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home | Acid Test Chronicles | The Acid Test Chronicles - Page 16 - . . .

The Acid Test Chronicles - Page 16 - Portland Oregon - 6th Acid Test - Jan. 15, 1966

   Portland was the sixth Acid Test, held Jan. 15, 1966

   "Compared to that, the Portland Acid Test was unsurprisingly anticlimactic, although Weir had an extraordinary personal experience. At some point in the evening, he suddenly felt as though he couldn't play a wrong note. "I felt golden," he said, as his hands played effortlessly without him in control, or needing to be. It was a humbling and joyful moment. The next morning was just the opposite. They were rehearsing on headphones, and M.G. and George Walker, the Prankster technicians, began feeding them a delayed sound signal. For the longest time, Weir couldn't get anything right, and blamed himself. -- A Long Strange Trip - Dennis McNally - Page 120

   "We did a really good Acid Test in Portland, Oregon, that is not well-known but by this time,  we were becoming like a really crack terrorist group. We could hit a place, get in there, mess it up, and be gone before people knew what happened. In that one, a guy off the street, a businessman, came in and paid his dollar and got his hit of acid. He had a suit on and an umbrella. At that time, it was still small enough that one person could become the center of attention. He was out there dancing and somebody hit him with a spotlight and he said, "The King Walks!" And he began to walk with this umbrella and play with his shadow!" The Dead were watching this and playing to every moment so he became the music that people were playing to. -- Ken Kesey - Dark Star Oral Biography - Robert Greenfield - Page 78

   "There was one more out-of-town tryout for us, the Beaver Hall Test in Portland. The Test itself has receded into the mists of antiquity, except for the vague memory of playing in an upstairs warehouse with concrete pillars everywhere and bare lath and wiring on the walls. What mattered about the Portland Acid Test was the journey toward it.
   It began as our first trip together on Further, Kesey's fabled bus. Bobby and I had day-tripped on the bus to see the Beatles at the Cow Palace earlier that year, but for the majority of the band it was a first. Leaving Palo Alto as early as possible, by midafternoon or so, we were halfway up the Central Valley bound for Shasta and points north, and then: Catastrophe! The bus breaks down! Never let it be said that the show did not go on! What to do?
   We rent a U-Haul truck; we strip the bus and cram all of us -- the band, the Pranksters -- and everything else into the truck. I jump into the shotgun seat up front, and we cruise off into the darkening storm of the worst blizzard in years: over the Siskiyou Mountains in the dead of night. Neal pressing ever onward, the rhythm of the falling snow sweeping through the headlights, sliding in and out of synch with the music piped into the cockpit by means of our patented two-way distort-o-phonic communication system, set up so that those in the back could also hear Neal's multiple personalities conversing with one another. If ever the magic of the open road was distilled into a single experience, it was, for me, that night sitting next to Neal, hurtling into the dazzling play of light and shade on the whirling snow with his voice turning every sentence into a poem, all sensory input synched up (or sometimes not, and that's good too) with the rhythm of the wipers and whatever music happened to randomly penetrate our awareness.
  Upon our return from Portland, all the scuttlebutt was ablaze with the plans for the "Big One"; the Trips Festival, to take place in San Francisco's Longshoreman's Hall." -- Searching for the Sound - Phil Lesh - Pages 72-73