Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society, Book Chronicles the Group’s Strange But True History

Cacophony book

As previously posted on Laughing Squid, a new book has been in the works that chronicles the “strange but true” history of the influential collective known as the San Francisco Cacophony Society. The 320-page book, co-authored by Kevin Evans, Carrie Galbraith, and Laughing Squid partner John Law, is titled Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society and we’re excited to report that it is now available to purchase from its publisher Last Gasp. Two poster prints (1,2) featuring Evans’ artwork are available when purchased from Last Gasp.

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.

Several events, including a multi-city tour, will usher in the book’s much-anticipated release:

May 16th: Book Premiere Launch Party, City Lights, San Francisco, CA
May 18th: Panel Discussion: “Cacophony on Demand: Making your Own Culture”, Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA
May 19th: Readings from the book, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
May 31st: Agent of Chaos “Unauthorized” Book Release Party, Castro Theatre, San Francisco, CA
June 6th: Readings and book signings, Pegasus Books, Berkeley, CA
June 14th: Powell’s Bookstore, Portland, OR
June 22nd: La Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles, CA
August: Varnish Gallery and SFAI Lecture Series, San Francisco, CA
September: New York City, NY and Pittsburgh, PA

Along with the many great events, the folks behind the book have put together some fantastic online resources that further tell the tale of the collective: the Tales of San Francisco Cacophony Society website and Tumblr blog. In addition, MAKE recently featured John Law in an article titled, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About John Law.” In it, he says, “I am very proud of my amazing co-authors for the beautiful 320-page history called Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society that we made together. I believe this group, The Cacophony Society to be one of the least heralded yet most influential organizations/philosophies of the last 30 years for inspiring regular folks to make their own culture through play. Cacophony informed and inspired much of what was once called the underground.”


“Jalopy” poster art by Kevin Evans