We’ve featured Seth Brigham’s photos before (for example, here). The images above are taken from his epic (and, by his own account, literally, manic) documentation of the Beats and Rebel Angels Conference at Boulder, Colorado, in July of 1994, with, not only Allen, but also, a host of Beat luminaries and Beat-related souls and pioneers, gathered in attendance – Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Robert Creeley, Ed Sanders, Michael McClure, Amiri Baraka, Joanne Kyger, Anne Waldman, Ken Kesey David Amram… The list, like they say, (like the beat, in that unavoidable, and certainly fitting, cliche), goes on.
Cafe Dissensus Everyday (the blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, featured here last week) features a digest of the photos and a photo-essay by Seth. In it, he observes:
“Perhaps it was all (just) a myth driven by the celebrity of afew. There were many from that time in space that were never recognized nor tried to be.. I met many participants during the “Tribute to Allen Ginsberg”, and I found them no more than human, sometimes, it seemed, less than, no better than you or me. The point of my efforts [the point of these photos] is to encourage people, especially young people, to use their gifts, to help keep alive, continue, and bring about a spirit and an attitude that one person can make a difference..These photographs are a small chapter, like an ending to a long novel, a gathering to celebrate a group of artists. who, together, seemed to have made a difference in the lives of others..
“A group of artists. who, together, seemed to have made a difference in the lives of others” – that would seem to be a quiet (and perhaps overly-modest) definition of “the Beat Generation“, the range of artists being currently celebrated at the Pompidou Center in Paris (see also our spotlight in last Friday’s “Round-Up). Further press response – from Time Out Paris – here, from Evous – here, from Liberation – here – and from Telerama – here. We noted last week the appearance of the famous On The Road scroll. What we neglected to mention was on show also is an extremely rare early original typescript of “Howl” (see below):
ActuaLitté provides a provocative “Dix Choses qui vous ignorez sur la Beat Generation“(“Ten things you didn’t know about the Beat Generation”) by Joséphine Leroy –
(and don’t forget to take the quiz – here)
“The poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was sitting at his kitchen table in his North Beach apartment on a drizzly morning, telling a story about Allen Ginsberg, when he hopped up suddenly and bounded out of the room to retrieve his hearing aid. “At my age. if it’s not one thing, it’s another”, he said cheerfully. Tall and agile at 97, with a neatly-trimmed gray beard and oval tortoise-shell glasses that magnified his glassy blue eyes, Mr Ferlinghetti could pass for a man in his 70s. He still writes almost every day – “When an idea springs airborne into my head”…
The Last Word on First Blues Allen’s recently-released 3-cd music set. We’re not in a habit of reprinting verbatim, in their entirety, reviews, but – four stars from Mojo – “Ginsberg howls in tune” – the piece is by Michael Simmons – we couldn’t resist reprinting this one:
“FromSappho to Dylan, poets have long sung their work. Already established in the quality lit racket, Allen Ginsberg was not some dilettante (Dylantante?) when he put music to words. A fan of pre-war blueswomen like Ma Rainey, he heard his own influence on Dylan; “A torch had been passed”. John Hammond Sr. signed Allen to Columbia Records. but the suits found his lyrics “disrespectful”, so Hammond self-released First Blues. Reissue producer, Pat Thomas collected those sessions and others spanning a decade on three discs and – helped by Dylan, David Amram, Happy Traum, and long-time accompanist Steven Taylor – it’s a hoot ‘n howl! Working in blues. folk amd rock forms. and with sexual, political and comedic themes, Ginsberg is vocally endearing and delightfully filthy. Nurse’s Song, co-written with William Blake, is the catchiest collab twixt scribes spanning two centuries.”