Become a Merry Prankster, JOIN us on the Furthur Bus "trip" across the USA to relive, revive and film the spark that birthed the 60's. Read more
This project was successfully funded on May 28, 2014.
About this project
When did the 1960's Psychedelic era start? Many argue that it started on June 17, 1964 when the first psychedelic bus rolled across this country. Ken Kesey and the Merry Band of Pranksters, bankrolled with funds from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, acquired professional film and audio equipment, a school bus, colorful striped shirts, and loads of paint. They splashed the paint across the bus named Furthur (or Further), strapped speakers on the top, and convinced beatnik hero Neal Cassady to drive Furthur and the Pranksters east.
The Pranksters filmed the entire trip, with America as the backdrop creating a new type of art-film "in the now." After this infamous trip, word spread about wild "happenings" occurring wherever these bus trip films were shown. Eventually these parties grew to include liquid light shows, sound effects, and special Kool-Aid punch. A then-unknown band called The Grateful Dead would play between film reels.
The psychedelic concert scene we know today arose directly from this fantastic voyage 50 years ago. The trip and Furthur were immortalized in song (“Magic Bus” by The Who, “The Other One” by the Grateful Dead) and in literature (Tom Wolfe's bestseller, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test).
It was 45 years before Magic Trip was released in theaters so those who weren’t lucky enough to watch the films at Acid Tests in the 1960s could witness Furthur's historic journey, which changed the face of modern society. Click here to watch Magic Trip promo on YouTube.
This will be the first of many 50th anniversary events celebrating that loud and colorful decade. Zane Kesey (Ken's son) and various Merry Pranksters are hoping to get Ken's 1947 bus Furthur ready to attempt this grand trek once more and take Furthur, well, further.
WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US as we spread that 60s-era love across the country. We aim to celebrate the innocent, spontaneous times of the 1964 bus trip and to capture each of these glorious moments as we see that spark that still exists in the eyes of America.
We expect a huge turnout in 2014 as we, with your financial help, show up in full Prankster style in various cities, parties, and the vibrant festival scene.
To which towns, cities, parties and festivals we will be able to bring the Bus and the Pranksters is entirely contingent on your generosity. The trip could be a few short weeks, or a few months, covering countless miles and many parties: it all depends on your contributions.
The more we raise over our target, the longer Furthur and the the Pranksters will be able to be on the road and recording the fun at every stop!
We plan on casting some of you as extras (selected from the resumes of the $200 donors) to join us on this merry escapade for the video documentary of this trip. Extras will become Merry Pranksters and join us on the bus for certain portions of the trip.
Happeners on the bus are likely to include original Pranksters, 60's luminaries, musicians of today and yesteryear, and special surprise guests. (Yes, many big names have expressed interest in joining us.)
Keep in mind the bus serves as a rolling recording studio with live FM broadcasting...and magic happens! We look forward to those unpredictable and fun surprises that the highways can bring while we keep those cameras rolling. We hope that the good cheer fostered by the sight of Furthur and crew "on the road again" will re-ignite the same passions in people as did that famous voyage in 1964.
With your help, we will create a lasting multi-media journal of Furthur's epic trip.
Sincerely, Zane Kesey and the Merry Pranksters
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we see is the sheer silliness of driving a 67-year-old school bus across the country. Though in fine operational shape at the moment, Furthur could blow a transmission in the Rockies, grenade an engine in the Plains, or hit a moose in upstate Maine. Through Facebook, Twitter and other social media, we have taken the precaution of lining up mechanical parts that could be necessary during the 8500-mile journey, even with our stated confidence in Furthur making the trip without incident.
The compilation of all the video streams will fall to our in-bus IT person, who will also have the herculean task of keeping fans updated as to our progress, location, next event, town, and gas stop: a job fraught with its own difficulties and challenges. And finding an IT person who is ready and willing to work from a bouncing mobile "office" populated by a bunch of zany Pranksters will be its own challenge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Pledge $5 or more
Zane Kesey and the Pranksters will send you a thank-you email for helping make the 50th Anniversary trip come to life.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or more
Only available for $20 donations: the Merry Pranksters While on camera, will call you from the road on Furthur to thank you for your support.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
Zane Kesey and the Merry Pranksters will email you a thank you and send you two official 50th Anniversary Furthur Bus Trip stickers.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $100 or more
Zane Kesey and the Merry Pranksters will email you a thank you and send you two official 50th Anniversary Furthur Bus Trip stickers, plus a signed sheet of commemorative 50th Anniversary blotter art, suitable for framing.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $105 or more
24 backers Limited (25 left of 49)
The "Black Peter" special... Fever roll up to 105.... and at a $105, You get the 50th anniversary sticker and the special offer (a donation for the Furthur Bus from someone who is truly on the Bus; Joshua) you will also receive the hottest selling vapepen on the market right now, an $80 value. This is a stand alone reward, and does NOT carry forward to the higher levels of donation, that have their own rewards! So while you may have signed on for the golden ticket , or the higher rewards, which carry with them their own rewards....This is just an offer at this level and this level only; And through the good graces of our friend Joshua A!Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $150 or more
Zane Kesey and the Merry Pranksters will email you a thank you and send you two official 50th Anniversary Furthur Bus Trip stickers, a signed sheet of commemorative 50th Anniversary blotter art, plus a 18" x 27" Furthur Bus poster by Gregory Mroz signed by Zane Kesey, Derek Stevens and any other Pranksters handy and even signed by the bus herself (tire prints and paint!).Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $200 or more
At the $200 dollar donation level, you are invited to send us your resume to be considered for a role in the mayhem as a Merry Prankster, and if selected, ride with us on Furthur for a certain portion of the trip as part of the Furthur Crew! We will send an email to all $200 donors with information on how best to apply and what kind of Pranksters we need! All resume photos submitted will be included on a piece of original Prankster art brought with us on the trip for everyone to see!
Remember, the more we raise over our goal, the FURTHUR we go and the more chances for you to ride. All $200 pledgers will also receive items listed for $150 and a laminate saying they are a Merry Prankster and "On The Bus"! This may get you a ride when we are in your town!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $400 or more
Like reward #6, but you and your partner get to submit resumes in tandem for two seats for certain legs of the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
All the previous rewards and possibilities, plus a hand dipped Die-cast Furthur Bus model by Zane Kesey.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $1,500 or more
6 backers Limited (3 left of 9)
All that has been previously mentioned, with the addition of a 23"x17" Ken Kesey hand-signed Acid Test poster suitable for framing and big bragging rights.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
- (30 days)