Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part one

[Studs Terkel (1912-2008)]

We’ve already featured the classic 1959 Studs Terkel  WFMT radio interview with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso in seven sections – here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

We also featured Allen and Philip Glass on Studs Terkel’s show in 1990 – here and here

We’ll be featuring, in the coming weeks, a third, a 1975 session with Allen and William Burroughs

but, first, this weekend, this, (courtesy George Drury and the remarkable trove which is the Studs Terkel Radio Archive) – Allen Ginsberg’s interview … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass on WFMT, Chicago 1990 – part 2

Philip Glass – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – Kiev Restaurant, NYC, 1993 – Photo  c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

continuing from yesterday

ST: Resuming with Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, poet (and) composer working together. We heard just a piece of the very haunting “Satyagraha – the Evening Song“, earlier, that opened the Lyric Opera season. It was a pip of an opening. Critics and audience both (raved). That was three years ago… Liquid Days?  (Songs from) Liquid Days) is what?

PG: Well, it’s a collection of songs I did. In a way, it’s kind of … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass on WFMT, Chicago, 1990 – part 1

[Studs Terkel, 1912-2008

[Jewel Heart Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Philip GlassGelek Rinpoche & Allen Ginsberg, November 17, 1989]

[Philip Glass]

[Allen Ginsberg]

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, 1990

We featured, a week or so back, Studs Terkel’s hilarious 1959 radio interview with Allen, Gregory Corso, and a mostly-silent Peter Orlovsky. Here’s another Terkel interview with Allen (alongside composer-collaborator, Philip Glass), this one recorded over three decades later. Ginsberg and Glass are in town (Chicago) for a benefit performance for Gelek Rinpoche‘s Jewel Heart organization (as Terkel periodically reminds his listeners), an … Read More

Montreal, 1969 Q & A – 19 (Conclusion)

Student: : Do you consider marijuana or tripping a good alternative to the pain of life and the terror of death?

AG: Do I consider marijuana or tripping a good alternative to pain of life, the fear or terror of death? – No, actually, marijuana… If anything, it will augment, or increase, or amplify, the anxiety, the realization, (or at least that’s what I’ve found).

The problem is that.. death is not terror, to be feared – Pain, physical pain, bodily pain, might be scary, you know – or.. painful (but…)

I think, probably, the result of some experiences with … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Montreal 1989 Q & A part 7 (Kerouac)

[A flyer from the 2009 production in New York of Larry Myers play –“Jack Kerouac: Catholic” – “He (Jack) was proud of being a Canuck Catholic” (Allen Ginsberg)]

Q: May I (now) ask you another question?

AG Yeah

Q: Jack Kerouac abandoned his Catholicism, which was the Church in which he had been brought up. You mentioned that, and at the same time, you coupled it with a statement that seemed to suggest that you are returning to a Kabbalistic or Hassidic tradition. How do you reconcile a return to a traditional Jewish root with an enthusiastic interest in … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Montreal 1969 Q & A 6 (Drugs)

[Allen Ginsberg, 1966 poster from San Francisco advertising the famous Ken Kesey Acid Tests]

Q: What is your present [1989] thinking about drugs?

AG: Well, it looks like marijuana will slowly be legalized in the United States (since grandmother Margaret Mead came out for it the other day! ). So I saw an AP dispatch yesterday that said that Governor Kirk of Florida called her “a dirty old lady”

Q: (He)..said she should be locked up with all the other degenerates!

AG: Yeah

Q: But what was it about the stronger stuff?

AG: And then crime in New York … Read More

More Kerouac – 2

[Jack Kerouac, Tangier Morocco, 1957. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

Q: Gregory Corso, (in several of his) remarks referred to (the first) conversations he’s had with Jack Kerouac…

Gregory Corso: Yeah

Q: And I was wondering…

GC: I think it was more of a feeling he had towards things, that I was raised Catholic and that he was raised Catholic, it had a kind of bond to it. Peter (Orlovsky)? – Peter was raised Catholic?

AG: No

GC: No, that’s it. So in the ball-game there was (William) Burroughs, who was an Anglo, there was the Jew-Boy, and, what … Read More

More Kerouac

[Three paperback covers for Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel The Dharma Bums]

Last weekend we featured the Naropa panel at the 1983 Kerouac Conference on Jack Kerouac’s Buddhism and Catholicism. We continue today. Participation from Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, John Clellon Holmes, Gerald Nicosia, Osel Tendzin (tomorrow) & Anne Waldman.

AG: Don’t go away, Gregory
GC: It’s not over?
AG: Shall we have some conversation between ourselves?.. and then with the audience?
– Is there anybody who, staying on stage, wants to respond to anything or has any other statements?
Gregory Corso : Ah, the cross thing.  Later on … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Montreal, 1969 – (Q & A – 4)

Q : Is it true what they say about all these guys, who criticize, in the ‘Fifties, like in J.D Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye,  Holden Caulfield – Were they all “Holden Caulfields”, all these idealists?

AG: Well, sir, everybody was kind of stupefied, you know – about sex, for instance, I mean, nowadays [1968], Holden Caulfield would have a little sexual adventure. Nowadays, young kids get much more information. Everything’s much more open, you know. Nobody is…. The imagery is there, as it is in a primitive community, or there is in a farm community, where kids see cows … Read More

A Jack Kerouac Weekend – 2

[Jack Kerouac’s original hand-drawn cover for On The Road]

[Jack Kerouac photographed by Allen Ginsberg – caption reads: Jack Kerouac wandering along East 7th street after visiting Burroughs at our pad, passing statue of Congressman Samuel “Sunset” Cox, “The Letter-Carrier’s Friend” in Tompkins Square toward corner of Avenue A, Lower East Side; he’s making a Dostoyevsky mad-face or Russian basso be-bop Om, first walking around the neighborhood, then involved with The Subterraneans, pencils & notebook in wool shirt-pockets, Fall 1953, Manhattan.]

Allen Ginsberg: I might as well supplement what Gregory said about the mussed hair and the crucifix … Read More