|Hi , I'm Zane
Kesey and this is my wife, Stephanie, we own and operate Key-Z Productions,
a small mail order company out of Pleasant Hill Oregon. Our hope is to
enlighten people of their psychedelic past, and to enable them to learn
about the people who brought them to the present.
||Ken Kesey (in red) and Ken Babbs
The bus is often thought to be spelled "Furthur,"
and it was, for a brief period when they were hiding from the authorities
in Mexico, that way nobody would recognize the psychedelic bus....
WHO IS KEN KESEY?
In the late 1950's, a promising young graduate
from the University of Oregon was accepted into a Stanford writing fellowship
along with other future novelists. While there, a friend suggested
earning extra cash by participating in some experiments involving chemicals
at the psych department of the college. Being an athlete, Ken was the perfect
guinea pig for testing these chemicals, which included psilocybin, mescaline
and LSD. Needless to say, Kesey was very affected by these mind-altering
drugs. During a part-time orderly job at the psychiatric ward of the local
VA hospital, while still feeling the effects of these chemicals, he began
to have hallucinations. He envisioned an Indian sweeping the floors; it
was just what had been missing for his current writing project. His new
novel needed a narrator to keep the story in third person and "Chief Broom"
became the vital ingredient for his new novel, "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's
Ken began throwing parties
on campus at the little bohemian comunity he live in called Perry Lane.
Soon these parties became well known for their wild nature and certain
chemicals that were mysteriously finding their way into the punch.
Before long these parties were attracting too much attention, and Ken,
with the money from his new novel, bought a cottage in the mountains by
a small town called La Honda. He moved to this new home with his wife,
Faye, and his three children. Eventually the parties started up again in
this mountain hideaway with his friends, who had become known as the Merry
Pranksters. In the summer of 1964 ,Ken bought a 1939 International Harvester
school bus to drive him and the Pranksters to New York to see the World's
Fair. They painted the bus with brooms, mops, spray, splash and feet. Eventually
the bus was fully psychedelic and equipped with sound systems, platforms
on top and, added to the rear, turrets to climb up and down from the top
platform, a windshield on top to break the wind and a generator on the
back to power their equipment. The word "Further" was painted on the destination
shield to show thier confidence in the old bus. They recruited Neal Cassady
(from Jack Kerouac's On The Road) to be the driver of Further. Ken decided
that this bus trip was going to be worthy of a movie, so they bought some
16mm film equipment and striped outfits for the crew to wear.
The bus trip to New
York and back was a big success with a lot of drama archived on film. Back
at La Honda the crew continued their parties, showing clips of the trip
to the chemically induced audience. Soon they realized that the "party"
was too big for the house. They began to put together "happenings" at local
halls, with sound effects hooked up to microphones, light shows, film,
costumes, strobes, and any other weirdness the could find. A
local struggling band known as the "Warlocks"
joined in with their Psychedelic-Blues; later they changed their name to
the Grateful Dead. The Pranksters put up posters around town telling of
these "Acid Tests," but the time and location were kept secret until the
last moment. These Acid Tests would be a bombardment of sight and sound
that were enhanced by a big garbage can full of "Electric
the govenment decided to make LSD illegal and Ken and the Pranksters fled
to Mexico. After coming back to the U.S. to do one last performance, known
as the "Acid Test Graduation," Ken and a few others were busted on a marijuana
Upon release from jail, Ken moved to a farm
in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, "settled down," and raised his family there......But
every now and again he got the itch to do "something weird"
soon to be updated!?
The bus at the Kesey Farm