[from Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; chapter 27 "The Graduation"]
[The following event occurred in The Barn, a venue of sorts created by Leon Tabory in 1966, a subject much too complex to get into here. Ken Kesey, a fine writer in his own right, was an advocate of LSD and had gathered a group called the Pranksters to roam around on a bus and make music or whatever at various locations.]
About eighty of the local heads and hipfolk and jazz buffs, etc, in here listening to a jazz trio called The New Dimensions, Dave Molinari, Andrew Shushkoff, and a stocky little guy playing the bass. The little guy has on a sporty-type hat, wears it while he plays, his signature, you understand, and a pair of Cuban wrap-around sunglasses, although it is dark and appropriately nightclubby, except for some light projections, which makes it... psychedelic...ah ummmmmm...and he is kneading and slapping and flummoxing the bass like the dreamy days of Slam Stewart. The New Dimensions--now that's very funny, you know. Ken Keasey and the Merry Pranksters have to smile over that. Kesey and Pranksters are off to one side of the Barn waiting for their turn to go on, setting up their instruments, electric guitars and basses, Gretch's Hammond organ, Walker's drums, and the goddamnedest gleaming heaps of wires, dials, amplifiers, speakers, headsets, mikes--testing, testing--The New Dimensions...Yeah. The trio is like a throwback to the late 1940s and the early 1050s when jazz was, like, the final form, funky and so fine. Molinari--or is it Shushkoff?--goes into a hell of a riff--Oh Christ, remember?--on the piano, with his head dug down deep into the profound soul funky depths of this thing!. It's so...well, nostalgic...Scotts Valley troops into post-World-War-II hip America...
The Pranksters have their own speakers set up all over the barn and Babbs is trying to test the microphones, watching for the needle to jump over the dials...Babbs had on his Day-Glo spirit masks and it glows in the dark, also a Shazam shirt and pants of many stripes and colors and he blows into the microphones, then hums a bit and watches the needles, then keens a bit, then croons a bit, and that's nice, so he tries a little ululation, and that's nicer, and pretty soon he is keening and gooning along with the New Dimensions and his voice sailed through their sound like a stoned ghost on the airwaves. Kesey sits on a folding chair in the Control Center testing the headsets. Cassady has the Rattar, now painted an infinite number of colors and totally without strings. Doris Delay plays kindly aunt with the zonked-out little girl who's getting the picture...
The New Dimensions finish their set and they're mad as hello, of course. What...cube was doing that screaming bit, f'r chrissake...The three of them come stomping up to the likely suspects, the Pranksters, led by the stocky guy with the hat and sunglasses. He walks up to Babbs and says,
"Like, I mean, who's doing all that..."
"Doing what?" says Babbs.
"Like, later man, don't give me the doing-what bit. You know doing-what, man, I mean like--"
"Was somebody doing something?"
"Like, I mean, that's...later! You know! I mean, it...grates!"
"Oh, you mean that funny noise! I'd say feedback."
"Yeah! Yeah! Right! Right! Right!" Just a parlor sport, this is...fella could do it with his left hand. The little guy is furious. He tried to find the words to express his utter loathing.
"Like, man, this fuck-up bit on somebody else's set--it's SO--SQUARE!"
There! he said it! the worst insult he knows! Next, the fire next time--Kesey steps in as the peacemaker. "He wasn't working against you--he was trying to play with you."
The little guy stares at Kesey but doesn't say anything. He just screams it again in to the void: "Like, it's so--SQUARE!"
"Yeah! Yeah! Right! Right! Right!" says Babbs. "And there's the guy who did it!" and he points at Cool Breeze, who is sitting at a little table with a candle on it, hunched over a piece of paper, doing some kind of meth-like drawing. "There he goes!" says Cassady, picking up on the thing. "Takes a phantom heart to catch a Cool Breeze, you understand--" and so forth and so one, a shuck, in a word, never trust a Prankster...And the New Dimensions walk off, disgusted...
They refuse to play any more and start packing up their instruments, which leaves Tabory, the Barn's manager, in a bind. He can't figure out who the hell to alienate. Kesey is a giant...on the other hand, the New Dimensions can play...But too late for all that. The New Dimensions stomp out, thumbing their noses at the whole scene.
[The Pranksters do their thing] Well...the kids start leaving...what the hell...
[The Pranksters continue doing their thing, which is often nothing at all]
But the slump and the slough are total...The kids all going in droves now...Just the Pranksters left. An atmosphere of total tedium...It's...all..too...much...for mortal--
Even Pranksters drifting off...leaving the main floor, going downstairs...