The Tin Whistle

counterculture history and conspiracy theory

Remembering Bobby Faust

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bobbyfaustI’ve met many magic characters in my time, but Bobby Faust and Chef Ra really stand out as the two of the most powerful bodhisattvas I’ve known.

Apparently, Bobby descended into gloom a few years ago after being confined to a wheel chair, but a new pain management specialist lifted his spirits a month ago, and suddenly, he was his old self and contacting people and posting his favorite personal photos on facebook. He posted my Whee utility belt from Whee! 2, and I sent him a link to my latest ebook. The next day he messaged to say he was “blown away” by this manifesto on Bitcoin, and I could tell Bobby was knee-deep in the Bitcoin Revolution and ready to invest. Bobby and I had parted ways on his Y2K apocalypse theory many years ago, when I advised him: “The apocaplyse is always greatly exaggerated.”

Bobby was one of the greatest story tellers I’ve known, and his favorite story involved a trip to Levon Helm’s estate in Woodstock (the same place I went to buy my home). Until he passed away two years ago, Levon was the central spirit of that famous town—Jerry Garcia of the Catskills. One day, Bobby went to visit Levon and discovered him playing basketball with Joe Walsh and Keith Richards. Upon seeing Bobby arriving, Lee tossed him the ball and said, “Show ’em what you got, Bobby.” Now Bobby was never very good at basketball. In fact, it was his worst sport. But that day Bobby summoned up all this chi, and swished five baskets in a row. In fact, he made seven out of ten before Lee let him take a break. And you know what? That’s the last time Bobby ever touched a basketball.

There were several hilarious stories like that one being shared yesterday, many involved his dog Boogie, or his frequent disarming of police and/or firemen, or taking heroic amounts of psychedelics, but one story I neglected to share that I treasure involved Ken Kesey and Mountain Girl.

Bobby was my right hand at the Whee! 2, my eyes and ears at Mission Control as 6/22 and I patrolled the campground independently. After the festival, the Temple Dragons were invited by Kesey and Mountain Girl to visit Mountain Girl’s house—provided we didn’t shoot any video. (I was a bit video crazy during the Whee phase because I wanted to document the ceremonies we were manifesting. In fact, Bobby was a key member of the video crew.)

We were all sitting on Mountain Girl’s patio, probably sharing a joint, when Kesey began busting on Ina May’s speech concerning nipple phobia. Both Bobby and I immediately rose to defend Ina May, but I stepped back and just let Bobby take charge of the situation. “We luuuuuv, Ina May,” crooned Bobby. I could tell Kesey would probably never speak ill of her again, even in jest, so great was Bobby’s power. But that’s the sort of energy any bodhisattva carries around, I guess.

Written by Steven Hager

February 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm

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