Denise Kaufman (a.k.a. Mary Microgram) is an original Merry Prankster and co-founder of 1960’s psychedelic rock band Ace of Cups.
Cups was one of the first all female rock bands who wrote and performed their own music in the United States. They earned great success in the 1960’s San Francisco music scene, playing with The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quick Silver Messenger, and Janis Joplin & The Holding Company to name a few.
Jimi Hendrix praised Ace of Cups in the media. Yet, they never signed a record deal, and after five years together, the players went their separate ways on good terms.
After almost 50 years, the band reformed to record an astounding 24 music tracks for their first studio album titled Ace of Cups. Denise Kaufman’s bandmates include: Mary Gannon (bass), Marla Hunt (organ, piano), Mary Ellen Simpson (lead guitar), and Diane Vitalich (drums).
Denise Kaufman proves that not all who wander are lost— they may just be taking an unconventional path! She’s Ace of Cups harmonica-playing singer-songwriter, guitarist/bassist, true life Merry Prankster, and the yogi whom the stars call.
In this episode, Denise Kaufman covers:
How her Merry Prankster acid days led to a hospital stay that sparked the formation of Ace of Cups
The surprise revival of the band’s psychedelic sound 50 years later
Swapping musical ideas with her yoga client named Madonna (yes, THAT Madonna)
Handling the death of friends from the Haight-Ashbury music scene
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