Riffs 2001
Published November 12, 2001
Further Than Further
Ken Kesey 1935 - 2001

My beloved Cats and Kitties the Main Day Swingin' Prankster, the Cat In The Hat Who Knew Where It's At, The Stud Who Wrestled Words Into Way-On-Out-There Surrender has swooped the scene. Ken Kesey, masterful author, theatre provocateur, Avatar of True Hipness, Navigator and Keeper of the Keys of the bus that went Further, died November 10, 2001 following surgery for liver cancer. He was 66.

Ken Kesey was a keen fan of Lord Buckley reportedly once saying "Lord Buckley is a secret thing passed under the table."

As an undergraduate at Stanford University, Kesey knew Buckley material well enough to recite pieces by heart. He also produced a wild version of Buckley Nero, calling it "Status Quo Vatus". It included a sports car as the chariot. It was ejected for a school theatre competition based on complaints that Kesey's approach was sacriligious.

His dear friend and fellow prankster Ken Babbs wrote:

"Kesey's belly was hurting and the docs did a scan and found a black spot on his liver. It was cancerous but encapsulated which meant there was no cancer anywhere else. They decided to cut it out and the surgery went okay. He had sixty percent of his liver left to carry the load but in one of those dirty tricks the body can play on you everything else went to hell and this morning at 3:45 AM his heart stopped beating.

A great good friend and great husband and father and grand dad, he will be sorely missed but if there is one thing he would want us to do it would be to carry on his life's work. Namely to treat others with kindness and if anyone does you dirt forgive that person right away. This goes beyond the art, the writing, the performances, even the bus. Right down to the bone."

Kesey and His Lordship sprinkled love on all they encountered. Blessed be the hipsters where ever they wander !