Merry Pranksters

The Merry Pranksters were cohorts and followers of American author Ken Kesey in 1964.

Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters lived communally at Kesey's homes in California and Oregon, and are noted for the sociological significance of a lengthy road trip they took in the summer of 1964, traveling across the United States in a psychedelic painted school bus called Furthur or Further, organizing parties and giving out LSD.[1] During this time they met many of the guiding lights of the mid-1960s cultural movement and presaged what are commonly thought of as hippies with odd behavior, tie-dyed and red, white and blue clothing, and renunciation of normal society, which they dubbed The Establishment. Tom Wolfe chronicled their early escapades in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; Wolfe also documents a notorious 1966 trip on Further from Mexico through Houston, stopping to visit Kesey's friend, novelist Larry McMurtry. Kesey was in flight from a drug charge at the time.[2]Notable members of the group include Kesey's best friend Ken Babbs, Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, Lee Quarnstrom, and Neal Cassady. Stewart Brand, Dorothy Fadiman,[3] Paul Foster, Dale Kesey (his cousin), George Walker, the Warlocks (now known as the Grateful Dead), Del Close (then a lighting designer for the Grateful Dead), Wavy Gravy, Paul Krassner, and Kentucky Fab Five writers Ed McClanahan and Gurney Norman (who overlapped with Kesey and Babbs as creative writing graduate students at Stanford University) were associated with the group to varying degrees.[citation needed]

These events are also documented by one of the original pranksters, Lee Quarnstrom, in his memoir, When I Was a Dynamiter.

Origin of name

In an interview on BBC World Service in August 2014,[4] Ken Babbs suggested that the name "The Merry Pranksters" was his idea:

Kesey and George Walker and I were out wandering around and the rest of the gang were sitting around a fire in Kesey's house in La Honda, and when we came back it was dark and Mike Hagen called out "Halt! Who goes there?"

And just out of the blue I said, "'Tis I, the intrepid traveller, come to lead his merry band of pranksters across the nation, in the reverse order of the pioneers! And our motto will be 'the obliteration of the entire nation' ... not taken literally of course, we won't blow up their buildings, we'll blow their minds!

Other Languages
français: Merry Pranksters
Nederlands: Merry Pranksters
português: Merry Pranksters
српски / srpski: Merry Pranksters
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Merry Pranksters