The first time I met Kesey I asked him how someone became a Prankster and he looked at me as if I was the most stupid bastard he’d ever met!
It probably wasn’t the smartest question, but I was trying to get at how and why there seemed to be The Pranksters (with a capital ‘P’, a set of white overalls, and an official I.D. card) and then pranksters (with a small ‘p’) who were only partially on the bus or just running alongside. Was Pranksterdom bestowed, assigned, assumed, recognized or earned?
Wolfe gives us a Merry cast of Pranksters in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, most of whom — the big ‘P’ Pranksters at least — seem to be on board for the long haul. Many of these people are still active members of the Prankster family and they still participate in projects together, the most recent of which involved them touring the U.K. in Further II to Search for Merlin.
This page hopes to record the stories of lots of small ‘p’ pranksters and gather information and pictures about the big ‘P’s’. Click here to shed your load, or on a link to the left to share the burden of others.
Added a couple more photos: One is courtesy of Kesey from his personal collection and it shows Prankster Roy Sebern and friends at La Honda in 1965/6. Roy was responsible for much of the original artwork on Further, and it was he that gave the bus its name. This photo is displayed with the kind permission of Kesey himself. I also added a Gene Anthony portrait of Kesey from, I think 1966/67. Click here to see this photo or visit Gene Anthony’s website to view more of his work. Many thanks Gene.
Sad news from Pranksterland. Sandy Lehman-Haupt, died of a heart attack on October 28, 2001. I never got chance to meet Sandy, but was looking forward to doing so one day. Maybe another time… Here’s a photo of Sandy leaping into the Great Beyond: