Monday, September 17, 2012

Ken Kesey (1935-2001)

[Ken Kesey’d come to New York to perform his Bear myth cantata at Lincoln Center, I visited at midnight his room Hotel Excelsior 81’st Street near Planetarium, he held still a second in lamplight, said he had second thoughts about his former Monotheist faith after bus-crash demise of his athlete son - December 14, 1989. (Ginsberg caption) c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Ken Kesey, novelist, counter-culture icon, "Merry Prankster", was born 77 years ago today.
Alex Gibney and Alison Elwood's film "Magic Bus - Ken Kesey's Search For A Kool Place" is obviously a must-see. Here's the trailer:

and a further section (featuring some vintage footage of Allen) may be seen here.

Here's (from a documentary on LSD) Kesey recounting his very first (1960) LSD experience.

"The first time I saw Allen Ginsberg he was at a party, standing over by the fireplace..." Ken Kesey's memorial recollections of Allen can be read here

Here's Allen reading his famous early poem "First Party at Ken Kesey's With Hell's Angels"

Here's a few selected interviews with Kesey - from his 1989 NPR Interview On Misconceptions of Counterculture - from his 1993 interview with Robert Faggan for The Paris Review (On "The Art of Fiction") - from his 2000 interview with Digital Influence - a 2001 house-visit.

Another delightful cultural artifact - Kesey and Jerry Garcia on the Tom Snyder (late-night) tv show!

Here, by no means a conclusion but some sort of summary, his New York Times obituary

- "The Pied-Piper"? - wasn't that Neal Cassady?

[Ken Kesey, Ken Babbs, Sandy Lehman-Haupt et al, front porch of Timothy Leary's Millbrook estate, Millbrook, NY Summer 1964. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]


  1. More Ken Kesey here -

  2. Three more Ken Kesey interviews -
    Lawrence Gerald 1992 - &