BBC Face To Face Interview, 1994 (ASV#21)

Face To Face was a legendary BBC television series in the early days of British television, a series of half-hour interviews conducted by the broadcaster John Freeman, which aired between 1959 and 1962. The template proved a hugely influential one. Freeman never appeared on camera throughout the shows, only his questions could be heard. His guests were filmed in tight close-ups under stark lighting conditions, as if under interrogation. The format was revived by Jeremy Isaacs in 1990 and ran again through to 1998. The interview with Allen (video below) took place in 1994 and was broadcast on the 9th … Read More

Tom Vitale Interview (ASV #18)

ASV – Annotated Streaming Videos – additional notes on Ginsberg videos, (listed here on the right-hand side of the page) continues with notes on Tom Vitale’s 1990 New York City PBS profile. [This video is no longer available via You Tube. We have, however, retained the notes and transcription below]
(Vitale’s 2006 NPR radio report,”Revisiting Allen Ginsberg’s Howl at 50″, can, incidentally, be read and/or listened to here).
The film begins with Allen reading from “White Shroud” – “I am summoned from my bed/To the Great City of the Dead/Where I have no house or … Read More

Allen with R.D.Laing at the ICA

The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) in London has recently released a wonderful archive video from 1980. Allen Ginsberg and Steven Taylor perform, following a sit-down discussion with Allen and psychiatrist R.D.Laing (part of the Writers in Conversation talks series). The Laing-Ginsberg unrehearsed exchange spotlights Allen’s candor and is great, but the real treat here is.. an impromptu one-minute meditation (recalling this – or, perhaps, this, for that matter). Can you get away with it? – “Yeah, you can “get away” with it, why not?”. Laing is a little nervous, to begin with, looking at his watch, but soon … Read More

W.H.Auden (1907-1973)

[W.H.Auden (1907-1973) photo c. David Kirby]


W.H. Auden died on this day.
MA: What about Ginsberg’s parody (of you)? I only mention it because you wrote that to parody successfully you have to like the style you are parodying.
WA: I didn’t know he had written one. Where is it?
MA: In (his) Indian Journals
WA: Oh you should have brought it. I would have liked to see it.
MA: Have you met Ginsberg?
WA: Yes, I like him. I don’t care for his poetry.
Allen – from the essay, “Remembering Auden” … Read More

History of Poetry 6 (Thomas Campion)

[Anonymous – Portrait of A Lutenist, oil on canvas, French, c. late 17th century]
Campion 1567-1620. (Thomas) Campion, also, at this point, writing music, got interested in quantitative verse – vowel-length verse – as the measure for his poetry, and he is one of the great ears in English poetry. Most of these, or some of these, are songs. I’ll read the famous one(s) that you know mostly – “Rose-cheekt Laura, come/ Sing thou smoothly with thy beaweies/ Silent musick, either other/ Sweetely gracing/ Lovely formes do flowe/ From concent devinely framed;/ Heaven is musick, and thy beawties/ … Read More

Household Affairs (ASV #15)

Quotidian domesticity – Life on East 12th Street in the ’80’s – Steven Taylor and Allen’s Household Affairs remains one of our most cherished documents, not the least for the starring role played by the ever-canny Julius Orlovsky, on furlough from the mental hospital and staying temporarily in the apartment (the sparring between him and Allen (and him and his brother, Peter, for that matter) is one of the key features in the film). In 1987 Sony Corp had the innovative notion of giving away a bunch of High 8 camcorders to selected artists and writers with the caveat/request … Read More

Kevin Courrier ’80’s Interview

An interview from the ’70’s, an interview from the 90’s, here’s an interview from the ’80’s, Allen Ginsberg speaking with Kevin Courrier, in 1982, on the radio in Toronto, on “the legacy of the 60’s”, “with cultural change in mind” (altho’ Allen keeps it firmly in the right-now).
“When I met him in 1982”, Courier informs us, “he (Allen) was in Toronto to give a reading and perform some songs he wrote with the local punk band, The Diodes. He was also promoting a book that addressed the demise of the underground press, once again speaking … Read More

Duncan Campbell Radio Interview part one

[Buddha – Shakyamuni, The Enlightened One, from the Rubin Museum of Art, New York]
Following Spiritual Poetics, which we’ve been serializing these past two weeks, here’s another unpublished transcript from those times, Duncan Campbell’s 1974 radio interview with Allen. Allen discusses the history of Buddhism and the Beats (pre Naropa), and much else. The interview has been broken down into two parts. The second part will run tomorrow.
Duncan Campbell: Welcome to “Open Secret”. This is a series of discussions that is being recorded in Boulder, Colorado, at Naropa Institute, and I’ve just been talking with Allen Ginsberg … Read More

Duncan Campbell Radio Interview part two

[Allen Ginsberg at Ed Sanders’ Peace Eye Bookstore, East 10th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C, New York City, June 1966 ]
DC: What kind of transformations took place in the (19)60’s? It seems that, for a variety of reasons, some of them political, like sharing that experience of a “social lie”, through the disappointment of radical movements and drug experiences and so on, that maybe a wide variety of people began to turn on to that same kind of rhythm of insight that you took in the (19)50’s.
AG: Yeah, well, I think one reason people shared it
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Allen and Bob in Renaldo and Clara (ASV # 13)

[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, 1976, on the Rolling Thunder tour]

[2012 update – Renaldo and Clara, Bob Dylan’s “classic subterranean film”, despite these notes, remains strictly under copyright, unreleased, and (the many “bootlegs” circulating, notwithstanding), strictly unavailable. The video-clip that first appeared on this post was from an unauthorized source and has been taken down. Likewise, our somewhat forward presentation (via the Dangerous Minds blog) of the whole movie (in this post of February 2012). A brief clip (Allen and Dylan famously at Jack Kerouac’s grave in Lowell) can be glimpsed here (it’s one of the “extras” on Jerry … Read More