Following yesterday’s Michael C Hall and Dustin Hofmann “sightings”, here’s another unusual cross-cultural pairing – Allen Ginsberg and… vintage crooner, Tony Bennett!
Some years back, writing in Time magazine, Robert Sullivan made the unlikely connection:
“Allen Ginsberg, Allen Ginsberg,” Bennett said, that voice of his full of sand, his narrow eyes all but closed. “Allen.. Very interesting cat, Allen. I like him very much. Met him long ago at a party in the Village for Franz Kline. We hit it off. I had been looking for this art book and Allen told me where to find it..” “Allen was into Blake. We talked about Blake. I was trying to put some Blake poems to music, and so was Allen.”..”Tell Allen I said hi. Interesting cat, Allen.”
Sullivan dutifully fulfills his “assignment”:
“Tony Bennett says hi.”
“Tony Bennett,” said Ginsberg in that acute staccato of his. “Tony Bennett. Tony Bennett. I met him at a party for Franz Kline.” Remarkable, I thought. “He was very much into Blake. Do you know Blake visited me in a vision in 1948? In Harlem? He did.”..”Tony Bennett said he was putting Blake to music and I told him there was no need — I’d already done it myself.”
I suppressed a smile as I mused that Ginsberg’s chanting might not fill the void for Bennett’s fans..”
For the rest of Sullivan’s article, see here.