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Columns > Dean Budnick - From the Editor

Published: 2001/11/20
by Dean Budnick


I would be remiss if I didnt start off this months editorial with some words on Ken Kesey, who passed away on November 10. In my conversation with Phil Lesh, which appears this month, I asked the bass player to comment on Kens legacy and Phil said, in part, The jam band scene is part of Kens legacy, and a certain irreverence which has always existed but Ken sort of put in the mainstream whether people like it or not. Anyway, someone who will be sorely missed. There is no question that Kesey and the Merry Pranksters collaborations with the Warlocks (soon to-be called the Grateful Dead) continues to resonate.
As I mentioned in our weekly newsletter, like many of you, I first dipped into the world of the Grateful Dead (so to speak) when I read Wolfes Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test back in high school. My lone Kesey face-to-face took place across the street from Eugenes Autzen Stadium during the Dead shows in August of 1993. We pranked our way into the debut of his musical Twister which took place after the 8/21 show in an armory a few hundred yards from the venue (more details for another day, with guest appearances by Timothy Leary and Huey Lewis (?!?)).
A number of our regular writers have offered thoughts on Ken, so check out Phil Simons In Memory of Ken Kesey, DNAs Go to Heaven and Other Fables and Lee Abrahams Beyond Form.
Then if youre hankering for Kesey content I would suggest *(A)*Read his short story The Day After Superman Died which focuses on the death of Neal Cassady but is applicable to Kens passing as well (then go back and read Sometimes A Great Notion) *(B)*Watch your Acid Test video or listen to his most recent appearances with the Dead on 10/31/91 or Phish 8/14/97 *(C)*Check out Pete Shapiros Conversation with Ken Kesey which is appended to the film Tie-Dyed *(D)*Go to, a site run by Kens son Zane which offers some real cool stuff (including acid test videos and bus footage) *(E)*Visit the Relix archive of Kesey-related articles.
We have plenty more for you as well. Our new fan site of the month section is up along with our growing fan site links page. Please help us out by passing along any worthy sites ( In addition well be offering the webcast premiere of Peter Shapiros American Road a seven minute film with images from all 48 contiguous states orchestrated to Phishs You Enjoy Myself. Plenty of cool features too including interviews with Warren Haynes, Lo Faber, Dan Bern, The New Deal and more. Plus, in our departments section we have the return of Astrojams. Oh yes, our revamped store is on the way, so be sure to look for that in the coming days if youre so inclined.
So poke around and Ill yap again in December.
Later days and peace,

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