across the country driving in a psychedelic painted school bus dubbed ‘Furthur,’ reaching what they considered to be personal and collective revelations through the use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs. The book also describes the Acid Tests, early performances by The Grateful Dead, and Kesey’s exile to Mexico.

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