Tom Wolfe, THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Inc., 1968, Copyright 1968 by Tom Wolfe. excerpts ( JH picked out all passages describing sound or sound equipment ) Typed by Barb Golden, Aug. 17, 1994. 496w

[oct 31 1966]

"I wore a shirt and tie, Ken, on account of it's Halloween"__rock 'n' roll playing over the loudspeakers, which are all over the place, on the sides, on the ceiling, right up in the summit of the parachute canopy even ... microphones, cameras, TV cameras...Yes... p.350

The Anonymous Artists of America climbing up onto the stage ... They're like freaking faeries out of A Midsummer Night's Dream, dueling shirts and long gowns of phosphorescent pastels like the world never saw before, Day-Glo death masks beaming out in front of the instruments. The music suddenly submerges the room from a million speakers...a soprano tornado of it...all-electric, plus the Buchla electronic music machine screaming like a logical lunatic ...p.351

The Pranksters, Babbs and Gretch and Page and others, take to the bandstand, all electrified, and they start beaming out the most weird loud Chinese science-fiction music and cranking up the Buchla electronic music machine until it maneuvers itself into the most incalculable sonic corner, the last turn in the soldered circuit maze, and lets out a pure topologically measured scream. p.352

FEEL IT! THE VIBRATION LEVEL! Kesey looks up. The spot hits him in the face. The Pranksters release hands. The music starts up. The Anonymous Artists of America play a rock 'n' roll version of Pomp and Circumstances with drum flourishes...


By now the crowd is down to about fifty. The lights come up a little around the stage, but the rest of the garage is dark. Cassady is up on the stage in front of a microphone. He has on nothing but a pair of khakis hung down on his hips and a mortarboard hat on his head, the kind you graduate in . In one hand he has a whole stack of diplomas. He's wound up like a motorcycle, kicking and twitching and ticking and jerking at the knees, the elbows, the head...He's off on a dazzling run of words.

The Anonymous Artists of America keep rolling away behind him. Every time the little blond girl on the drums gives the drums a good swat, Cassady stiffens, a spasmodic jerk, as if somebody just kicked him in the small of the back. He's rapping away, he's handing out diplomas for the Acid Test Graduation. It's coming off after what the hell time is it? Five o'clock in the morning or...who the hell knows...Kesey is in the dimness sunk into the great easy chair. Some of the ...graduates are here, Pranksters mainly. They put on black caps and gowns and come bouncing up to the stage and get a diploma from Cassady...scrolly convoluted things done by Paul Foster and the God Rotor... p.360