Outrageous Kesey and Kerouac Pieces Among Items Sold at Beat Book Auction

April 10, 2014

I went to a Beat, Counterculture and Avant-Garde Book and Ephemera Auction in downtown San Francisco today. A noted collector, Richard Synchef, was selling off his stash of cool signed Beat and psychedelic books and oddities. 

Beats, Counter-Culture and the Avant-Garde Auction

Amidst the walls of City Lights books signed by Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima and the angel-headed hipsters of the North Beach scene, there were also Psychedelic and Hippie tomes.

One, Lisa Law's "Flashing On The 60s", contained this pic, on a page signed by author and counterculture icon Ken Kesey:

Kesey Ponders Fucking Dog In Signed Flashing On The 60s
("Hmmmmm... If I play my cards right, I can fuck her and the dog both...")

The book sold for $108. I didn't bid on it, but, I must admit, mostly because I didn't see the Kesey inscription until AFTER the bidding on that item had ended. 

There were other items of interest, too, but mostly the experience was fun just to see a room full of bookshelves that look a lot like mine:

Beat Psychedelic Books, Kesey, Wavy Gravy, Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse,

My friend came away with a rare vinyl bootleg of one of the Acid Tests and a signed copy of Timothy Leary's "The Game of Life." 
Jerry Garcia Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Vinyl LP
Other noteworthy items that we did not bid on included a Check to Nunzie's Liquors from Jack Kerouac that sold for $570 and a copy of Dharma Bums - signed by "Japhy Ryder" that fetched $120. 
Jack Kerouac Check to Liquor Store

The auctioneers handled the day with grace, even as they laughed aloud reading Lot #89 Horseshit: The Offensive Review - Nos. 1 - 4 or closed off bids with statements like "$100 for The Hippies." 

It would have been a fun day to bring in a wheel-barrow full of money and walk out with a great Beat library, but, as a former student of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in the '90s, I've already got a great Beat library living in my storage unit on the East Coast. Today I refrained from obtaining a second one for the West Coast. 


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