David Amram Remembers Jack Kerouac

[David Amram and Allen Ginsberg with Jack Kerouac and Larry Rivers at a diner –  during the making of Pull My Daisy, 1959 – Photograph by John Cohen]

Continuing our celebration of his 87th birthday

David Amram Remembers Jack Kerouac

This initial piece was originally written in 1969 for Evergreen Review, and published early in 1970 at the request of publisher Barney Rosset as an obituary for Kerouac

I used  to see Jack often at the old Five Spot in the beginning of 1957, when I was working there. I knew he was a writer, and all musicians knew … Read More

David Amram’s Birthday

[David Amram performing “Waltz After the Fall” via jackshalom]

David Amram celebrates his 87th birthday today

Recipient of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from Kansas City’s Folk Alliance International.

Written and narrated by Scott Alarik, here‘s the video made specially for that occasion

and here‘s Nick Foster of Boulder, Colorado’s eTown interviewing David (from a couple of years back)

Here’s another interview  (from March of last year)

Here’s David from back in 2011, performing and talking about Kerouac

Offbeat -Collaborating With Kerouac, his memoir, was first published in 2002

His earlier memoir, Vibrations  The 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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 336

[The Boott Mills seen from Centralville  /  Lowell, Massachusetts, 1989 -Photograph  © John Suiter – see “Kerouac’s Lowell – A Life On The Concord and Merrimack Rivers“]

Just a reminder that it’s Kerouac celebrations in his home-town of Lowell this weekend. Festivities have already begun, but plenty’s still happening –  you can see the full-schedule (all the events taking place over this weekend, and into next week) – here.

[Jack Kerouac]

And also from last week’s Round-Up – (following on, and as part of, theBig Beat Night“) – the Lawrence Ferlinghetti exhibit in BresciaRead More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 335

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius, a stunning new show opened this past week at the Block Museum at Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois). Above is a reproduction of the catalog cover. The exhibition, curated by Northwestern University art professor, Stephen F Eisenman, is a breakthrough exhibit, exploring, for the first time,  “the impact of British visionary poet and artist William Blake on a broad range of American artists in the post-World War II period”  (notably, (but by no means confined to), Allen Ginsberg and fellow members of the Beat Generation – Allen as promoter and propagandist, conduit and curator, … Read More

Sept 5 – On The Road – 60th

Sixty years ago today, Jack Kerouac‘s ground-breaking seminal  “Beat Generation” novel,  On The Road, was published by Viking Press. The book was conceived and composed several years earlier.

[Original “Self-Instructions” list for composing On the Road. Typescript,  1951. New York Public Library, Berg Collection, Jack Kerouac Archive]

[Jack Kerouac. Design for front cover of proposed paperback edition of On the Road, 1952. NYPL, Berg Collection, Jack Kerouac Archive]

[The legendary 120-foot long  ms. of On the Road  – “the scroll”]

Here’s a selection of On The Road  covers:

and many more (from different translations of the book)  can be … Read More

Herbert Huncke

From Ann Douglas’ recent New York Times review of  The Best Minds of My Generation

“Ginsberg also makes room for Herbert Huncke, whom he calls the “originator” of Beatness. An addict, gay hustler and petty thief, seeking, in his words, the freedom “to become more obscure,” Huncke introduced Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs to the mid-1940s underworld of Times Square. In a bold stroke of canon-stretching, Ginsberg pronounces his sketches of the lower depths, published almost by accident and innocent of literary allusion, “classics.” In celebrating the unlettered Huncke, Ginsberg was suggesting that professionals may have more to learn from … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 323

“Driving The Beat Road” Jeff Weiss recent detailed (and profusely illustrated ) survey, in The Washington Post, “in search of surviving members of the Beat Generation“,  is another  (well, we keep using this term, but it’s true) – “must-read”.

Weiss recounts the circumstances and the details of his interviews (conducted earlier this year) with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, the novelist Herb Gold (“Gold would be the first to tell you that’s he’s not a Beat, but his legacy and historical context remain inextricable from his more well-branded peers”), and, in conclusion, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in Austin – Interview – 1978

Interviewer: So we want to figure out what’s best, you know, what will be most comfortable for you. What I want to do is an oral history of the ‘Sixties and Austin’s an interesting area because there’s a major university with a lot of anti-war… There was a segregtion case, a very famous law case here in 1959. There’s been an awful lot of work with the valley farm workers and Chicanos, plus we”ve got the Rothschilds here [sic], we’ve got all of LBJ‘s legacy. Basically, Austin’s sort of conservative but with the university and the State Capitol here, … Read More

More Shakespeare (Prospero’s Farewell Speech)

screenshot-2017-01-24-17-48-25

[Prospero (a fragment from “Prospero, Miranda and Caliban” (1789) – Henry Fuseli  (1741-1825)- via York Museums Trust]

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air: And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,                                                                               The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am … Read More