As moderator, I asked, "Abbie, since you used to quote Che Guevara saying, 'In a revolution, one wins or dies,' do you have a response to that?"

Hoffman: "All right, Ginzo. Poems have a lot of different meanings for different people. For me, your poem Howl was a call to arms."

Ginsberg: "A whole boatload of sentimental bullshit."

Hoffman: "We saw in the sixties a great imbalance of power, and the only way that you could correct that imbalance was to organize people and to fight for power. Power is not a dirty word. The concept of trying to win against social injustice is not a dirty kind of concept. It all depends on how you define the game, how you define winning and how you define losing--that's the Zen trip that was learned by defining that you were the prophets and we were the warriors. I'm saying that you didn't fight, but you were the fighters. And I'll tell you, If you don't think you were a political movement and you don't like winning, the fuckin' lawyer that defended Howl in some goddamn obscenity suit--you wanted him to be a fuckin' winner, I guarantee you that. That was a political debate."

Ironically, Ginsberg was very insecure about Howl, and he questioned the big fuss over it. "There shouldn't be a trial over this poem," he once lamented. In fact, a biography of Allen Ginsberg--American Scream by Jonah Raskin--has a surprising revelation:

"In the mid-1970s, in the midst of the counterculture he had helped to create, he promised to rewrite Howl. Now that he was a hippie minstrel and a Pied Piper for the generation that advocated peace and love he would alter Howl, he said, so that it might reflect the euphoria of the hippies. He would include a 'positive redemptive catalogue,' he said."

The famous opening line of Howl was, "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked..." Abbie Hoffman would've been shocked to learn that Ginsberg had planned to rewrite Howl, this time beginnng with an upbeat line: "I saw the best minds of my generation turned on by music..."

On one hand, Ginsberg was a pacifist. When he first started taking LSD, he thought that world peace would come about only if President Kennedy and Russian premier Nikita Krushchev would take acid together. And yet I remember a scene---this was in the early '70s--Ken Kesey, my daughter Holly and I were visiting William Burroughs in New York. He lived in this huge loft, with a great many cardboard boxes and one cat, and he was wearing a suit and tie with high-top red sneakers.

We decided to visit Ginsberg in the hospital. He'd had a stroke, and part of his face was paralyzed. He was in bed, and I introduced him to Holly, and he graciously struggled to sit up and shake hands with her, but he was weak and deep in some kind of medication. A little later--in psychiatry this is called a "primary process"--he blurted out, "Henry Kissinger should have his head chopped off!" It was a pure case of Ginsbergian Tourettes' Syndrome.

Subsequently, Kesey would reminisce, "I was at a party one time, when I first knew Ginsberg, and he was standing by himself over by the fireplace, with a wine glass in his hand, and people millling around, and finally some young girl sort of broke off from the rest of the crowd and approached him and said, 'I can't talk to you--you're a legend.' And he said, 'Yes, but I'm a friendly legend.'"

-- From HuffingtonPost.com



Skypilotclub has overwhelmingly swept away the opposing parties and has the house all to itself. From the first note of reveille, let the revelry begin. Time enough tomorrow to undertake the sobering problems which lie ahead. Lie being the operative word. Like, we will no longer take their lies lying down or, as Cleopatra said to Antony, "I am not prone to argue." No," he said, "you are supine." Thus proving again, in the grand game of semantics we skypilots are no slouches. No, we stand up, stand straight, stand tall, stand for universal literarcy, universal equality and as much fairness as the budget can afford. Or, as the Grand Wizardry wryly put it, "Pipe that in your put and smoke it."

Exactly what is on the agenda? The firewood is in. The leaky roof has been adequately repaired, a mere dribble or two here and there after yesterday's raging rainstorm. Thus secure, there is no longer any excuse for the ol' Kapn not to finish the longest running novel re-write in the marathon history of the American novel. Add to that the ongoing CD and DVD creations and you have a full-fledged three-pronged attack on insiped thumb chewing and wastrel TV watching: print, audio and visual skypilot flights into the fancy and the ordinary.

Or, as a skypilot recently wrote: "there are really no limits to the heights which a skypilot can go.. whether it be the heights of love, something a skypilot can all encompass... thanks to our Captain that is... and the heights of reality we have all but surpassed.. with proper care a skypilot knows no bounds..."

To which another skypilot astutely replied, "Except for the bounds of decency."

-- Kapn Ken



Skypilot G.J. in the Boston area sent me some milkweed pods. Here's the lowdown:


Milkweed has all but been eradicated either naturally or by man north of California on the west coast. This is unfortunate in that the migration of the Monarch butterfly depends on the milkweed plant, a symbiotic relationship betwen plant and butterfly. The Monarch flutters its way from high in the North American continent to a brief stay in Mexico.

These milkweed pods are of the variety found all across the eastern U.S. in any farm field, vacant lot or roadside plot. The sap of the plant is a topical treatment for skeeter bites, bee stings and poison ivy. In the fall, the pods appear. There are umpteen varieties of milkweed, and this variety is not native to the west. This one is, I believe, called "syrica" and is the most pervasive of all the varieties.

As far as populating your part of the west with these pods (you can check with the Oregon Milkweed Project), they shouldn't throw the local ecosystem out of whack. If small kids are around, let them break open the pods and set the wisps free on a breezy day. Next step, alert the Monarchs. A child's whisper upon setting free the whirlybird wisps is rumored to do the trick.


Saw Michael Franti on Thursday night. If he comes to your town be sure to see him. He is in the forefront right now, having gone to Baghdad on his own, made a DVD of the trip, and his message is totally positive and at the same time anti-war. He played and sang with Spearhead non-stop for two and a half hours in front of a sold out crowd that was rocking and dancing and screaming and singing along to the songs.The band would stop playing and the auditorium was like a funkdown church choir emporium, voices wafting.

photo by Robert Minkin

Franti is new school. Dark Star Orchestra is old school. Went to see them on Saturday. Another great crowd, what they call the family. The band did an instrumental version of The Other One and I went onstage and channeled Neal Cassady, behind the wheel of the bus to never never land. In the spirt of Michael Franti I was barefoot. In the Spirit of Kesey I wore a tye-die do-rag. In acknowledgement of the skypilots I was wearing my rocket T shirt. Extreme groove.

-- KapnKen


'They look doubtful, but in reality they are not. There have been lies; yes, but they were told in a good cause. We have been treacherous; but that was only in order that real good might come out of apparent evil. True, we have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and the friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just and intelligent and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest; we have bought a Shadow from an enemy that hadn't it to sell; we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and his liberty; we have invited our clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit's work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched America's honor and blackened her face before the world; but each detail was for the best. We know this. The Head of every State and Sovereignty in Christendom and ninety percent of every legislative body in Christendom, including our Congress and our State Legislatures, are members not only of the church, but also of the Blessings-of-Civilization Trust. This world-girdling accumulation of trained morals, high principles, and justice, cannot do an unright thing, an unfair thing, an ungenerous thing, an unclean thing. It knows what it is about. Give yourself no uneasiness; it is all right.'

-- Mark Twain, 1898, on the occasion of the Spanish American War when we invaded Cuba. Incidentally, we weren't fighting against the Cubans but agains Spain which then contolled Cuba.


Skypilot Greg in Shanghai reports he is no longer able to access the skypilotclub website. Can it be that we are too counter-revolutionary, capitalistic pigs flaunting our affluent lifestyles and day-glo mohawk hair do's or don'ts for them to accept, plus the danger of corruping the masses, all by the billions? Greg writes:

Censorship SUCKS!
What's up in Dimension Skypilot?
I can't BELIEVE that the site was black-balled somehow. I mean, no offense, but besides me, Rust, and Don, there's gotta be, like, TWO and a HALF people actually looking at Skypilotclub.com over here, and so what if? I mean, you're not writing treatises on Cross-Straits politics or anything. It's a simple, agenda-less, CULTURAL website with no links, ties, or connections whatsoever to anything Chinese.
I smell a Google! (They recently helped China develop censorship software.. and may have a US crew helping to sort through foreign "suspicious" sites).
Any thought/comment/excretion?
-- Greg

Aw, Greg, shucks and durn and dagnabit, what a drag to have free expression of rampant mind wanderings and oddities of peace loving spittle making a mess all over the compter screen to find out that it has garbled the translation. Let us cry out for consumption. Er, I mean correction.

-- KapnKen

German TV Crew comes to interview the Kapn
you can see the interview on DVD
look at the front page for dee tails
look behind the hookah for dee heads

Cristoph, the director and interviewer. KapnKen as Psychedelic Man

Horst the camerman and Zora the souundma'am. "Are you shitting me, Christoph?" "Vot?"

Zora again and Kerstin, the organizer. KapnKen and Kesey and Hector.

Kerstin again and Mike Hagen, stalwart photographer.

President Kennedy was well beloved of the Germans, particularly when he went to the wall and said, "Eich ein Berliner." It wasn't till he got home and one of his aides told him that he found out "berliner" in German means doughnut. "You told them you were a doughnut," the aide said. "Damn," said Kennedy, slapping the arm of his rocking chair. "I meant to say, "I am a pancake."



The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon. At this time of year, the moon rises at about the same time each night, just after sunset, giving farmers extra hours of light to bring in the harvest. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October

-- Kirko


Yesss.. it's that time again! Chinese "Mid-Autumn Lunar Festival".. get out yer dancin' shoes and wail! Shovel back some Moon Cake, get outside, harvest that rice-paddy, and howl loud & long like a proper Luna-tic.

-- China Greg


Walker T. Ryan, friend of mine, blues singer and player extraordinaire, asked me this morning if I knew the origin of the work, hippie, and when it came about.

I told him, seemed to me it was around '67, the summer of love. He thought it was late '66, and the first time he saw the word was in an issue of Evergreen Review.

Kesey and I fell in the crack between the beat generation and the psychedelic revolution. Too young for one and too old for the other. I always thought the word hippie was a media made-up word, like beatnik. But I also have a murmuring in my mind it came from the diggers and Emmet Grogan.

I asked Paul Krassner what he knew on the subject and he referred me to Wikipedia:

Reminiscing about late 1930s Harlem in his 1964 autobiography, Malcolm X referred to the word hippy as a term African Americans used to describe a specific type of white man who "acted more Negro than Negroes." = Whyte Mike

During the 1940s and 1950s the term hipster, coined in 1940 by Harry Gibson, came into usage by the American Beat generation to describe jazz and swing music performers, and the term evolved to describe the bohemian counterculture that formed around the art of the time.

In 1963, British band The Swinging Blue Jeans released the song "Hippy Hippy Shake", which rose to #2 in the British charts and #24 in the US.


It seems the song "Hippy Hippy Shake" was written by Chan Romero in 1958. Interesting fellow:

"Robert Lee Romero was born and raised in Billings, Montana. His parents, who were from Colorado, went to Montana for employment as migrant workers. Ethnically, he is a mixture of Mexican, Spanish, Apache and Cherokee Indian, with a little Irish thrown in for good measure. He got the name Chan from his grandfather, who affectionately called him Chano. Chano eventually shortened to Chan and it stuck. As a child he used to listen to country music on radio, his early heroes being Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Jimmy Rodgers. It was while listening to the Grand Ol' Opry that he first heard Elvis Presley. Later Chan saw Elvis performing "Hound Dog" on the Steve Allen Show and knew he wanted to be a rock & roll singer. In the summer of 1958, at age 16, Chan hitchhiked to East L.A. to stay with relatives and check out the music industry. It was there he wrote "The Hippy Hippy Shake."

"The Hippy Hippy Shake" was released in July of 1959, first in the U.S. and later in England and Australia. It sold so well in Australia that Chan did a tour there in 1960 with the great Jerry Lee Lewis. When he returned, he toured the U.S. and Canada. It was the release of the song in England that found its way to the Beatles, who used to buy American imports for material for their club gigs. Paul McCartney liked the song and sang it during the early years of the group. In the mid 60's, the Swingin' Blue Jeans' version was not only number one in England, but also in Sweden, Norway and other European countries. In 1964, Chan toured for six weeks with the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons as a member of Buddy Holly's former group, the Crickets, substituting for Glenn D. Hardin. It was the same year that he first visited the Palm Springs area and decided he'd someday like to live here. He finally made the move to the desert in 1986. Since 1993, he's divided his time between the Coachella Valley and Billings, Montana.
Chan Romero today is better known and appreciated in England, Europe and Australia than in the U.S. In recent years, he has performed in Holland, England and Australia, where he gets airplay and his recordings are available. "

In 1963 a group called the Orlons had a hit, "South Street", (Philadelphia), which started out, "Where do all the Hippies meet? South Street, South Street" A good song. That's the earliest I remember.

-- Terry Trenholm


On the east coast of the U.S., in Greenwich Village, young counterculture advocates were called, and referred to themselves as, hips. At that time, to be hip meant to be "in the know" or "cool", as opposed to being called a stodgy "square". Disaffected youth from the suburbs of New York City flocked to the Village in their oldest clothes to fit into the counterculture movement, the coffee houses, the streets. Radio station WBAI was the first media outlet to use the term hippie as a pejorative term originally meaning "hip wannabes", to describe these poorly-dressed middle class youths.

The first use of the word hippie on US television was on WNBC TV Channel 4 in New York City at the opening of the New York World's Fair on April 22, 1964. Some young anti-Vietnam War protesters, wearing t-shirts, denim jeans and with long hair, staged a sit-in and were called hippies by NYPD officers and reporters. The police fought with and swung their batons at them to chase them off the escalators and they fought back and were arrested. Before that date, the type was generally referred to as beatnik.

September 5, 1965 marked the first San Francisco newspaper story where hippie appeared in print. Michael Fallon wrote an article about the Blue Unicorn coffeehouse entitled "A New Haven for Beatniks," and he used the term hippie to refer to younger bohemians. The name did not catch on in the mass media until almost two years later after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen began using the term hippies in his daily columns.

In his book Ringolevio, Emmet Grogan claims that shopkeepers operating out of the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco called themselves the Haight Independent Proprietors and coined the word "Hippy".



1967 I dropped out of graduate school for six months and drove cross-country to San Francisco. The song playing constantly on the car radio advised, "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair..." I didn't wear flowers, but I did become friendly with a group hippies who would camp out often by the banks of Mad River. I became intrigued by a girl in the group and would join them on weekends. All I know for certain about that year is that now I have fewer brain cells.
-- Tony Mendoza



I have old radio shows from 1958 Jean Shepherd (outta New York) where he continually refers to the 'Greenwich Village' scene as 'hippies.' He doesn't seem to use it as a negative or positive, just uses it.
-- Tom


I remember that in Burroughs' Junkie to get hip referred to hooking up with a Chinese opium dealer whose name was hip-somewhere in the midwest- and scoring; therefore getting hip (well with a shot of heroin, relieving that God-awful dope sick state.) That's according to the truly hip, Burroughs.

-- Chas

yas, Chas, you have put your finger on the origin of the word, hip. It came from those chinese opium smokers who would be lying on their hips -- on the hip -- smoking the long pipe, and Burroughs did point this out somewhere, sometime, in one of his writings.

-- kapnken


ZOOM@*%#! There went September. Stung by yellow jackets. Car blew a head gasket and toasted the tranny. First rain in 91 days brought leaks galore in the roof. School's back in session. Corn, beans, tomatos, potatoes, cucumbers come and gone. And seems all I'm doing is cranking out DVDs and CDs, at least that's all I see happening on this website, except for other people's activities, such as:

Hellodare Kaptin',

Just to inform you, that I have recently dedicated a private site within a Corvallis public park after Kesey.   Yes...you heard right.  Seven & a half
years ago, I planted a  3' 6 1/2 "  Douglas Fur tree in this area. It now has grown to over 12' high!   Anyway, their is an adjoining 10'x10' area that I had to dig my way through blackberry vines just to be able to comfortably seat a few friends I know.   So I call this little area...
The Kesey Tributary Digs.


Rightly so, I figure you would some day give me, as well as others & the park, the greatest honor, by being at this very site to give some sort of prankster dedication or benediction.  It is an area that would be used to
discuss Kesey, his life & writing, as well as the art of writing as a whole,
film, the beats, also...subjects such as philosophy, religion, music, or any other subject that comes to mind.   Whatayathink...is this not an interesting concept or what!?!!   


Very interesting. let's see if it can be furthered.


Quite sure it could be furthered.  Of course timing is
everything.  Anywho, here's what I've got so far.  {Bring your own folding chair & other liquid, &, or earthly delights for a short dedication.}  There
are two cedar stumps for seats in what I call - The Clement Tree
Memorial Dig.  Clement was my father's first name.  Have had the
tree with me since about 1983, & have watched it grow, & grow, & grow,
to its current height.  

Since I don't go to corvallis very often, I don't know when I'd be
there but you can do it without me, anytime, all the time.

I knew you would say that...& consequently have already had a little dedication today with one of my pranker friends-Tim.  I read from issue 1, of S.I.T.O.  Kesey's  "tranny-man,"  & definately felt his spirit
alive & well!   thanks for the encouragement to spread the
spirit of Kesey, pranksters, & beats...oh my!




I moved back to Corvallis about 16 yrs ago and one of the few disciplines I've retained over the years is that I still go for a jog almost daily and it always takes me through Avery Park, my favorite. There's a guy who's lived in the Park since I've been back, and, believe me, I mean 24/7 by 365. His house is a hollowed out cave in a giant blackberry bush that he's lined with hefty bags. I know it's true because I peeked in once. Anyway this guy has long fascinated me, giant red beard and striking blue eyes and he's not in the grip-of-the-grape, although he's got some serious conversations going on in his head. He'll make eye contact and often has a wry, knowing friendly smile and we usually exchange a "good morning', this is unusual in my experience with street folk.

Anyway, your story reminded me of an experience with this guy. Do you remember that giant wind storm of a couple of years ago? The big downdraft and a giant whoosh up the valley? Well, my morning run took me through Avery Park and WOW, 20 to 30 of the giant fir trees were blown down. I quickened my pace to see if this guy was all right, and sure enough, there he was cooking his breakfast amid all the debris, half the shelter flattened, but his blackberry house undamaged. Home sweet home. What a night he must have had with all those trees coming down around him. I waved and he waved and on I went. Maybe he hid out in the Kesey area.

-- Jack.