Martin Torgoff’s Bop Apocalypse

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Bop Apocalypse – Jazz, Race, The Beats, & Drugs – putting the word out on Martin Torgoffs new book from Da Capo.

From the author’s web-site:  “Bop Apocalypse is largely the story of the evolution of jazz and its relationship to the Beats: the first time that drug use coalesced with music and literature, becoming a central element in the creation of an avant-garde American voice and underground cultural sensibility.”.

The book, (an  outgrowth of a chapter in an earlier book of Torgoff’s, and very much its compliment, Can’t Find My Way Home), “features vivid portraits of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979

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[Allen Ginsberg at the Atheneum Bookshop, Amsterdam, November 1979. photo: Hans van Dijk / Dutch National Archives]

Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979  (continuing from yesterday)

AG: I’ll begin since – oh we were discussing the subject . I’ll begin with a song dedicated to another fellow in prison, David Solomon who’s in Brighton…in Bristol jail, as he was sentenced to ten years as part of that big LSD conspiracy bust about a year or two ago – what was the name of that? Julie Operation Julie

[Allen sings a version of “Dope Fiend Blues”- “Dope Fiend Blues Shuffle”]… Read More

Ginsberg-Taylor-Orlovsky-Pickard 1979 Warwick continued

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[Allen Ginsberg and Steven Taylor, 1979]

Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky and Tom Pickard reading at Warwick University, November,  1979  continues from here

AG: Steven Taylor, please favor us with a song (Steven Taylor being a poet as well as being a musician)

ST: I’m going to sing a song that I wrote after first reading the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, the Russian woman poet who was banned by (Joseph) Stalins government in 1929 and was not published after that time. She identified with the wife of Lot in the Bible, who was turned … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 290

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s birthday today – from Richard Holmes’ definitive biography: ” (William) Wordsworth called him “the most wonderful man” he had ever known; but many subsequent biographers have been skeptical. It would seem possible to write an entire book on Coleridge’s opium addiction, his plagiarisms, his fecklessness in marriage, his political “apostasy”, his sexual fantasies, or his radiations of mystic humbug.

And indeed, all these books have been written. But no biographer…has tried to examine his entire life in a broad and sympathetic manner, and to ask the one vital question; what … Read More

Terry Gross Interview, 1994

 

Terry Gross. 1987 in the studio on NPR’s “Fresh Air”

   

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn, looking for an angry fix”

TG: Allen Ginsberg, reading his now classic poem “Howl”. Ginsberg was a cultural hero to several generations. He was one of the leading Beat poets in the (19)50’s, in the (19)60’s he was an icon of the counterculture, through the (19)70’s and (19)80’s, he continued to write and to explore Eastern religions. By the (19)90’s, he was an inspiration to up-and-coming … Read More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 285

 

“Self-Portrait on my Seventieth birthday in Borsolino hat and black cashmere-silk scarf from Milan & Dublin Thornproof-tweed suit, Oleg Cassini tie from Goodwill, shirt same source, kitchen windwo mid-day, I stayed home & worked on Selected Poems 1947-95 proofs after returning from Walker Art Center reading – Beat exhibition weekend. Monday June 3, 1996, NY. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

We Are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death – The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996), the show that originated in 2014 at the University of Toronto, (see here for more on their pre-eminent Ginsberg photo collection), opened … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 282

[Allen Ginsberg working late]

                                           [Allen Ginsberg’s Desk – Drawing by Allen Ginsberg]

The second-part of an in-depth interview with Michael Horowitz, Timothy Leary’s longtime archivist, recently appeared. The first (posted back in November 2015) can be seen hereThe second, brings Allen in to the picture (Lisa Rein, the Archives digital librarian, is the interviewer):

LR: What was the dynamic between Ginsberg and Leary? MH: The synergy between them was powerful. There’s a … Read More