Allen Ginsberg – On Meeting The Beatles

A little clip from the 2005 Martin Scorsese documentary No Direction Home – Allen on an early meeting with The Beatles.

See also a previous posting on those times  (‘Sixties London) – Miles recollections of Allen’s legendary 39th birthday party

AG: I had just been kicked out of Cuba for talking privately about Castro’s persecution of gay people and then went Czechoslovakia, was elected King of May, May Day, a week later was kicked out by the Ministry of Education and deported to London, and then I landed, around the time of Dylan‘s concerts at Albert Hall. There was a very exciting scene back in the hotel and Dylan was down the hall with The Beatles. Then a message came that I was supposed to come in there. So I came in to the room and everyone was sitting there totally stone-cold silent frozen paranoid. Not quite knowing my place, knowing Bob, I sat down on the side of his arm-chair. John Lennon said, snidely, “Why don’t you sit a little closer?”. I suddenly realized they were just so naive, they were young. So actually I fell over laughing onto John’s lap, looking up at him, and asked him, “Do you ever read William Blake?”. He said, “Never ‘eard of him”. And his wife said, “Oh John, stop lying!” Then everybody began laughing and the scene sort of broke up, but, you know, the ice was broken. It struck me as funny that these guys at the summit of power, spiritual power, musical power, world-famed, ’65, June, were so unsure of their minds and speech.

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