The Time Room
It's about time... then and now!
It's not just about time, it's also about Space. Very Quantum.
-- Ken Babbs
Being the conceptual hallucinatory master that he is, Kesey conjured the Time Room as a way to fill the large room deeded to Him and The Merry Pranksters at the Enit Festival in San Francisco with Jane's Addiction in the fall of 1997.
Always willing and capable of taking an experience Further... Kesey and The Merry Pranksters presented the Time Room again at the Eugene Hilton for New Year's 1997/1998.
Dig the following...
THE TIME ROOM is where we roamed through facts and fantasies past present and future, utilizing voices, instruments, audio and media effects with smatterings of light shows, slides and 16 MM movies. We DID this in a big room at the Eugene Hilton. Two bands played in the main room, one of which was The SATIN LOVE ORCHESTRA and the other is JOHN SWAN'S REVELATORS. At midnight the whole shooting match went off as one as the Pranksters joined the bands on the main stage to do a Gong Bong count down to the New Year followed by the hallowed lyrics, "Should Auld Acquaintance be forgot..."
New Year's Eve
story and photos by "j. tayloe emery"
Driving down from Seattle, I realized we are entering the year of our Lord 1998. Kesey and the Pranksters were assembled,the grand bus Further was parked out in front of the hotel.
"Rockstar parking" I heard a tuxedoed tattoo artist say while passing by the day-glo streaked bus.
"That's Ken Kesey's bus!" his short friend retorted loudly. "He was a wrestler!"
Ken Kesey was born to wrestle alligators, anacondas, 300 pound squids, a million different minds. Tonight Kesey had assembled his gang and brought out all the tricks from his gladbag. There were great hanging tapestries of day-glo painted foils, lights swirling in a thousand different directions, bubbles flowing across the walls, and a melange of video and slides adorned the projection screens.
I wandered up to the stage to find Babbs hunched over a mouth harp and blowing his song We were still early and the time was but 9:00 pm. "Babbs," I say. "What's up? What time are you guys going to get going?" "I've already started," he says looking up at me. He goes back to blowing his harp for awhile, then picks up his trombone. .
The arrangement of the evening was a spectacle. As Kesey and his troops took over one ballroom, another assortment of people dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns arranged themselves in the opposite ballroom and made polite conversation with each other,admiring each others jewelry and wondering aloud, "just what the hell is going on in that other room?"
Surrounding Kesey were his closest pranksters and co-horts,and all of them were attached to each other through a delicate and intricate maze of cables and microphones and head sets and video cameras that cast their images in great size for those in the back.
"Time is now!" yells Kesey.
At one point I'm sitting on the floor and two drunk men wander in behind us. "What kind of music is this?"
A few well timed musical interludes saw Babbs leading the masses in a rhythm fusion parade honking away on his trombone, everyone moving and smiling and dizzy with time depletion. We were the music! There were bottle drummers, castanet shakers, bongo players and dancing, and it was joyous. For the clock ticked on.
Around midnight, Kesey gathered up the crew and made a movement to the other ballroom for the countdown. Rob and I decided this was the perfect moment for a rest in the bubble room and made for the sofas. "We need ice," I said after only a minute of rest. My glass of bourbon had run dry.
It was then that I saw the giant. A giant puppet of rasta and old troll was hovering above the pent-up crowd and it had a calming effect on me.
Kesey and his tribe were making their way back into the day-glo room. Kesey began to speak and we assembled around him. He began to read the I-Ching. Don't these guys ever wear down?
At the end of the night I sat outside the hotel and watched everyone coming out. The bus shown brightly under the lights, and there were many admirers. A few dissenters. I shuffled back to my car around 4 am and crawled inside and died. The New Year was upon me like a load of wet bricks. Welcome 1998!
Dear Ken Kesey,
Thank you for New Years Eve! I relate entirely to the multimedia work. I respect the art of it and the spirit of it.
I crave to plug my headphones into the mixer and hear what you guys hear. Is it about the same as what goes out over the PA? (Ed. note: yes, it is the same.) Of course the situation on New Years was not a terribly focused one-- you guys did some great work/play and I entirely relate to the concept of Further as do my companions of the evening-- actors and artists all-- we had some lovely post-party conversations based in some part on our experience with what you fools worked so hard to share with us.
All the best to you and I want you to have a nice pie.
Stay tuned for more adventures from the Time Room in the Future!
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