William Burroughs Conversation continues – 1

“Being only human, the fluke could not record facts.   Some concerned thought he was insane.   I do not know”

We had been serializing, a few months back, (see here), transcripts from a July 1985 conversation that took place at Naropa Institute, between Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and William Burroughs, a panel discussion, uncensored recollection, on the occasion of a William Burroughs Conference that Burroughs attended.  Part two of the conversation follows, continuing here.

GC: Jacques Stern – That was my pain to William Burroughs. I laid.. I bought it, I carried (it) up to his room, dumped it on his bed… This man, who’s a Rothschild, got polio. He’s very smart. He’s a junkie. I’d just heard about him..

WSB: Not any more.

GC: Not anymore junkie, no, he’s off that shit. (Then again..)  So.. I said, “Are you Jacques Stern?”, He said, “Yeah”. I said, “I want to introduce you to a real sharp man”. He left his drink (and I watched this), “Come on”.  And he gets his fuckin’ chauffeur,  And we stop at 9 Git de Coeur.  And I carry him up those stairs..

AG: Polio
GC: Huh?
AG: Polio
WSB: Polio, it was..
GC: Polio.. Yeah..
WSB: He had to walk on…
GC: Carry him up and then dump him on his bed.
WSB: Yeah, Yeah.

GC: Well, was it bad in life, you knowing the man? I mean, come on.

WSB: Oh no, he was.. he was.. he was quite a character, the Mad Baron..

GC: Yeah

WSB: ..(and) he was very generous.  My god, he really was a cheque-grabber!

GC: Yeah

WSB: And.. you know..

GC: Alright, so Jacques Stern turns out, right?

WSB: And then when he was on the floor, Gregory, you.. I had to get him, take him to my place, you wouldn’t have (him).  ”I can’t carry him up and down the stairs” – Those were your very words when poor Jacques was on the floor. Remember that?

GC: Right

WSB: Yeah

GC: Well, you should’ve..

WSB: Well, I.. I couldn’t.. I couldn’t handle it.

GC: You couldn’t do it? What the fuck was I supposed to do? take care of him?

WSB: Every time I’d get him out of there, I’d say “Now you settle somewhere else”, and then I’d get a call, “I can’t stand it”.

AG: Now this is many years later in New York.

WSB: Many years later. When we knew him he had a Bentley and a huge apartment and he was just handing out the hash, and the heroin, cocaine.. everything, you know.. but..

AG: That’s ‘57 again. Yeah, that’s early, ‘58?

WSB: Yeah, around ‘58, ‘59, around in there.

AG: He had gone to Harvard and was a friend of Harry Phipps.. [Editorial note – Harry Phipps? Harry Phipps? – is this the same sexual deviant, many years later relocated to Australia, who became prime suspect in the notorious Beaumont children case?]

GC: …and who was a whizz-kid… (Stern)

AG:  …who was of the Marshall Field’s family, and who, Phipps said, bankrolled the play, See The Jaguar, in New York, which was the first play that..

GC: Jimmy Dean

AG: …Jimmy Dean played in, and Harry said that he’d had a love affair with Jimmy Dean at the time.

WSB: I believe it.

AG: ..and who came to my door (a very nice-looking guy)

James Dean in the Broadway play, “See the Jaguar”, by N.Richard Nash, at the Cort Theatre, December, 1952

GC:  Oh Jacques Stern has another connection – his godson. Jacques Stern’s woman became my woman, I gave her a baby, Max.

WSB: That’s right

GC (to WSB): And Max is your godson, right?

WSB: Yes. You married Jacques Stern’s ex- wife or..
GC: Right
WSB: …girlfriend, anyway.
GC:  Whatever
WSB: “The Baroness”.  Sure.

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at the beginning of the tape and concluding approximately four minutes in.

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