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Tom Wolfe. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Art Edition No. 1–100, Lawrence Schiller ‘Me and My Shadow’

Edition of 100
Fiber-based gelatin silver print, 8.6 x 11.8 in. on 9 x 13 in. paper; hardcover volume in a slipcase, letterpress-printed text, two different paper stocks, and tip-ins, 9.4 x 13.4 in., 356 pages
US$ 950
New price December 01, 2021: US$ 2,500
Save US$ 1,550
Edition: English
Availability: In Stock
Hop on board Ken Kesey’s bus and join the Merry Pranksters in their hallucinogenic ride through America. In this Art Edition of ’60s psychedelia, Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is published in letterpress alongside manuscript pages, ephemera, photographs from Ted Streshinsky and Lawrence Schiller, and the signed print, Me and My Shadow, 1966, an iconic image of the LSD scene.

Art Edition (No. 1–100), signed by Tom Wolfe, with the numbered print Me and My Shadow (1966), signed by Lawrence Schiller

Freaking Freely

An Art Edition of ’60s psychedelia
In 1964, famed writer Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters set off across America on a “Transcontinental Bus Tour,” headed for the New York World’s Fair. Kesey’s journey, in the company of his Merry Pranksters, lies at the heart of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, an as-if-first-hand account of the group’s antics and ethos by Tom Wolfe, wunderkind of the New Journalism movement.

This Art Edition presents Wolfe’s era-defining text in letterpress, along with facsimile reproductions of his manuscript pages, ephemera of the period, and photographs of the acid scene by Lawrence Schiller and Ted Streshinsky. The accompanying print, Me and My Shadow, by Lawrence Schiller, was photographed at the Hollywood Acid Test on February 25, 1966.

As the first photojournalist to capture the acid scene from the inside, Schiller began with a single contact in Berkeley, California, and built a large network of young, receptive subjects who allowed him to document their experiences with LSD starting in late 1965. At first, he was a fly on the wall as groups of friends tripped in the privacy of their homes. By early 1966 he had met the Merry Pranksters and was invited to the Acid Test in Hollywood.

During the Test, Kool-Aid laced with a heavy dose of LSD was served up from an industrial-sized pot. Participants turned on the Grateful Dead’s music and tuned in to the burgeoning psychedelic scene. Schiller’s image of a tripster “freaking freely” with his own shadow—long believed to be Neal Cassady—appeared in Life magazine in March 1966 in a photo essay which served to introduce the nation to the sweeping new LSD epidemic. For Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne (who selected this photo for the cover of The Soft Bulletin) “the photo represents a person going into the unknown—the unknown within themselves.”

Marking the year of original publication, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is limited to 1,968 signed copies.

This Art Edition is signed by Tom Wolfe and limited to 100 copies (No. 1–100), each with the print Me and My Shadow (1966), signed by Lawrence Schiller.

Also available as a second Art Edition (No. 101–200) with an alternative signed print, and as a signed Collector’s Edition (No. 201–1,968).
The author

Tom Wolfe (1931–2018) is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, and I Am Charlotte Simmons.

The photographers

Lawrence Schiller began his career as a photojournalist for Life, Time, and Paris Match, photographing some of the most iconic figures of the 1960s, from Marilyn Monroe to Barbra Streisand, from Ali and Patterson to Redford and Newman. His book projects include five New York Times best sellers, Marilyn & Me, Barbra, and the Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Executioner’s Song, by Norman Mailer. He has directed or produced 20 motion pictures, including the documentaries The American Dreamer and the Oscar–winning The Man Who Skied Down Everest. Among his films for television, The Executioner’s Song and Peter the Great won five Emmys.

Ted Streshinsky (1923–2003) was a photojournalist best known for his coverage of the social and political turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s in California, from migrant worker strikes to antiwar protests. His wide-ranging portrayal of the counterculture in San Francisco included the hippies, and Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters on the high-voltage night of the Acid Test Graduation.

Tom Wolfe. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Art Edition No. 1–100, Lawrence Schiller ‘Me and My Shadow’
Edition of 100
Fiber-based gelatin silver print, 8.6 x 11.8 in. on 9 x 13 in. paper; hardcover volume in a slipcase, letterpress-printed text, two different paper stocks, and tip-ins, 9.4 x 13.4 in., 356 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-5212-7
Edition: English
Tom Wolfe. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Art Edition No. 1–100, Lawrence Schiller ‘Me and My Shadow’ (Limited Edition)
Tom Wolfe.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Art Edition No. 1–100, Lawrence Schiller ‘Me and My Shadow’
Edition of 100
US$ 950
New price December 01, 2021: US$ 2,500
Save US$ 1,550
Tom Wolfe. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Art Edition No. 1–100, Lawrence Schiller ‘Me and My Shadow’ (Limited Edition)