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Monday, 11 February 2019 23:18

On the Lighter Side: Psychedelic Celebrity Cars of the 1960s

Written by Ian Harvey, The Vintage News
Janis Joplin's Porsche Janis Joplin's Porsche Sam Howzit CC BY 2.0



According to the bus was painted in a psychedelic theme by Roy Sebern who painted the word “Furthur” on the front, and the bus was known by that name from then on. (Yes, it’s Furthur, not Further.)


The trip was an LSD fueled party, stopping in Phoenix to display a banner that read, “A VOTE FOR BARRY IS A VOTE FOR FUN!” as they drove past conservative Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign headquarters.


In Houston, they stopped to visit the zoo, and they generally took advantage of being able to see the country as they drove east. The tour was filmed with the intention of making a movie, but the final edit by Kesey was never released.


Author Tom Wolfe used the films to write a book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, about the journey. The last trip the bus made was to the Woodstock Music Festival in New York in 1969.


After Woodstock, the bus sat on Kesey’s property in Oregon. In 1990, Kesey outfitted a new Furthur bus, a 1947 International, to coincide with publication of The Furthur Inquiry, a photographic memoir of their escapades.


He also retraced the route, calling it the “Grandfurthur Tour,” to bring his new bus to Cleveland in 1997 for the “I Want to Take You Higher: The Psychedelic Era 1965-69” exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.


Kesey died in 2001 due to complications arising from surgery to remove a tumor. Restoration of the original bus was funded through a kickstarter campaign and in 2014 a fresh team of Merry Pranksters made the Furthur 50th Anniversary Trip.


It’s fairly safe to say that John Lennon had the most luxurious of the cars with psychedelic paint. In 1964, Lennon bought a Rolls Royce Phantom V. It was originally all black except for the radiator and it had every possible extra that Rolls Royce offered.


There was refrigerated storage in the trunk for keeping beverages cold to use at the cocktail cabinet while watching a portable television. Lennon’s Phantom was one of the few vehicles at that time to have tinted windows which, according to Rolling Stone, made the ride home from a party that went past dawn a bit easier.