Tom Wolfe, the famous American author and journalist, died yesterday, aged 88. He wrote the countercultural classic, ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’, published in 1968, which documented the exploits of Ken Kesey’s Californian LSD evangelists, The Merry Pranksters, who played a leading role in the emergence of the psychedelic era during the 1960s – their ‘Acid Test’ gatherings, originally at Kesey’s La Honda farm, unleashing psychedelic light shows, whilst providing the launchpad for the band The Grateful Dead.
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I was in Dublin airport at 9.00am last Saturday morning and had bought a cup of coffee and a scone before boarding my flight to Manchester. I was just picking up a knife to butter the scone when who should I see sat down at the next table but John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten). It turns out that he’d been performing with Public Image Limited at the same festival as I’d been at, Electric Picnic. He was with someone else who looked really familiar, although I couldn’t place him. They had a load of pints of Guinness stacked up in front of them and at one point this Irish lad walked up to their table and, without saying anything, put down a couple more pints for them, gave them the finger, and started to walk back to where he was sat. They didn’t take too kindly to this and started shouting after him, saying it wasn’t good form to tell them to fuck off, Lydon stating that he was in his ’50s and didn’t ‘need that shit’. For a moment it looked like it might kick off, but after they gave the guy a bit of a lecture it seemed to calm down.
List of ‘Ten Books I’ve Read At Least Twice’ for RVNG INTL website in the US (July 2008).
- A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
- Animal Farm – George Orwell
- Days In The Life – Voices From The English Underground 1961-1971 – Jonathon Green
- In Search Of The Miraculous – P.D. Ouspensky
- Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
- Steppenwolf – Hermann Hesse
- The Day A Team Died – Frank Taylor
- The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
- The Longest Cocktail Party – Richard Di Lello
- Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig