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on facebook as Ken Babbs
on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/therealkapnken
SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014
Took time off from
doing the income taxes to go to the Kesey exhibit Friday
evening at the Springfield Museum on Main Street in downtown
fine exhibit with pictures and writeups of Kesey's life from childhood
and Springfield, high school in Springfield, college at the University
of Oregon, and
later life on his farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon. Also were the pages of
his Jail Journal
played on a TV screen. A good crowd with aged pranksters in attendance,
from Springfield and South Eugene high school, old and new friends and
Further, parked outside, aglow with fresh paint and L.E.D. lights
moving along the
top and bottom of the bus.
SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 2014
Here's the puppet Kesey performed with
prior to the musical play
he wrote called Twister that had its first showing at the Eugene Armory.
The puppet's name is Blinky and is the reincarnation of the original
Blinky that Kesey used while in high school and college, doing his
Four characters in attendance, Sunshine
Kesey, Zane Kesey, Paul Magid (of the
Flying Karamozov Brothers) and Ray Sewell (of Chez Ray and G.D. coffee).
Outside the museum, Zane Kesey, Kapn
Ken, Paul Magid and Ray Sewell.
Meghann Cuniff, a
writer from The Orange County Register, came to Eugene
and interviewed me for her newspaper which is in San Juan Capistrano,
I lived for three years while I was in the Marine Corps. The article
on April first, so there is a suspicion I am this year's april fool.
TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014
Fifty years ago, a young Marine returned home to San Juan Capistrano
In a modest home off Ortega Highway, with the blinds drawn to block
sun, Ken Babbs poured his memories of Vietnam onto paper, crafting a
a young Marine pilot and his helicopter buddies meant to highlight the
absurdity of a war
he’d seen firsthand.
Then, he went on a cross-country bus trip and lost the manuscript.
For the rest of the story, click on:
MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Being gone for a week, helping my wife
take care of her mother who fell at
home and broke her elbow and gashed her skull. Had an operation on her
elbow and stitches in her scalp and now is in a nursing home recovering
doing physical therapy to get her healed and her strength up so she can
but looks like she won't be able to live on her own and certainly can't
Weather was rainy all week until Saturday when we deemed it good enough
to go to the ocean and walk on the beach and I went in the water up to
knees and then, walking back to where we parked the car, the sky turned
black, the wind blew hard and the rain came down and we got soaked and,
when finally in the car heading out, lightning was hitting all around
THE '92 FIELD TRIP
In 1992, late
August, time for the 3rd Decadenal Field Trip, Jerry Garcia was sick
play so the Grateful Dead cancelled and Kesey changed the venue to his
farm and we nicknamed
it The Swamp Romp and built a stage and food and drink vendors set up
and we had auditions
for poets and musicians, Ann Waldman and Robert Hunter were the
headliners and the climax
of the day was Kesey performing The Sea Lion, a Northwest Indian story
he wrote, Kesey dressed
in costume, the event filmed by Gus Van Sant, I wonder what ever
happened to that footage.
THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014
Robert Hunter, pics by Dean Yeonas
Bus parked at the Swamp Romp, Neal and Jack pictured
Grand musical finale, everyne doing Gloria
THE VERNAL EQUINOX
MORE CAR BIZ
This is the way the
left side light looked on the old battered front end from numeros
with hard objects, everything wired and glued and duct taped and
caulked together and
working okay till I took my car to a pal to get the brake master
cylinder replaced and
after that was done and the brakes bled, they still weren't working
right for me so he said
let me try it and backed up a ways, then went forward and put on the
brakes and the pedal went
right to the floor and the car continued down the incline heading for
the rear end of a
new SUV he was working on and I yelled hit the parking brake and he did
but too late
and he swerved to the right and my left side mirror hit the bumper of
He wasn't happy. He said I'll fix the
master cylinder and buy you a new light but I said
way too expensive, get it at a junkyard. He gave me a ride home and a
week late said
he got the master cylinder fixed, there was a rod inside he didn't have
centered, but he
also said he was leaving for D.C. and hadn't been able to get another
side light. Is OK.
I caught a ride to my car, left a check for the master cylinder work on
the seat of another
car sitting in his yard and went home to search for a light on the
inernet. Found one and
ordered it but when it arrived, I had got the wrong light. No sweat, I
can make it work.
Wel, what the hell,
it works. I bought some aluminum colored paint and soon as
we get enough sunny days in a row I'll paint the whole front one solid
keep on trucking, er, cruising.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014
"A lot of people
wouldn't know they are alive unless they have photos of themselves to
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2014
prove it-from the cradle to the grave-actually. Everything in life,
directly or indirectly,
has a great degree of mystery...It's really difficult to define
anything. What's slow can
speed up. Love can turn into hate. Peace can turn into war. Pride can
turn into humility.
Anger to grief. How would you describe a chair, for instance-something
you sit on? Well, i
t's more than that. You can sit on a curb, or a fence. But they are not
chairs. So what
makes a chair a chair? Maybe it's got arms? A cross has arms, so does a
the chair doesn't have arms. Okay, so it's a post or a flagpole. But
those aren't chairs.
A chair has four legs. So does a table. So does a dog. But they are not
chairs either. So
a chair is a mystical thing. It's got a divine presence. There's a
gloomy veil of chaos that
surrounds it. And "chaos" in Greek means "air." So we live
in chaos and we breathe
it. Is it any wonder why some people snap and go crazy? Mystery is
ancient. It is the
essence of everything. It violates all conventions of beauty and
understanding. It was
here before the beginning, and it will be there beyond the end. We were
created in it
...St. Paul said, we see through a glass darkly. There's plenty of
mystery in nature and
contemporary life. For some people, it is too harsh to deal with. But I
don't see it that way."
Sent in by Skypilot John Taby from Pennsylvania who added:
doesn't it remind you of that thing Kesey said about mystery being more
than the answers? It seems to me that there are those among us
who are not frightened
of mystery, or chaos, but somehow manage to move on further, they are
not fools, but then
again they are not cowards either. A strange type of balance is
required and they got it.
More faith than sight perhaps. Just type-thinking out loud---over and
KESEY FILM NOW STREAMING ON OPB
offers a fresh look at this tie-dyed-in-the-wool Oregonian.
“Ken Kesey” presents rare interviews with Kesey family members,
his son Zane, daughter Sunshine, granddaughter Kate Smith, widow Faye
Kesey McMurtry and his 97-year-old mother Geneva Jolley. Additionally,
several authors weigh in on Kesey’s writings and antics: Michael
professor of literature at Willamette University; Robert Faggen,
of literature at Claremont McKenna College and Kesey’s
Ken Babbs, a Kesey friend, writer and lifelong
For the whole story, go to:
The dumb people are still out there but our job
is to love them whilst
enjoying our lives to the fullest knowing this country and we the
people will survive so git out there and feed the hungry, house the
homeless, teach the chilluns, git yer exercise, nuts and berries,
and roots, keep positive thoughts, big kiss to all the loved ones,
Can you please describe the Acid Tests?
The "acid test" was a thinly-veiled excuse
to show samples of the movie
the pranksters had filmed on their bus trip.
Certain unknowns placed a garbage can
full of Kool Aid in the middle of the floor.
The Merry Band of Pranksters was actually a band
playing a form of non verbal communication.
They set up at one end of the hall.
At the other end the Grateful Dead
played rock and bluegrass
and psychedelic wanderings.
Sometimes both bands played together.
Now, instead of Kool-Aid
we're drinking Tang
and showing lots of fang
like Howlin' Wolf sang
Doodlin' a Wang Dang
all dee doo dah day
and wasn't it Ray
who asked what'd I say?
and the dead who answered
no mercy in this land
with skulls buried in the sand
cloudy mumblings and utterings
rainbow spiraled imaginings
and wistful dreams
"spitfurther", they wrote
on a bus of some note
no meaning to denote
jus' reciting by rote
that's all they can tote
What do you think would be good advice for me to give
to students who are completly miserable with their lives
as an alternative to feed your head?
The old sixties coin may be a bit tarnished and
Drugs and Rock and Drool side rubbed down to where
the lettering is all worn out, but the other side of Love
Peace and Happiness still shines brightly, the lettering
full ridged and fruitful.
Love peace and happiness; extended in
the simple act of helping one another out, being kind
Practice this. Enjoy life. As Cassady said, "No
was ever happy, angry."
MONDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2013
UNDER HOUSE ADVENURES
During the deep
freeze a week ago, we forgot to keep the water dripping in the bathroom
sink and the pipes froze. I girded my loins and screwed my courage to
the crawling point
and went under the house towing an electric heater on a long extension
cord and much to
my surprise -- it was warm under there. Gazing to the left I spied the
reason why. The heating
duct from the furnace had come apart and warm air was flowing freely
the furnace hadn't been warming the house in its usual efficient way.
I called a lot of heating companies and found out they were all booked
solid for two weeks
and it would be a minium of 250 bucks when they did come out. Forget
that. I called my
old woodsman buddy, Dave Barton and he said he'd help me (the break was
in such an
awkward spot it would take two people to fix it) so I said bring a roll
of the strongest duct
tape you can find.
We were both on our backs on either side of the round plastic insulated
duct attached at
one end to a sheet metal cylinder that slipped out of the other end
necessitating both of us
to jam the cylinder back in and hold it while Dave loosened some duct
tape from the roll,
got it going around the cylinder and heating duct, then passed it under
to me and I kept
rolling it onto the duct and cylinder and around and around we went
until the whole thing
from one end to the other was solid heating duct, no way that sucker
was going to come
The heater was in place thawing the pipes. The heating duct was
repaired. We closed up
the opening under the house and retired to the kitchen table where we
an Evan Walker whiskey and Schwepps ginger ale.
We're in the midst of a week long deep freeze with nine inches of snow,
unusual for the Willamette Valley, making for lots of outside work
the animals in food and water, hauling wood to the house from the wood
keep the woodstove humming, getting the rigs running, good thing we
the tractor to run up and down the driveway, allow the car to get out
we have to go somewhere, schools all closed and my wife is a teacher
chomping to get back to the students, and to top it off a bad head cold
its grips on my head, kaff kaff, all to explain I haven't turned on the
until today for things are easing up, temp rising, cold getting better,
jamming in November in Central Park on the headphones, I'll try to put
on the website but first must shower and shave and get primped up for a
trip to the dentist.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2013 JAMBANDS.COM INTERVIEW WITH
Brian Robbins is the interviewer and
starts off with:
"As cool as the newly-released Sunshine Daydream box set
is – documenting the
Grateful Dead’s sun-scorched, “Field Trip” benefit fo Chuck and
Springfield Creamery on August 27, 1972 – and as neat as it’s been
lately to relive
that historic day, there’s one fact that nobody’s mentioned much.
Did you know that the New Riders Of The Purple Sage opened for the
FOR THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW, CLICK ON
HERE'S AN OLD PAGE OF THE
PERFORMING AT A NEW
So they asked me why there were no long
haired people on the bus. A blast from a past
experience We're trying to get to the right place, the space between
the now and the plow,
so we might get this ground turned over into something worthwhile. The
answer is, in
1964 long hair wasn't in vogue yet. Besides that, hair is a pain in the
ass to have to take
care of. Short hair means you don't have to do anything but run a wash
cloth through it.
All that garbage of makeup and deodorant and cologne, who needs it,
it's taking your
precious time and sapping your precious energy and you're not dealing
with your natural
self except of course for the oils and lubricants to keep your body
slick. It's gravity and
friction we're working against. Path of least resistance, that's the
TUESDAY OCTOBER 15, 2013
Lane County will keep the cultural
touchstone that is the collected papers of native son Ken
Kesey, including drafts of his novels “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
and “Sometimes a Great Notion.”
University of Oregon librarians, like the memorable Hank Stamper, said
“never give a inch”
when it came to other, well-heeled universities swooping in, buying the
UO-held papers from
the Kesey family and taking them off to Palo Alto, Calif., Houston or
For the rest of the story written by Diane Dietz in the Eugene Register
Guard click on;
Here's a Youtube from the Fourth of July, FORTA 13, done as we are
Eric Richardson on bass, Lou Crist on accordian, me on trombone, Rudson
on drums, Jon Sebree on congas, Simon Babbs on guitar and Walker T.
got to see Bruce Hornsby yesterday. He was playing at the NCAA track
University of Oregon, before the meet started, on a small
the south end of the field, a grand piano and a small drum kit in
an NBC camera filming, barriers around the stage and on the back three
placed where people coming in the East gate could mosey past and
stand and watch.
told me he’d be there at eleven. I walked in a backdoor path used by
going back and forth from training areas, said hello to the security
like a volunteer worker for the track meet, white shirt, carrying
of O ball cap, sun glasses – she said good morning and I was inside the
I got close to the field a stern looking security guy asked me if he
me and I said I was supposed to meet Bruce Hornsby but didn’t know
said, “I heard a piano over there.”
piano tuner was tuning the piano. I asked a guy if he knew where Bruce
he said he went to the green room but should be back in fifteen minutes.
found a chair and sat and watched the fans stream in. I spotted Bruce
side of the stage. Taller than the people gathered around him. I went
we shook and hugged and the same with his son, Keith, just completed
year at UNC Ashville, where he played on the basketball team and was
in the country in free throw percentage.
“Remember what you said,
Babbs, you don’t live very long, get as much meat as you can.”
laughed. I told him, “You know how someone will give you the limp
doing it with him. “That’s when you tell him, ‘Get all the meat you
the good shake.
turned to Bruce. “What’s that joke about the trombone player you once
saying in an aside to Sonny, “I play the trombone, the bone.”
guy says to his ex-wife,” Bruce said, ‘I hate every bone in your body’
unison Sonny and Keith joined in – “‘except mine.’”
I aske Bruce what he was doing after the gig he said, “Nothing. I
vocal cords and can’t talk, so I’m laying low.”
Bruce and Sonny took the stage and did a jazzy duet, the
between them close and deep, Bruce standing up now and then and
at Sonny, both of them grinning all the time, the crowd
Vin Lanamana, the meet director, presented them
with bright yellow U of O ball caps.
The whole set was shown on the jumbotron
high above us.
It was time for Bruce
to go to the center of the field and sing
Star Spangled Banner so we said goodbye for now, to meet again in July
Bruce and his band come back to Eugene to play at the Cascadia Music
at the foot of Mt. Pisgah.
neato youtube of the night at New Zone art gallery in Eugene
I talked about my brother John's paintings. Good shots of the painings
great musical background.
the youtube of the art gallery talk was done by Hedda, who covers many
activities in Eugene. To see her many works, go to her website:
TAXES ARE DONE AND GONE
HAVE A COW
And a calf, as
purchased by our daughter, Liz, and parked in the pasture we
fenced in over the weekend.
Come on, darling,
time to drain the udder, is that an udder delight or what? I'll
tell you what, four gallons a day and that's with the calf taking half.
HERE'S THE WEBSITE FOR OXBOW FARM WHERE MILK AND OTHER
GOODIES CAN BE HAD
MY BROTHER JOHN DIED A YEAR AGO TODAY
photo of one of John's paintings by
I celebrated the
anniversary of my brothers death by tidying up his grave site and
sending in my income taxes, then had a whiskey and ginger ale, his
FOR AN MP3 CASSADY
POME, CLICK ON:
FOR THE SECOND HALF
OF THE CASSADY POME
NEAL POME 2
Here's a short youtube of Los Tres
Caballeros (KapnKen, Walker T. Ryan and
Eric Richardson) doing a musical and verbal number called Telephone
live at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon in December, 2011.
Kapn' thanks for the hookup. Watched and listened with rapt ears and
I was taken back back way back to something I read along time ago about
elimination match for the Olympics. Given some kind of speed to compete
exhaustive pursuit he stood, his brain moving fast faster fast but his
body not quite
up to it, he trys to but fails, his wrestling career comes to an end.
But he was a stud
of the highest order. A champion rastler indeed. He had a tuff head and
minded as well. The instincts of a lion and the heart of a
saint. To you a best friend.
For us a champion. We all were the better for the encounter. The
synchronicity of it
all, the sum larger than the parts, brave hearts all. Thanks again
Kap'n, for the flash
Your friend, #43 johntaby shamokinpa "Love Never
AVAILABLE AT TSUNAMI BOOKS IN
$14 includes free shipping in U.S.
All books signed.
Dreher, on the left, came from Germany a few
me. Here's a short excerpt from the interview.
John was the younger,
smaller, quieter Babbs. In the
dedication of his book,
"Prankster Memoirs," John wrote "For my
brother, Ken Babbs, whom I've known
all my life, but he hasn't known me all of
his." John, like Kesey's brother Chuck,
was On The Bus. Pranksters of the
Earliest Order. John's Prankster name was
"Prankster Memoirs" has
some great photos of John
the Fisherman. Before I
interviewed him about his novel, YELOW LEAVES,
John dropped off a copy of
the book with a note, which read in part, "I am
available most days - when I'm
not playing basketball or fishing!"
John described YELLOW
LEAVES as "a novel where
romance and trout fishing
intertwine with passionate intensity." Here's
wishing John Babbs Great Fishing
in the Great Beyond. Fish on, John!!!
WHERE YOU CAN GET YELLOW LEAVES
shipping in the U.S.
email Tsunami Books.