Ken Kesey In Adelaide 1988 .

    Ken happened to be in the city  for the writers festival and this interview was broadcast on the ABC . Of course, I didn't know he was in town until he had left !

Interviewer: Jolleys Boat House, a fashionable hidey hole for the fashionable middle class - and right in the middle of it , the leader of the hallucinogenic revolution , Ken Kesey . The man the FBI said would wreck society and leave it to drug crazed hippies , the people who don't know how to behave in restaurants.
But the middle class have survived and Kesey fits into it quite well , there are no horns or devils tail, but he's still a revolutionary and he still wants to change society.


 
Kesey: 
I'll tell you what I think about it and why literature is good. The people who have read Heart Of Darkness , when they saw Apocalypse Now , they had a sense of evil and people who don't know what evil is , they're vulnerable, it can slip up on them , a nation that doesn't know when its about to go wrong is vulnerable and one of the jobs of the writer is to delineate evil and say. Hey , if you go that way , you'll end up like Rome.And that's NOT a popular thing to do to a nation. There's been a period of about 15 years in the US where what I've had to say , nobody wants to hear it.

    When I first got into the drug business- ( sound of baby crying off camera ) - see what it does , it makes babies cry- when I got into drugs I'd never even been smoking, drinking beer or anything, I'd been training for the Olympics in wrestling , in good shape and the United States govt said, we need some volunteers to go in this strange room that the doctors and professors and generals didn't want to go in , but they wanted to know what was going on in there, so they hired a bunch of students to go and look it over .

Interviewer: and they were the great acid tests  ?.

Kesey:  Yes and mescaline and psylocybin and LSD  25 and LSD 6 and all those various drugs that were being developed by the C.I.A for their own ends as the Freedom Of Information act revealed that they were doing this to try and break down prisoners.

Interviewer: Do you think that if you had not gone through that , that your life would have gone the way it went ?
 
Kesey
Oh, it was the most profound thing that has ever happened in my life , second to the death of my son a couple of years ago.
Go here to read the rest of the interview and to see more pics.
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