Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society

From Fight Club to Burning Man, Flash Mobs to Santarchy cacophony influenced everything subversive, playful and anti-authoritarian in popular culture over the last 20 years – this is the great, untold story of the 1980s and ’90s.

Before the Internet vomited headlines by the millisecond and turned the minutia of a million boring Facebook lives into news, we were left the privilege of mystery.

This was something The San Francisco Cacophony Society gave me in spades. Over the years, I would catch glimpses, collect pieces of a puzzle I was slowly assembling—a car crushed flat by an earthquake miraculously tooling down Golden Gate, toasters glued to buildings, news-clips of mock protests and costumed impostors, flyers for strange art spectacles.

Now the puzzle is assembled in this gorgeous graphic collection, a book every lover of eccentricity and enemy of the status quo should enjoy.

—Margaret Cho

A template for pranksters, artists, adventurers and anyone interested in rampant creativity, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is the history of the most influential underground cabal you’ve never heard of.

Rising from the ashes of the mysterious and legendary Suicide Club, the Cacophony Society, at its zenith, hosted chapters in over a dozen major cities, and influenced much of what was once called the underground.

The Cacophony Society’s epic exploits radically changed the way people live and play in the world. The group inspired Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and Burning Man and helped start pop culture trends including flash mobs, urban exploration, and culture jamming.

A large-format, full-color, hardbound homage to this protean group, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is packed with original art, never before published photographs, original documents and incredulous news accounts.

Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society
Edited by Kevin Evans, Carrie Galbraith and John Law
Foreword by Chuck Palhiniuk

hardcover · 8½ x 11 · 300 pages · $39.95
over 500 color and b&w images
50 full-color illustrations
isbn 978-0-86719-774-7

Available June 1, 2013 from Last Gasp

Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society Book Events:
(More Dates & Details Coming Soon!)

Bay Area:
Thurs. May 16th • City Lights • 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco. 7 – 9pm
Sat. May 18th • Maker Faire • San Mateo Convention Center (details TBA)
Sun. May 19th • Green Apple Books • 506 Clement St, San Francisco. 7 – 9pm
Thurs. June 6th • Pegasus Books • 2349 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley. 7:30 – 9:30pm

Paris, France:
Wed. May 28 • Le Dernier Bar • 19 avenue Victoria, Paris. 6/7pm

Portland, OR:
Fri. June 14th • Powell’s Books • 1005 W. Burnside St, Portland. 7:30 – 9:30pm

Los Angeles:
Sat. June 22nd • La Luz • 4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles. Details TBA


14 thoughts on “Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society

  1. I am honored to be associated with Carrie Galbraith.

    FYI- I am a student, a friend and fellow Bohemian on many similar wave lengths.

    Of all the Instructors I have had during my life, it was Carrie who was the most engaging, informative, interactive and hardest working Instructor / Friend I have known.

    I wish Carrie and her publications the very best….smiles for all !

  2. Pingback: Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society

  3. With baited breath, I await the release of this most excellent tale.
    I would only add the influence continues and is present today, spanning a 3rd decade, and moving into a 4th.

  4. I gave my life to these bastards for 20 years. I was promised a pony. Where’s my Damn pony? Is it in the book? I’ll buy the book if there’s a pony in it..

  5. Would love a notification to the above address when “Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society” is published.

  6. Pingback: John Law and Last Gasp announce Cacophony Society history book | The Ladies' Guide to the Apocalypse

  7. As a late-comer to the scene, I largely missed out on (or stupidly passed over) the majority of Cacophony events, but the exploits were legend even then. Even though I’m well aquainted with the Suicide Club and Cacophony gang and know all the stories, I’m really looking forward to curling up with what appears to be an indespensible chronicle of seminal and overlooked underground art pioneers. Read these exploits and then decide for yourself if there would be a Burning Man or Flash Mobs as we know them today without this merry band of pranksters.

  8. Pingback: Burning Blog » Blog Archive » John Law and Last Gasp announce Cacophony Society history book!

  9. Pingback: Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society « John Law

  10. Pingback: Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society | LAST GASP | souls on paper, wax, & screen.

  11. This is appalling and must be stopped!
    I am sure our tax dollars were wasted on the communists!

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