Interview in Galway 1995 – Getting to Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg in Ireland –  (Allen filmed in Galway, when he was over for the Cúirt Literary Festival, in 1995).  Local “character”, Mark Kennedy (of Streetcorner Productions) recently put up on You Tube a curious half-hour documentary (from 2007), perhaps more revealing of him than it is about Allen, but we thought, nonetheless, we would share. “Getting To Ginsberg” is the title, focusing, as it does on the frisson – a tired and harrassed Allen is, at one point, quite explicitly, telling Kennedy “You’re being irritating”..”You taking advantage of me to talk about yourself, and then talk about me in … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Interviews William Burroughs – 2

[Allen Ginsberg with William Burroughs. Photo:  c. Jerry Aronson

ALLEN GINSBERG and WILLIAM BURROUGHS – TWO INTERVIEWS These two interviews both appear in the volume The Collected Interviews of William S Burroughs – Burroughs Live 1960-1997.  The first is dated 1980, with the location given as New York City. The second, also recorded in New York, a year later (and, in the Interviews book, with a title given to it, “Having To Put Out”), first appeared in Boulder’s Daily Camera.  James Grauerholz, William Burroughs’ secretary (and now heir and executor for the estate) appears in the first one. … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Interviews William Burroughs – 1

File:Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.jpg
[Allen Ginsberg with William S Burroughs at The Gotham Book Mart, New York City, 1977]

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 interview with William S Burroughs, quizzing him about his post Naked Lunch work (and probing him about the nature of “Spiritual Conspiracies”) – “Conversation on Sequence of Burroughs’ Books On Way To Stapleton Airport on August 18, 1980” – was excerpted and used that year as an introduction by Grove Press to their edition of “Three Novels – The Soft Machine, Nova Express and The Wild Boys” 

It also was included (in its entirety) in Sylvere Lotringer’s edition of The Collected Interviews

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Ramblin’ Jack Elliott Interview Concluded

AG: What I’m trying to figure (out) now is that [Woody Guthrie’s “Tom Joad”] something you heard later? much later?

JE: I heard that at the same time, when I first started listening to..Woody’s music.
AG: Did you run into Guthrie (himself) at some point or other?
JE: I met Woody in Brooklyn. He was living in Coney Island.
AG: What year was that?
JE: Well, that was in ’51
AG: So right straight off you went..
JE: Yeah
AG: look him up, or what?
JE: Well, Tom Paley knew him. Did you know Tom? I … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – The Jack Elliott Interview – 3

The Allen Ginsberg-Ramblin’ Jack Elliott conversation continues

JE: Well, the big song that we were pushing  on the Rolling Thunder tour, our heaviest number probably, and what might have been one of the main purposes of the tour, it would seem, and gave us a lot of spirit, was the song about Hurricane Carter. I just saw in the paper today where Hurricane Carter beat up his lady manager..

AG: Just now?
JE: ..and she’s in a .. no, it happened a while back, but she didn’t want him to go to jail and she didn’t want to … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – The Jack Elliott Interview – 2

JE: “Red River Valley”…okay, “Red River Valley”, that was it. I had never even heard about Woody Guthrieuntil I got to hanging out with a bull-rider named Todd Fletcher (who also came from Brooklyn, but nobody knew about that). He started cowboying in Arizona and was riding in rodeos all around the country, and I travelled around with Todd for about six months, going to rodeos, and, any time we’d have any free time, just loafing around, why, Todd’d be singing and playing the guitar. He sang a lot of folk songs and a lot of cowboy

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Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – The Jack Elliott Interview – 1

[“My ex-girlfriend Helen Parker’s son Bruce, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot (sic) in cowboy hat, folk-singer student of Woody Guthrie in New Jersey, & a banjo friend. Ramblin’ Jack had stole my girl back in 1950 — here Greenwich Village, 1953. Allen Ginsberg” – c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
AG: Jack (Elliott) here, well, where did you start? What I was interested in getting was some kind of history of the development of American folk poem ballad song. Jack is one of the inheritors of the lineage of Woody Guthrie. [Allen turns to Mike Burton] – I guess you are too, Mike? … Read More

Kathy Acker Interviews William Burroughs

[Kathy Acker – photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Two mod (post-mod) icons. Kathy Acker interviews William S Burroughs in London in 1988, on the occasion of the opening of his inaugeral show of his shotgun paintings, at the October Gallery. He discusses both his writing and his painting (the history and process) and corrects a couple of Kathy’s apocryphal stories. p… Read More

Allen Ginsberg Doesn’t Believe in Ghosts

[2014 update – the video that accompanied this post is now no longer available}

So this delightful snippet of Ginsberg footage recently re-surfaced – Allen among his file-cabinets on East 12th Street. The tape begins in media res (Allen rifling through his things)

AG: (There’s a) – photograph with (Bob) Dylan at (Jack) Kerouac’s grave, (I’ll) see if I can find it. Here’s some photographs of the Rolling Thunder tour..let’s see, yeah, [shows Ken Regan’s photo] – This has been in the newspapers and all. Actually, this is an interesting photo if you can zero in on it. … Read More

Trent Harris’ Allen Ginsberg Interview

So here’s a lost little You Tube gem (it’s been up since December of 2010 apparently!). The message here is, please, spell-Allen’s-name-right! – it’s Allen Ginsberg! (and Ginsberg not Ginsburg!) – That necessary kvetch out of the way, it has to be said, this is a curiously charming, and delightfully intimate, piece. Trent Harris manages to coax out of Allen an extraordinary honesty and candor (and the clips of him reading are pretty great too).
In 1979 Trent Harris, as he declares, “was lucky enough to spend three days my favorite free radical…We talked about beatniks, politics, and love.”
Here … Read More