When Phillip and I were at Hempfest last Friday, we saw the bus named Furthur – the actual bus featured in that book I could barely remember the name of. (“Electric something something Acid Test”) We were allowed to take one step into Furthur and peer inside. I knew I was looking at history, but it was a history I knew little about.
Phillip took a photograph of Furthur. I, for reasons unknown, did not.
I realized then that this was a book I had always heard of, but had never read. I felt it was a book I should read. It took a bit of research to find it. I remembered it was written by – or about – the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a relative of the guy who sold us a tie-dye toilet seat, there at Hempfest. But, eventually I did find it.
I put The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe, on hold at the library. It arrived yesterday. I picked it up today. I read the first chapter this evening.
I’m imagining this book is going to be like a hippie version of On the Road. But I don’t know. I’m imagining this book is going to be non-fiction, or mostly so.
In the first chapter, Tom Wolfe has traveled from New York City to San Francisco, to interview the author Ken Kesey, who is in jail for his second marijuana offense. (This is the late 1960s, when the FBI hunted down marijuana users, and Ken Kesey was facing a five-year prison sentence for his second offense.) All around the jail, Kesey’s followers, the Merry Pranksters, are hanging around, waiting for news. The first interview has not gone well. Tom Wolfe has had only ten minutes to talk, over the jail phone, and didn’t find out what he wanted to know.
So far, this book is flowing well.