Tag Archives: Acid Test

January 15 Music et al

January 15 Music et al

Motown Records


January 15, 1961: Motown Records signed The Supremes. Their first release will be “I Want A Guy.” (see Motown Records Begins)



see Los Angeles Whisky a Go Go for more

1960s January 15 Music


January 15, 1964: the Los Angeles Whiskey a Go Go opened. The club’s opening night featured Johnny Rivers as the headlining act. The club quickly became famous for its music (rock ‘n’ roll), dancing (the patrons on the floor and the go-go dancers inside elevated glass cages) and the Hollywood celebrities it attracted.


The Whisky played an important role in many musical careers, especially for bands based in southern California. The Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield, Smokestack Lightning, and Love were regulars, and The Doors were the house band for a while – until the debut of the “Oedipal section” of “The End” got them fired. (see Whisky a Go Go for more) (see August 13, 1965)

Acid Test

1960s January 15 Music


January 15, 1966: Portland, Oregon Acid Test. From Searching for the Sound – Phil Lesh (pages 72-73) “There was one more out-of-town tryout for us, the Beaver Hall Test in Portland. The Test itself has receded into the mists of antiquity, except for the vague memory of playing in an upstairs warehouse with concrete pillars everywhere and bare lath and wiring on the walls. What mattered about the Portland Acid Test was the journey toward it.


It began as our first trip together on Further, Kesey’s fabled bus. Bobby and I had day-tripped on the bus to see the Beatles at the Cow Palace earlier that year, but for the majority of the band it was a first. Leaving Palo Alto as early as possible, by midafternoon or so, we were halfway up the Central Valley bound for Shasta and points north, and then: Catastrophe! The bus breaks down! Never let it be said that the show did not go on! What to do?


We rent a U-Haul truck; we strip the bus and cram all of us — the band, the Pranksters — and everything else into the truck. I jump into the shotgun seat up front, and we cruise off into the darkening storm of the worst blizzard in years: over the Siskiyou Mountains in the dead of night. Neal pressing ever onward, the rhythm of the falling snow sweeping through the headlights, sliding in and out of synch with the music piped into the cockpit by means of our patented two-way distort-o-phonic communication system, set up so that those in the back could also hear Neal’s multiple personalities conversing with one another. If ever the magic of the open road was distilled into a single experience, it was, for me, that night sitting next to Neal, hurtling into the dazzling play of light and shade on the whirling snow with his voice turning every sentence into a poem, all sensory input synched up (or sometimes not, and that’s good too) with the rhythm of the wipers and whatever music happened to randomly penetrate our awareness.


Upon our return from Portland, all the scuttlebutt was ablaze with the plans for the “Big One”; the Trips Festival, to take place in San Francisco’s Longshoreman’s Hall.”  (see Jan 17)  

1960s January 15 Music


And from Owsley “Bear” Stanley: Portland acid test was either on Dec 18 ’65, or Jan 15 ’66. There were two which I didn’t go to after my “initiation” at the Dec 11 Muir Beach event, one was in Palo Alto and the other one was in Portland. There were two before that also. Only one other one did I miss, the first one in LA in late Feb in Northridge. So I missed a total of five of the AT’s. The Dead were always the centerpiece of the Acid tests, the real reason for its existence, and it could not have taken place without them. The band at the time rated their participation above any other activity in importance.

The Rolling Stones

1960s January 15 Music


January 15, 1967: The Rolling Stones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. At Ed Sullivan’s request, the band changed the lyrics of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Let’s spend some time together.” (more from ultimateclassicrock site)

Notorious Byrd Brothers


January 15, 1968: Byrds released Notorious Byrd Brothers album. 


Richie Unterberger from AllMusic dot com writes: The recording sessions for the Byrds’ fifth album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, were conducted in the midst of internal turmoil that found them reduced to a duo by the time the record was completed. That wasn’t evident from listening to the results, which showed the group continuing to expand the parameters of their eclecticism while retaining their hallmark guitar jangle and harmonies. With assistance from producer Gary Usher, they took more chances in the studio, enhancing the spacy quality of tracks like “Natural Harmony” and Goffin & King’s “Wasn’t Born to Follow” with electronic phasing. Washes of Moog synthesizer formed the eerie backdrop for “Space Odyssey,” and the songs were craftily and unobtrusively linked with segues and fades. But the Byrds did not bury the essential strengths of their tunes in effects: “Goin’ Back” (also written by Goffin & King) was a magnificent and melodic cover with the expected tasteful 12-string guitar runs that should have been a big hit. “Tribal Gathering” has some of the band’s most effervescent harmonies; “Draft Morning” is a subtle and effective reflection of the horrors of the Vietnam War; and “Old John Robertson” looks forward to the country-rock that would soon dominate their repertoire.


January 15 Music et al



January 15, 1969: with George Harrison still not with the band, all four Beatles met to discuss their future, Harrison was in a commanding position, following a series of dismal sessions at Twickenham Film Studios, and was able to set down his terms for returning to the group. During the five-hour meeting he made it clear that he would leave the group unless the idea of a live show before an audience was dropped. (see Jan 30)

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Los Angeles Acid Test

Los Angeles Acid Test

February 25, 1966

Los Angeles Acid Test
newspaper advertisement for the LA Acid Test

Today marks the anniversary of the Los Angeles Acid Test held at the Cinema Theatre. This event was not the first one.  That had happened on November 27, 1965 at Merry Prankster Ken Babb’s place. There had been others between and  several more would follow until the “acid test graduation” in October.


Of course, the Prankster’s 1964 cross-country bus trip could be described as an acid test on wheels and some evidence exists that the graduation in October was not actually the last.


According to (the now defunct) lysergic.com At least one final act of Pranksterism remained however, as material recently come to light details the proceedings of an Acid Test at Rice University in Houston, Texas as late as March 1967. This event took place during a hiatus in Kesey’s legal affairs, and allowed him and the full band of Pranksters to load up their “Further” bus for a journey along the same route as the one famously undertaken in 1964. The Rice University Acid Test may well have been the last one ever staged, and it has to my knowledge never been described before. To understand the significance of this final Prank, a bit of background may be necessary”

Back to LA.

Los Angeles Acid Test


While the idea of recording events part of the Pranksters’ style (filming for example), the notion of an historically accurate portrait was not. The music, the sounds, the lighting, the people were all part of whatever happened. The present counted.


It is understandable, then, that little is known about this particular acid test.


We do know that the Grateful Dead played. These tests were where the Dead learned to spread their wings both as performers and musicians. You can click on the link below to hear this one, but as thorough as the Dead and Deadheads are about the particulars of each show, such information about this one is lacking. In fact, the Internet Archive site has the qualifying notation: reportedly this date, plus other ’66. 


The recording is magnificent and one wonders whether the atmosphere at an acid test would be conducive to such quality.


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