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”) –  a 2001 house-visit – (from Zane Kesey – “Too Hip For The Room” parts one and parts two

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *