Original 1st printing 17 x 22" psychedelic event poster, "Can You Pass the Acid Test?", Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' legendary series of LSD-fueled multi-media happenings/parties held up and down the West Coast from November 1965 through October 1966. "Happeners" (participants/acts) listed on the poster include: the Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, the aforementioned Merry Pranksters, Neal Cassady, the Grateful Dead and "Roy's Audioptics" (Prankster Roy Seburn's light show).
Art by Paul Foster (sometimes mis-credited to Norman Hartweg), image (1987 reprint hand-colored by Sunshine Kesey) is featured in the Art of Rock book on page 91 (plate 2.4)- this is the large-version blue stock blank (no info/undated*) poster. (*This example was taken down from the wall at the 1/8/1966 Fillmore Auditorium test in San Francisco by the consignor- more on that below)
Medium-thin flat index stock poster is in decent/used (B/B- to B-) condition; there are a pair of semi-flattened horizontal/vertical folds/creases (item was folded into 1/4ths), an approximately 1&3/4" area of paper missing from the top right corner tip, a series of small holes (including a couple with tiny drag pulls) scattered around/within the surface area/margins, a fairly decent amount of edge wear (numerous tiny tears, creases and a bit of toning along the upper left margin), a series of handling dings and a tiny bit of green flair pen writing on the reverse (doesn't show through to the front), otherwise OK... considering the history of this particular example, it looks really great for what it is and where/how it was obtained.
As (from what I was told) the majority of the blue stock versions were actually put up for display, the conditional issues on this piece are similar to a number of existing examples (this is the third example I have seen in 23+ years). Quite a few of them were cut down the middle, however this one escaped that particular fate.
The provenance on this example is nothing short of FASCINATING. As mentioned above, it was originally removed from the wall at the Fillmore Auditorium at the January 8th 1966 Acid Test by none other than author/comedian/five-time Emmy Award winner (and former "Late Night with David Letterman" head writer) Merrill Markoe (then a Bay Area teenager).
To quote Ms. Markoe; "I had a rotten time at the Acid Test. It was so smoky I couldn't shut my eyes and someone crept up behind me and put their hand up my dress...then vanished when I turned around. So...I don't have particularly FOND memories of being there. Anyway, on my way out, I took the poster..." (*see below for Merrill's hand-drawn diary entry recounting the event)
Bummer! While Merrill may not have had a very good time at the Fillmore Acid Test, the evening turned out to be a VERY important night in San Francisco/psychedelic history, by (almost) all accounts. Not only was this one of the EARLIEST Grateful Dead performances, it was only the second time that they appeared on the Fillmore stage.
It was (up to that point) the largest public Acid Test event held by the Pranksters and thanks to Kesey and crew's quality documentation, you can actually EXPERIENCE the aural weirdness for yourself! Listen HERE:
AN ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE PSYCHEDELIC ARTIFACT!!!!