Philomene Long’s The Beats – An Exisitential Comedy

We continue our spotlighting of video now available via the digitalization of Allen’s Stanford University archives.

Today – Philomene Long & (Jay D Kugelman)’s LA-based documentary from 1980,  The Beats: An Existential Comedy

The video is available – here

[Stuart Z Perkoff appearing on Groucho Marx’s tv show, You Bet Your Life – from The Beats – An Existential Comedy]

Initially conceived as a tribute to the poet Stuart Z Perkoff (1930-1974), it developed into, significantly, more – much more.

As one reviewer had it, “The film is not so much a historical documentary of the period as a recreation … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1985 “New England Today” Interview

Continuing with our on-going feature of videos from the recently-digitalized Stanford Archives – today a tv appearance from 1985, on “New England Today” (on the occasion of the publication of Collected Poems 1947-1980)  

Interviewer: My guest right now is Allen Ginsberg and he has written a number of poems and this is a big book if you like poetry, a big book of Collected Poems from 1947 to 1980, and, actually, this is your whole life in these poems, isn’t it Allen?

AG: Yes, everything I’ve written in poetry for thirty-three years, with profuse illustrations, numerous notes at the … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Ecologue & Interview with Allen DeLoach

Another from the trove of Stanford video recordings. This time Allen in Buffalo (Buffalo State, circa 1971), reading and being interviewed by Allen DeLoach – see here

The video is introduced as follows:

“Allen Ginsberg may be this planet’s most renowned poet . Considered by many of his contemporaries to be one of the most important poets of his generation. His poem “Howl” is probably as important a literary documentation of his generation’s spiritual condition as “The Waste Land” was for the previous generation. His major writing has been influenced by Biblical writing, by William Blake, Walt Whitman, Christopher Smart… Read More

Michael McClure – Interview continued

[Michael McClure photographed by Allen Ginsberg,  Hartford Street Zen Center, San Francisco, 1991 – Photo (c). Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Michael McClure. Continuing the transcription from yesterday

Interviewer: Can you talk a little about “Meat Science” ?

MM  No, that’s so long ago, David.  No. Do you mean the book of essays?

Interviewer: No, I mean the theory, the idea.

MM: Oh, I don’t know if there was a theory. “Meat Science” is a name that I gave to a book of essays, and it’s a.. it’s the way I’ll appreciate something – I’ll say something is an act of … Read More

Michael McClure – The Beard and Beast Language

[Michael McClure at the Kiev Restaurant, New York City. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]  

Michael McClure celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday. In his honor, here follows another transcript from the extraordinary series of readings/discussions that took place in Novato California, in the mid 70’s (see here , here,  here and here)  –  [We apologize to Michael for the typo] – The interviewer is David Rollison

Interviewer: A whole number of you went to see The Beard. How many of you did get to see it?….just to get a sense of… [tape cuts off  … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Ars Poetica – Dallas Texas 1980 – Joe Stanco Interview

Following on from last weekend, and complimentary to an earlier tape that we featured (from Richmond College, Dallas Texas), another video gem from the Stanford Archives – Ars Poetica – An Interview with Allen Ginsberg conducted by Joe Stanco

[The participants begin, caught in conversation, in media res]

JS: Oh. – My name is Joe Stanco and I’m talking today with Allen Ginsberg and, at the moment, we were discussing Ezra Pound who’s certainly..in fact you said, at one point, “the most important American poet since Whitman

AG: I guess. Yeah. Well… (Because ) he had more effect … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1974 San Francisco tv Interview – “I Believe” – part 2

continuing from yesterday – (transcript of Allen Ginsberg and Father Mike S Riley’s 1974 conversation picks up approximately sixteen-and-a-half minutes in)

MR: What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing with all of the Christian metaphors and analogies?. It’s just “Christ,” “Jesus, “”the Church”, “Crucifixtion”…

AG: Well, what I’ve been talking (except to the reference to St John of the Cross) has mostly been formal Buddhist dharma, which is a perception of the Universe as transient, in the sense of..    The basic.. first basic thing is – all the constituents of being are transitory. So that’s why I’ve … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1974 San Francisco tv Interview – “I Believe”

Continuing our spotlight on some of the video treasures in Stanford University’s recently-digitalized archive – Allen on San Francisco television (KPIX) in 1974, interviewed by Father Mike S Riley on his inter-faith tv show, “I Believe”

[Allen begins reading from “Sad Dust Glories”]  – “When I sit/I see dust motes in my eye/Ponderosa needles trembling/shine green/in blue sky./Wind sound passes thru/ pine tops, distant/windy waves flutter back/oak leaves/and leave thenm still/like my mind/which forgets why the blue jay across the wood’s clearing/squwks, in mid-afternoon.”

MR: Welcome to “I Believe” and Allen Ginsberg. Allen, I suspect that a lot … Read More

The 1973 Glasgow Review Interview

 [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

Studs Terkel interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part two

Allen Ginsberg and Studs Terkel continuing from here

[At approximately half-way through their conversation, approximately thirty-two minutes in, Allen sings “Gospel Noble Truths” (“Born in this world, you’ve got to suffer..”) making several improvised additions –  (“no permanent soul!”,  “the dharma chakra”,  “Look what you’ve done – 1968” – “Let go, Studs!”)

AG: You looked like you didn’t want to “let go” of  “earth heaven and hell” there!.

ST: And as Ned Kelly, the bandit, said, before they hanged him, and they sprang the trap –  “That’s life! “. You said,  “Die when you die”. I was about to … Read More