GRATEFUL DEAD and KESEY, Ken
Excerpts from the Acid Test
San Francisco, Sound City Productions, . The first recording by the Grateful Dead, who, up until a month earlier, had been known as The Warlocks. A 7" 33 RPM promotional record, labeled "For Radio Play Only, Not for Sale," with excerpts from the Acid Test album that Sound City was producing. The recording was made at the Sound City studio which was the site of the seventh Acid Test: the Acid Tests were communal events/happenings that Kesey and others had developed that were open to the public and at which LSD -- aka "acid," which was still legal in California at the time -- was distributed to the attendees. The Sound City Acid Test, because it took place in a recording studio, was more of a private event than earlier, or later, Acid Tests. It was also the last one Kesey himself participated in. He had been arrested for marijuana possession for the second time two weeks earlier, and had had to show up in disguise at the sixth Acid Test a week earlier at Longshoremen's Hall in San Francisco, in order to avoid reporters and the police. Within a week of the Sound City Acid Test, with his court case pending, Kesey left the country and went into hiding in Mexico. The Grateful Dead had been the house band for the Acid Tests since they began in 1965, but under their earlier name of The Warlocks. By December 1965 they were starting to use their new name, and at the Acid Tests in January they were being billed as The Grateful Dead. This is the first time they were recorded as the Dead in a recording made for general release. The promo record was issued in March, 1966, and preceded the full length album released later that month. The only earlier recordings of the Grateful Dead are private ones that have made it into circulation as bootlegs or survive in their archives; this, and the Acid Test album from which it was excerpted, were not only intended for public release but were also covered by "a couple of radio stations and a photographer for Look magazine" according to the Sound City press release, although the Look article apparently never appeared. "The purpose of the recording was to produce an album of unusual sounds, mental manipulations of the sometimes considered genius of Mr. Kesey and his cohorts during the actual happenings of a 'sugar' [i.e., LSD] party. The results are different to say the least..." The Acid Test album itself is quite scarce; it was re-released in the 1980s in a limited edition. This promotional giveaway record is exceedingly uncommon, and a landmark for one of the most influential and long-lasting rock and roll bands to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area of the 1960s. The Grateful Dead went on to a 30-year career and became the most popular improvisational "jam band" of its time, triggering any number of similar jamming, touring bands in its wake, and capturing an essence of the hippie counterculture that has lived on long after its historical moment passed. Fine, in a plain white sleeve. A scarce recording from the San Francisco counter-culture, and a seminal recording of one of the great rock bands of all time. [#032693] $1,500
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