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Property of Strider Shurtliff

Ken Kesey and Ram Rod | “Can You Pass the Acid Test?

Lot Closed

October 14, 06:01 PM GMT


1,500 - 2,500 USD

Lot Details


Property of Strider Shurtliff

Ken Kesey and Ram Rod

Reproduction goldenrod “Can You Pass the Acid Test?” poster, [ca. 1980]

Printed poster (21.75 x 16.5’’). Reproduction of original goldenrod “Acid Test Poster”, printed in black on yellow paper. Matted and framed; not examined out of frame. 

From Kesey to Ram Rod...

In the 1960s, Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters organized a series of LSD parties called the “Acid Tests,” which often featured many of San Francisco’s foremost counterculture figures—Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, Lee Quarnstrom, and Owsley Stanley, among others—and performances by the Grateful Dead. There were 18 scheduled Acid Tests between 1965 and 1967, taking place all along the Pacific Coast, from Portland to Los Angeles, and were advertised in advance with these fliers. While advertised, the locations of the parties were nonetheless conspicuous, and somewhat closed to outsiders: “Find it! Fool!” reads one example for a Muir Beach party. The Acid Tests came to an end when LSD was ultimately criminalized on 24 October 1968, though they were immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. As the fliers were posted outdoors, many of the Acid Test posters did not survive.

The present poster was given to Ram Rod by Kesey in the early 1980s, a reminder of their first adventures together and the birth of the Grateful Dead.