MERRY PRANKSTERS DISCOGRAPHY

This is an attempt at a complete discography of official and semi-official Merry Pranksters record releases. Only "core" Prankster items are included, which means the Grateful Dead's vast output isn't here, as an example. 

There is also a list of unreleased Prankster recordings circulating on the CD-R/tape collector market.


Acid Test (1966)    Promo Single (1966)    Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1986)

Acid Tests vol 1 (1999)    Acid Tests vol 2 (1999)

Unreleased tapes        Kesey's 1958 Album

 

 

The Acid Test (1966)

The original 1966 release, edited from several hours of lysergic recordings made at Sound City Productions around the time of the Trips Festival. Mandatory. Reissued by Psycho Records in England 1982. Both the original and reissue are hard to find today. Reissued again as part of the Acid Test vol 1 CD, see below.


Acid Test promo single (1966)

A previously unknown 33 rpm promo single for the Sound City Productions album was recently auctioned off at eBay, together with a promo poster (a super-sized repro of the LP cover) and a promo letter from the label. This rather mindblowing package went for not less than $2400.



The promo letter (click for full size):

Kesey_SCPpromo.jpg (119397 bytes)

 


The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1986)

An obscure "fan-club" release featuring edited material from the S F State Acid Test. The selection and running order appears to be different from the "Acid Test vol 2" CD listed below. Some brief snips from a 1980 TV interview with Kesey & Garcia are also included. Extensive liner notes. Sleeve claims it to be a Swedish release, but it came in fact from the US.


Acid Tests vol 1 (1999)

Released on the British King Mob label, this extremely worthwhile CD contains an exact reissue of the 1966 Sound City recordings, plus a whole LPs worth of previously unreleased material dealing with the Hell's Angels and the Vietnam Day prank. This elaborate work is perhaps the best thing the Pranksters ever preserved on tape, at least of what has surfaced so far. Funny, provocative, psychedelic, unpredictable. Still in print (I hope).


Acid Tests vol 2 (1999)

This self-released CD-R came around the same time as the "vol 1" CD and is available from Key-z.com. It is the S F State Test material, in a longer and somewhat different edit from the 1986 "fan-club" LP. I received a b/w cover for mine, but it exists in full Prankster color as seen above. 


 

UNRELEASED TAPES

Below is a complete list of the "Acid Test Reels", a CD-R compilation currently circulating among Grateful Dead and Prankster fans. About half the material was already available on vinyl and CD releases. The editing of the original reels seems geared primarily towards Dead-Heads, which means there's plenty of music and not much Prankster rapping.

On the CD-R discs there are 2 different edits from the S F State Acid Test, and this Test has also appeared on a vinyl LP (1986) and a CD-R on sale from the Pranksters themselves (circa 2000), see above.

From what I can tell the overlap between these 4 different versions of SF State is *huge*, and furthermore there is a better edit on both the old vinyl LP and the CD-R. If you want just 1 version of the S F State test (sufficient for anyone but the most fanatic Prankster-heads) then you should go for the CD-R, which is titled "Acid Tests vol 2" and on sale from key-z.com. It's the longest edit, and the best edit, and probably contains ALL that is on the other 3 versions.

This in turn means that disc 2/tracks 4-12 and disc 3/tracks 1-6 in the Acid Test reels belowcan be replaced in their entirety by the Pranksters' CD-R.

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Grateful Dead & Merry Pranksters

The Acid Test Reels

1965-1967

A chronological compilation of the Acid Test recordings listed in

The Grateful Dead Tapers Compendium Volume One.

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DISC ONE: Fillmore Acid Test/Sound City Acid Test

The Fillmore Acid Test

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

January 8, 1966

1. Stage Chaos/More Power Rap

2. King Bee

3. I'm A Hog For You Baby

4. Caution: Do Not Step On Tracks >

5. Death Don't Have No Mercy

6. Star Spangled Banner / closing remarks

The Sound City Acid Test

363 6th Street, San Francisco, CA

January 29, 1966

7. Ken Kesey interviewed by Frank Fey

8. Ken Babbs and harmonica

9. Take Two: Ken Kesey

10. Bull

11. Peggy The Pistol

12. One-way Ticket

13. Bells And Fairies

14. Levitation

15. Trip X

16. The End

7-16 The Acid Test: A Sound City Production

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DISC TWO: Pico Acid Test /S.F. State U Acid Test (pt.1)

The Pico Acid Test

Danish Center, Los Angeles, CA

March 12, 1966

1. Viola Lee Blues

2. You See A Broken Heart

3. In The Midnight Hour

The San Francisco State Acid Test

Whatever It Is Festival

San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Stereo Control Room Master (rec. 4:00AM - 6:00AM)

October 2, 1966

4. The Head Has Become Fat Rap

5. A Mexican Story: 25 Bennies

6. A Tarnished Galahad

7. Get It Off The Ground Rap >

8. It's Good To Be God Rap >

9. Nirvana Army Rap >

10. The Butcher Is Back

11. Acid Test Graduation Announcement

12. Send Me To The Moon >Closing Rap

Credits on 10/2/66:

Voices: Ken Kesey and Hugh Romney

Guitar: Ken Kesey

Violin: Dale Kesey

Organ: Jerry Garcia

Engineering: Steve Newman, Ken Kesey, Mountain Girl

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DISC THREE: S.F. State U Acid Test (pt. 2)/Graduation Jam

The San Francisco State Acid Test

Whatever It Is Festival

San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

October 2, 1966

1. Ken Kesey's dialogue (isolated remix)

Merry Prankster Sound Collage Sequences

October 2, 1966

2. Prankster Music/Sound Collage #1(sequence 1)

3. Kesey Rap > Prankster Music/Sound Collage #2 (sequence 2)

4. Prankster Sound Collage #3 > Prankster Raga(sequence 3)

Prankster Recordings broadcast over the P.A.

End of Whatever It Is Festival

October 2, 1966

5. Closing Jam

6. Prankster Electronics

Acid Test Graduation Jam

Winterland, San Francisco, CA

October 31, 1966

7. Jam Session (musicians unknown)

from The World Of Acid film soundtrack

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Disc Four: Related Recordings

Neal Cassady & The Warlocks 1965

1. Speed Limit

studio recording/Prankster production tape circa late 1965

Straight Theater, Haight Street, San Francisco, CA July 23, 1967

2. Neal Cassady Raps (backed by The Dead)

recording released as a flexi-disc in the 1st printing of The Dead Book

Acid Tests Production Reel

3. Jerry Garcia commentary with Acid Test audio

710 Haight Street House, San Francisco, CA summer 1967

4. - 6. Jerry Garcia

one hour interview about music, drugs, politics and social changes circa 1967

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Disc Five: Supplementary CD#1 [74:04]

The Watts Acid Test February 12, 1966

Youth Opportunities Center, Compton, CA

01. Who Cares Rap (Pigpen, Weir, etc.) [6:08}

 

The Pico Acid Test March 12, 1966 (EXPANDED VERSION)

Danish Center, Los Angeles, CA

02. Viola Lee Blues [11:54]

03. One Kind Favor [4:19]

04. I Know You Rider [2:41]

05. You See A Broken Heart [3:18]

06. It's A Sin [4:47]

07. Beat It On Down The Line [4:06]

08. Heads Up [6:17]

09. Next Time You See Me [5:04]

10. unknown blues instrumental[8:15] - might be Death Donīt also (Tony Middleton)???

11. Death Don't Have No Mercy [6:03]

12. Midnight Hour [11:06]

Notes:

The 8th song, previously notated as "unknown instrumental" on Deadlists, is a cover of Freddy King's "Heads Up." The 9th tune, previously listed as "The Same Thing (instrumental)," is definitely NOT that song. Although it is a standard blues and sounds similar at the beginning, closer listening makes it pretty obvious that it is an entirely different song, title unknown. The Viola Lee Blues on this expanded version is a different version than on the previous three song version of Pico Acid Test. This is an ongoing mystery, although it should be said that both versions are worth having.

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Disc Six: [41:56]

Supplementary CD#2 - San Francisco State Acid Test (alternate version)

"Whatever It Is" Festival October 2, 1966

San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Stereo Control Room Master (rec. 4:00AM - 6:00AM)

Source(s) unknown, this has different lineage, and some different edits to the "intact" version. Specifically some contemorary (Tomorrow show '81?) interviews are spliced in, and the sound collages towards the end are presented in a different sequence.

01. Jerry Garcia intro 0:20

02. A Mexican Story: 25 Bennies 3:41

03. Get It Off The Ground Rap 9:32

04. It's Good To Be God Rap 2:40

05. Nirvana Army Rap 0:52

06. The Butcher Is Back 3:14

07. Acid Test Graduation Announcement 1:29

08. Send Me To The Moon 1:22

09. Jerry Garcia interview 0:40

10. Sound Collage 3:43

11. Ken Kesey Interview 0:22

12. Sound Collage #2 9:58

13. Jerry Garcia Interview 0:19

14. Music / Sound Collage #1 2:14

15. Ken Kesey Interview 0:15

16. Sound Collage 1:15

 

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(The supplementary disc #6 is identical to the 1986 LP listed above.)


University Of Oregon 10" Album

This little-known artifact represents the first known recording of Ken Kesey. He provides narration to a sort of fraternity mass done live at the University Of Oregon, which was recorded and released as an obscure 10" album. Kesey is credited with narration. I can't find any images of it, but here's a sound clip from the disc. Kesey's narration is done in an entertaining mock-dramatic style, which may have been inspired by the Biblical movie epics that were in vogue in the late 1950s.

 

 

The Merry Pranksters