Celebrating the Cacophony Society this Weekend

The Cacophony Society was a loosely organized band of pranksters, miscreants, and performance artists who staged events throughout the 80s and 90s that might better be described as “happenings”. These “DaDa Klowns” were formed from the remnants of The Suicide Club in San Francisco. Members birthed important cultural events like Burning Man, SantaCon and Fight Club. They were to influence later fads such as flash mobs and costumed bar crawls.

The opposite of elitist, anyone could be a member, and everyone was considered a member. Any interested party could host an event, and word soon spread. Chapters sprung up in city after city, including one in Los Angeles loosely helmed by Al Ridenour of Art of Bleeding. I remember them hosting a Bukowski party lying of the gutters of Skid Row, covering themselves in casts and making up stories of their terrible accidents, and creating a haunted house with an unforgettable, enormous lobster.

Now The Cacophony Society is finally being given their due, with the simultaneous release of the book, “Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society” and a documentary by Jon Alloway called “Into the Zone.” 

The faux-distressed coffee table book, “Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society” Is filled with stories of the collective’s various antics and chock full of color pictures, fanzines, and even police reports. Learn the secrets of The Dogminican order, trip around with SantaCon and explore underground tunnels through the pages of this book.

According to Alloway, “Into the Zone” features “Chuck Palahniuk of ‘Fight Club’ fame, who expresses the essence of what drove the Cacophony Society’s exploits. ITZ leads the audience through the madness and mayhem of a cast of miscreants who expose and exploit the norms of society to shape and enliven Amerikan underground culture.”

Everything will be happening this weekend, with a book signing at LA Luz  on June 22, 2013 at 6pm. “The party will feature readings by co-authors Carrie Galbraith and John Law and Los Angeles Cacophony Society founder Reverend Al Ridenour, as well as performances by Chuckles Klown, The Art of Bleeding, and other friends of Cacophony.” (“Other friends” includes the radness of Rosemary’s Billygoat).

Afterwards, the film will premiere at the VISTA Theater in East Hollywood on June 22nd at 11:30 pm.  Along with the film, magician Christopher Wonder, Stinky–the Worlds Wurst Klown, and Ego Plum and the Ebola Orchestra will be performing at the Vista. Advance tickets are only $10 online.

You owe it to yourself to learn more about The Cacophony Society, after all, you may already be a member. 

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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