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Senior Member
Username: 57basstra

Post Number: 813
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 2:17 pm:   Edit Post

Forgive if this is redundant or well known Alembic lore.

This morning before heading to church (I played a hymn on my Rainsong 12 string...but I digress) ....I watched a segment of Histories Mysteries

Featured artifact to be found and discussed was the "Further" bus owned and used by the Merry Pranksters.

Question: Is this where the Alembic guitar model "Further" got its name? Below is a bit from Wiki (and pic). Seems like the Dead mentioned the bus in one of their tunes.

"Furthur was a 1939 International Harvester school bus purchased by author Ken Kesey in 1964, for $1,500 from Andre Hobson in Atherton, California. The bus was stripped down and remodeled inside and out for a psychedelic excursion across the country with Kesey and his Merry Pranksters on board. The destination sign on the bus was painted to read "Further." When Kesey went to Mexico to avoid drug charges, the Pranksters took the bus down to see him, re-painting the manifest to read "Furthur" in a deliberately meek attempt at disguise. This latter spelling is the origin of the popularly misspelled name.

Beat legend Neal Cassady was the driver of the famous bus on its original trip to New York for the opening of Kesey's new book, Sometimes a Great Notion. The trip was filmed by the Merry Pranksters. Other Furthur trips included an anti-Vietnam war rally in 1966 and Woodstock (without Kesey). More can be read about the adventures of the Merry Pranksters on Furthur in Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.

The Smithsonian Institution sought to acquire the bus, but Kesey refused to give or sell it to them. In true form, Kesey attempted to prank the venerable Smithsonian by passing off a phony bus. They didn't fall for it.

Ken Kesey parked the bus in a swamp on his farm in 1990 when he acquired a new bus.

In November 2005, Furthur was pulled out of the swamp by Zane Kesey and a group of the original Merry Pranksters with the intent of restoring it. The estimate was around $100,000 would be needed to fix the badly rusted body, re-do the interior, restore the flooded drivetrain, and repaint the famous exterior. However according to key-z.com, Zane Kesey's site, the project is stalled and looking for a new group of volunteers to take it over." Wikipedia

(Message edited by 57basstra on March 01, 2009)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 7667
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 2:50 pm:   Edit Post

I'm fairly certain the answer is yes.
Username: jedisan

Post Number: 47
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 5:24 pm:   Edit Post

I gotta' say, could you even imagine what it might have been like to travel on this bus at that time?
Advanced Member
Username: crobbins

Post Number: 234
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 6:35 pm:   Edit Post

Cowboy Neil at the Wheel..NC
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3577
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 6:50 am:   Edit Post

... of a bus to never ever land.
Advanced Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 368
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 10:11 am:   Edit Post

Cool Bus

I wonder what stories it would tell....
Username: staemius

Post Number: 89
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 10:23 am:   Edit Post

You're either on the bus or you're off the bus...

I was fortunate to meet Ken Kesey in the early '90's. That bus is a wonderful piece of history - hope it can be fully restored!

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