A Pig Pen-owned 'Can You Pass the Acid Test' telephone pole poster, January 22, 1966 (?)
Lot 17
A Ron "Pig Pen" McKernan 'Can You Pass the Acid Test' poster, January 22, 1966
Sold for US$ 30,000 inc. premium
Auction Details
A Pig Pen-owned 'Can You Pass the Acid Test' telephone pole poster, January 22, 1966 (?) A Pig Pen-owned 'Can You Pass the Acid Test' telephone pole poster, January 22, 1966 (?)
Lot Details
A Ron "Pig Pen" McKernan 'Can You Pass the Acid Test' poster, January 22, 1966
Printed in black ink on two pieces of light blue paper that were then glued together (per the instructions on the poster itself) to make one very long panel (so it could be posted to a telephone pole), the piece is designed in four sections, though the sections blend together with continuous graphic imagery and 'wavy' text; first section asks the notorious question "Can You Pass the Acid Test?;" second section reads "The happeners are likely to include;" the third section reads "Allen Ginsberg, The Fugs, The Merry Pranksters, Neal Cassady, The Grateful Dead, Roy's Audioptics;" and the fourth section reads in part "This Saturday Night / Bring your own comfort / Where it's at:" though no address or date is noted. This particular piece was Pig Pen's own copy that he had taped to his bedroom wall. (Please note there are Scotch tape residue marks on the corners and sides, the paper has yellowed due to age, and there are three fold marks at the sections.) Also included is Pig Pen's own program from this two-day event with the cover designed by famed Bay Area artist, Bruce Conner; on page 3 it notes "The Acid Test at 10:00" with participants including "The Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and The Merry Pranksters" with the event being "produced in association with Bill Graham."
Flyer: 43 1/2 x 8 1/2in; Program: 7 x 7in

Footnotes

  • Because of the thin paper stock they were printed on and because they were posted outdoors and had to contend with Bay Area rain and wind, most of these 'Can You Pass the Acid Test' posters did not survive. Thankfully, Pig Pen kept his indoors so it remains in relatively decent condition.
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