Allen Ginsberg, goaded on at the beginning there by a typically giddy Simon Vinkenoog, reads “Mafkees” (a.k.a. “Birdbrain“) (from a reading in 1983, from Allen’s European tour, recorded that year in Amsterdam) – (for earlier (alternative) versions of this “Ginsberg minor classic”, see our previous postings – here and here) .
This recording includes, also, a brief segment from a Dutch interview – wherein Allen, bemused and non-plussed, sweetly chastises the hapless interviewer
[2014 update – the video of this interview is, unfortunately no longer available but we have maintained the transcript]
Interviewer: In the last years, I think, the idea of young poets to make music and read poetry at the same time is being not only successful, but accepted in a certain way..
AG: Yeah. I’ve done that. I did.. tried that myself with this, with “Birdbrain” [Allen displays the cover of the 45 rpm recording that he made of the song “Birdbrain” with The Glu-ons] This is a little record of a poem originally written as a poem and then set to new-wave music by a local garage band in Denver, Colorado, where I work at Naropa Institute [now Naropa University]. So there’s a band that’s around Naropa Instiute sometimes. So I worked with them. You wanna hear that? sometime? ok – We’ll put it on. It’s on here [points to small portable tape-recorder] – same thing, [shows record-sleeve again] – “Birdbrain” on here – can you listen..? with your little machinery?
[Interviewer puts on head-phones and starts listening]
AG: You’re not going to sit there and listen while we’re rolling the camera are you? ..Are you going to waste all that film? – [incredulous] – Are you gonna waste all that film? – Well.. Mafkees!;Jack Kerouac Letters For Sale – A significant trove of (Jack) Kerouac correspondence – “59 letters and postcards” (stretching from 1947 to 1969), part (only part?) of his correspondence with Columbia college-buddy, Ed White, is going on sale at the high-end Manhattan book-dealer, ” Glenn Horowitz – asking-price $1.25 million dollars!
(an additional review (by Alan Mattli) may be read here)
And to end on a positive note (not that the Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia isn’t an exceedingly positive note!) – “Naropa graduate and Shambhala Mountain Center staffer, Jennifer Lang remembers a moment of clarity in the life of Allen Ginsberg” – “Allen Ginsberg’s Greatest Deed” (You might be surprised to discover what he thought that was). For more on that see also here, here and here.