Allen, the master photographer, (lest it not be forgotten) – last Monday’s salute from Photography & Vision,
master too of the apposite caption – “Neal Cassady and Natalie Jackson conscious of their roles in Eternity, Market Street, San Francisco, 1955″ is the shortened version of this one.
‘Neal Cassady and his love of that year Natalie Jackson conscious of their roles in Eternity, Market Street San Francisco. Cassady had been prototype for Kerouac’s late 1940’s On The Road saga hero, Dean Moriarity, as in later 1960’s he would take the wheel of Ken Kesey‘s psychedelic-era Crosscountry bus “Further.” His illuminated American Automobile mania and erotic energy had already written his name in bright-lit signs of our literary imagination before movies were made imitating his charm. That’s why we stopped under the marquee to fix the passing hand on the watch.”
is the longer one.
And, speaking of photography, more images from the big stories from last week:
Video of the full event (the plaque’s unveiling) is available here
John Lennon‘s birthday this past week – Simon Warner, in his always-engaging Substack, Rock and The Beat Generation, examines the thorny question, when exactly did Lennon first come across and /or properly appreciate Allen’s “Howl’? – was it in the early ‘Sixties (the naming of The Beatles and all that) or was it, a significant qualification, some significant time later, not until the ‘Seventies, when Lennon chanced upon it (a recording on New York radio station WBAI) and finally “got it”?
Warner enlists the help of scenester (and Ginsberg biographer) Barry Miles who observes that, perhaps surprisingly, of the Beatles, “Paul (McCartney) probably read “Howl” before the others, though they may have heard the title from people like (author and screenwriter) Johnny Byrne back in Liverpool days.” “It wasn’t actually published”, he observes, “in Britain until The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men from 1958-59. (And) now I remember, Byrne hated Lennon so he probably didn’t introduce him to “Howl”..”
Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945-2022) – A monumental appreciation of poet and polymath Peter Lamborne Wilson by Raymond Foye with a multitude of contributions, testimonials and illuminations appears this month in the October Brooklyn Rail
Andy Clausen writes:
“The last time AG was at Naropa, he and Peter (Peter Lamborn Wilson) each had an upstairs bedroom at the Varsity apartments. I slept on the downstairs couch. I wasn’t a scheduled reader and was passing through, headed to Upstate New York. For a couple of weeks in the morning the three of us had coffee, sometimes breakfast, which Allen would make. Most of the time, all I could say was, “Jesus, you guys are smart!”
They knew the detailed history of poetry, religion, art, sexuality, politics. Allen vigorously enjoyed not only Peter’s encyclopedic knowledge, but his ability to correct or inform Ginsberg on nuances of fact or misconception, which seemed to delight Allen”
Lamborn Wilson’s extraordinary erudition and range was combined with a quiet humility. As Raymond Foye attests – “By the late 1990s I got to know him and realized there were (in fact) two Peter Wilsons, the public and the private. He was very much like William Burroughs in this regard. The public image was something of a Holy Monster, while the private individual was warm, humble, and wholly dedicated to his vocation as writer”.
He will be sorely missed.