We wish you a merry Pranks Day with a surprise Deadcast about the first known live Grateful Dead tape, from 1966, and reveal what happens when you try to shut down an Acid Test, featuring Merry Pranksters Ken Babbs and Denise Kaufman, with additional storytelling by Jerry Garcia.
Hug The Heat, or the Story of the First Dead Tape supplementary notes
by Jesse Jarnow
poster by Wes Wilson
The first known Grateful Dead tape--recorded January 8th, 1966 at the Fillmore Auditorium--exists by the righteous forethought of Merry Prankster Ken Babbs, which makes him the first known Grateful Dead taper. (Thanks, Ken!) He continues to tend the flame with regular updates at the Sky Pilot Club,
A chapter of Cronies, his yet-unpublished memoir, is available as a chapbook (under the Buy Now button). Tsunami Books in Eugene will soon be republishing The Cassady Issue, the sixth volume of Spit in the Ocean, the small press literary zine published by Kens Kesey and Babbs and the Intrepid Trips Information Service from the mid-’70s to the early ‘80s.
Denise Kaufman, the Merry Prankster known as Mary Microgram, would co-found Ace of Cups, the psychedelic scene’s first all female band. Though they never released an album during their original time as a band, between 1967 and 1972, recordings were gathered on the 2002 release, It’s Bad For You, But Buy It! and the band themselves reformed in 2011. Since then, they’ve toured and released two excellent albums on High Moon--Ace of Cups and Sing Your Dreams--with guest appearances by Bob Weir, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, David Freiberg, and many more names familiar to Dead fans. Corry Arnold created a fantastic three-part performance chronology of the band, beginning here.
This episode of the Deadcast ends with the Ace of Cups performing “Gemini,” a song Denise Kaufman would sing by herself near the end of Acid Tests.
What a treasure, a box of delights, a beautiful time capsule. I was transported. Thanks and thanks again :)