So today would’ve been John Lennon’s 74th birthday.
Allen, writing in 1984, in Rolling Stone
“I remember the precise moment, the precise night I went to this place in New York City called the Dom and they turned on “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and I heard that high, yodeling alto sound of the OOOH that went right through my skull, and I realized it was going to go through the skull of Western civilization. I began dancing in public the first time in my life complete delight and abandon, no self-conscious wallflower anxieties.
… Read More
December 8 is the anniversary of the infamous day when he got shot, but we thought we’d celebrate John Lennon on a more upbeat note, on the anniversary of his birth(day), and spotlight the Ginsberg-Lennon-Beatles connection. Wayne Mullins gives a pretty good account in this Beatdom article – Long John Silver and the Beats. He quotes in part (recalling their very first meeting) Marianne Faithfull‘s account – It’s London, 1965 – “Then Allen Ginsberg came in..He went over to the chair (Bob) Dylan was sitting in and plonked himself down on the armrest…John Lennon broke the silence … Read More
A few of us here are gone traveling across the country and globe for the next few weeks and likely we won’t be able to keep this up as regularly as we usually do. We should be back up ‘n’ running full speed ahead after December 14th. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this trailer for the PBS American Masters John Lennon documentary. In case you missed it, and are in the US, they’re airing it a few more times next week.
This one tops the list for ‘spirit’ awards. Not hard to pick out Peter Orlovksy who then introduces Ginsberg. We’re thinking it’s gotta be Lennon’s 31st birthday, October 9, 1971 at a hotel room in Syracuse. (disregard the Bed Peace photo on the posting) Allen, just back from India brought along the new harmonium he bought there, and played that and his finger cymbals while introducing the chant “Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum” as well as “September on Jessore Road” he’d only just written days before. According to Bill Morgan, Phil Spector was also in the room … Read More
Ten for two. – Steve Gebhart’s 1971 Ten for Two: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally is a documentary record of the historic concert that took place, in December 1971, at Ann Arbor’s Crisler arena, organized by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, to protest the politically-motivated jailing of poet and activist ” White Panther “, John Sinclair . Ten years imprisonment for two joints? . Among the performers that night, Phil Ochs, Stevie Wonder, Archie Shepp (and Lennon himself, of course)… It’s, aside from anything else, an important, and revealing, time-capsule.
The footage begins in media res (after approximately fifteen seconds),
[ Portrait of John Milton – (circa 1803) – by William Blake]
Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Basic Poetics class (at Naropa) – continuing from here
AG: So, the next experiment I did (was) with Miltonics – Milton. This is my Miltonics. It was pretty sick Miltonics. Because what it is, is a total – 1949 -it’s a.. I think I was either coming or.. going to-and-fro from.. Bedlam – New York State Psychiatric Institute, and I was convinced that there was a supernatural consciousness that I had to achieve and I was not achieving it, and that I wouldn’t achieve … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg at his 1973 Glasgow Press Conference]
We featured here last week, Allen’s interview in 1973 in Scottish International. Featured today is a companion piece from The Glasgow Review (drawing from the same press conference). The piece was initially titled “Of Burns and Watergate” (referring to the two main topics).
Interviewer; What do you think of the present state of the Watergate affair?
AG: Well what the underground both in America and England have been saying for a long time now has become accepted currency in the minds of the above-ground, middle-class media. The specific conceptions that are … Read More
[“WAR IS BLACK MAGIC/ BELLY FLOWERS TO NORTH AND SOUTH VIETNAM/ INCLUDE EVERYBODY/ END THE HUMAN WAR/NAME HYPNOSIS FEAR IS THE/ ENEMY- SATAN GO HOME/ I ACCEPT AMERICA AND RED CHINA/ TO THE HUMAN RACE – / MADAM NHU & MAO TSE TUNG/ ARE IN THE SAME BOAT OF MEAT” – Allen Ginsberg, in 1963, in San Francisco, in front of the Palace Hotel, picketing the visit of Madame Nhu (the First Lady of South Vietnam)”]
Q: Just to begin, how do you think  the war in Vietnam will end?
AG: I don’t know. I guess, presumably, the people in the United States will get more and more violent about their frustrations and pretty soon the government will get more and more upset, and I suppose they’ll probably withdraw everything, withdraw all the troops.
I don’t know, I’m not an IBM machine..
Q: Do you dig the violent idea of it, the fact that the violence seems to be inevitable?