Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – The Jack Elliott Interview – 3

The Allen Ginsberg-Ramblin’ Jack Elliott conversation continues

JE: Well, the big song that we were pushing  on the Rolling Thunder tour, our heaviest number probably, and what might have been one of the main purposes of the tour, it would seem, and gave us a lot of spirit, was the song about Hurricane Carter. I just saw in the paper today where Hurricane Carter beat up his lady manager..

AG: Just now?
JE: ..and she’s in a .. no, it happened a while back, but she didn’t want him to go to jail and she didn’t want to … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – The Jack Elliott Interview – 2

JE: “Red River Valley”…okay, “Red River Valley”, that was it. I had never even heard about Woody Guthrieuntil I got to hanging out with a bull-rider named Todd Fletcher (who also came from Brooklyn, but nobody knew about that). He started cowboying in Arizona and was riding in rodeos all around the country, and I travelled around with Todd for about six months, going to rodeos, and, any time we’d have any free time, just loafing around, why, Todd’d be singing and playing the guitar. He sang a lot of folk songs and a lot of cowboy

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Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – The Jack Elliott Interview – 1

[“My ex-girlfriend Helen Parker’s son Bruce, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot (sic) in cowboy hat, folk-singer student of Woody Guthrie in New Jersey, & a banjo friend. Ramblin’ Jack had stole my girl back in 1950 — here Greenwich Village, 1953. Allen Ginsberg” – c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
AG: Jack (Elliott) here, well, where did you start? What I was interested in getting was some kind of history of the development of American folk poem ballad song. Jack is one of the inheritors of the lineage of Woody Guthrie. [Allen turns to Mike Burton] – I guess you are too, Mike? … Read More

Nanao & Allen – 1982 KNGU Radio Interview – Part 2

[Nanao Sakaki Reading at Yoyogi Park, Shibuya, Tokyo, Earth Day 2006 – Photograph used by permission – Copyright John Suiter. All Rights Reserved]

NS: Okay. Another poem. Future knows. Future knows – “Thus I heard/ Oakland California – /To teacher’s question an eleven-year-old girl answered, “The ocean is/ A huge swimming-pool with cement walls.”/ On a starry summer night/ At a camping ground in Japan/ a nine-year-old boy from Tokyo complained/ “Ugly, too many stars!”/ At a department store in Kyoto/ One of my friends bought a beetle/ For his son, seven-years-old. A few hours later/ The boy brought his … Read More

Nanao & Allen 1982 – KNGU Radio Interview – Part 1

[Nanao Sakaki (1923-2008]

[Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)] How To Live On The Planet Earth – The Collected Poems of  Nanao Sakaki finally appears in print (from Blackberry Books – ordering details here.) In honor of the occasion, a two-part transcription of a radio interview that Nanao and Allen participated in, in 1982, with David Barsamian, on KNGU radio, Boulder,Colorado, follows here. For more on Nanao on The Allen Ginsberg Project see here.   

DB: We’re very pleased to have in our studios right now a very prominent poet from Japan, Nanao Sakaki, and our very own Allen Ginsberg. Allen, you … Read More

Kathy Acker Interviews William Burroughs

[Kathy Acker – photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Two mod (post-mod) icons. Kathy Acker interviews William S Burroughs in London in 1988, on the occasion of the opening of his inaugeral show of his shotgun paintings, at the October Gallery. He discusses both his writing … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Doesn’t Believe in Ghosts

[2014 update – the video that accompanied this post is now no longer available}

So this delightful snippet of Ginsberg footage recently re-surfaced – Allen among his file-cabinets on East 12th Street. The tape begins in media res (Allen rifling through his things)

AG: (There’s a) – photograph with (Bob) Dylan at (Jack) Kerouac’s grave, (I’ll) see if I can find it. Here’s some photographs of the Rolling Thunder tour..let’s see, yeah, [shows Ken Regan’s photo] – This has been in the newspapers and all. Actually, this is an interesting photo if you can zero in on it. … Read More

Trent Harris’ Allen Ginsberg Interview

So here’s a lost little You Tube gem (it’s been up since December of 2010 apparently!). The message here is, please, spell-Allen’s-name-right! – it’s Allen Ginsberg! (and Ginsberg not Ginsburg!) – That necessary kvetch out of the way, it has to be said, this is a curiously charming, and delightfully intimate, piece. Trent Harris manages to coax out of Allen an extraordinary honesty and candor (and the clips of him reading are pretty great too).
In 1979 Trent Harris, as he declares, “was lucky enough to spend three days my favorite free radical…We talked about beatniks, politics, and love.”
Here … Read More

Ah Roma! – Corso & Kuipers

Ah Roma! – Gregory Corso.Lyrics by Gregory Corso. Music by Francis Kuipers. Published by Red Records, Milan, Italy, 1988 (from the album, “Poesia e Musica – Gregory Corso and Francis Kuipers”))
From an interview with Michalis Limnios in Blues and Greece
(for the fascinating full interview see here)

ML: Tell me a few things about the story of “Poesia e Musica – Gregory Corso and Francis Kuipers”, how that came about?

FK: I discovered the poem ‘Oh Roma’, the first track on the LP, scrawled in chalk, in Gregory’s unmistakable and florid hand-writing, across … Read More

Why Jack Sent His Friends Away

One more gem from the Salem State 1973 Kerouac symposium. We’ve already featured it here and here – but – in answer to a panelist’s question – “Is it true (that) the last time you visited Jack that you were turned away?”
Allen tries to play it down, but Peter (on an anti-alcohol rant) is as vehement as ever – and Gregory emerges as a (happy?) fatalist. Here’s a transcription:
Steve Salvo (moderator): Is it true the last time you visited Jack that you were turned away?
AG: Yeah..his mother (had) had a stroke and..he called us..we spoke on the … Read More