” Can you pass the Acid Test? ” read the hand written flyer. For a dollar you gained admission and were directed to two trash cans full of Kool Aid. One was just regular Kool Aid and the other one was “electric. ” LSD was still legal when Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters started hosting their Acid Tests in the Bay Area. Their friends, The Grateful Dead were there not necessarily to perform but to be one of the participants in the ongoing light and sound experiment.
Carolyn ” Mountain Girl ” Garcia: ” There was no barrier between audience and participants. The audience and performance was one. We would set up a strobe light. We had boxes of instruments people could play, and there would be live microphones around the room. We also realized this was a revolutionary work, because we were introducing people to a set and setting that hadn’t really been done before. “
Jerry Garcia: ” A lot of people freaked out at the Acid Tests. A lot of people came completely unglued, absolutely. I can’t unqualifiedly say that this was totally great. My personal experiences were absolutely great. “
Wavy Gravy: ” I was just amazed, absolutely amazed that for a dollar at the door, somebody could make the floor change color. “
Ken Kesey & Neal Cassidy
Ken Kesey: ” It was like a new tribe on a new seashore, and they’re pounding on new drums. It was absolutely new and spontaneously creative. “
Owsley Stanley ( Bear ): ” To me, psychedelics are a gift of nature that bring tribalism to people, they bring understanding of the ecology of the planet and the interaction of all living things, because that’s one of the first things you become aware of when you take psychedelics, how everything is alive and everything depends on everything else. You go to every indigenous culture that has a respect for it’s environment, which is unlike the hierarchal approach of the feudalistic structures that the world is now run by, you find these people use psychedelics of some sort. “