Ahhh, Perry Lane, wither thee now.
Kesey came to Stanford University in 1958 after winning a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. He and Faye, his wife, found a house on Perry Lane, the bohemian sector of Palo Alto that was home to some of the area’s literary, intellectual and artistic set.
It was here that Kesey first befriended some of the early Pranksters, began writing a novel about the North Beach Beat scene in nearby San Francisco, and smoked his first joint. The parties at Perry Lane — fueled by Kesey’s LSD-laced venison chilli and a variety of other mind-altering substances — were the original Acid Tests in all but name, and the adventurous, inquisitive nature of the people involved set the tone for what was to follow …..
Did you hang out at Perry Lane, wrestle with Kesey on the mat (and with existentialism around the kitchen table), or complain about the noise at one of the weekend-long parties? If so, send your stories, complaints and/or pictures to us here to let others share in your youthful high jinx. If you missed the party, click on a link to the left to read about what really happened.
I got a chance to visit Perry Lane over xmas and it still holds a certain magic. Kesey’s cabin, and some of the others are long gone, but I took a photo of one of the original cabin that is still standing.
Hey, Kesey allowed me to take some scans of some photos from his personal collection. Here’s one from the old Perry Lane days. Thanks Kesey.
Just added a couple more photos from Kesey’s personal archives from the Perry Lane days. One shows him writing at his desk, the other of him reading a manuscript, maybe an early draft of Sometimes a Great Notion. These photos are both courtesy of Kesey himself. Hey, Bob Linke has been searching for the exact location of Perry Lane. Check out his message here. He also sent us a 1998 picture of Kesey’s old cabin at La Honda. Thanks Bob.