Friday December 30 – Patti Smith’s 70th birthday



Patti Smith turns 70 today. She’ll be performing tonight, in Chicago, at the Riviera Theatre, with her band, part of an on-going tour celebrating the release of her groundbreaking 1975 debut album, Horses

What a year it’s been for Patti! (always quite a year for Patti! – poet as rock-star, poet as performer, poet as activist)

Poet as upholder of lineage and tradition – So, most recently, the extraordnary rendition of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the Nobel Prize ceremonies, honoring Nobel laureate, Bob Dylan

She writes … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 208


[Lawrence Ferlighetti Interviews Allen Ginsberg in London in 1965 – William Shakespeare listens in – Photograph by John “Hoppy” Hopkins]

Notice (last week) of the passing  of London’s ubiquitous counter-cultural hero, John “Hoppy” Hopkins brings us to this little snippet of footage (from the BBC’s current affairs program, Panorama) – footage of a “Legalize Pot” rally (including archival footage of Allen) in 1967, in London’s Hyde Park. Despite the pompous commentary…

Speaking of marijuana, here’s Allen, in New York, on the picket line, pushing for legalization, two years before:  

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Benedict J Read More

Expansive Poetics – 115 (Punk versus Beat)


[Iggy Pop]

[AG (to two exceptionally amorous students): If you guys are going to make love in my class.. I just get distracted all the time – sitting there hugging and kissing and fucking all the time…(please, take it outside)..] [continuing, from 1981 Naropa class] Student: How about new wave (rock ‘n roll music), do you think that could change the… AG: I think it (already) has – new wave. I think new wave (punk) is a definite step forward. It makes, it.. Like (the) Beat thing made use of a lot of early elements, from (William Carlos) Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 171

[Iggy Pop and Johnny Depp – Photographs by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
Iggy Pop interviews Johnny Depp in the current Interview magazine (Vanity Fair’s Julie Miller also picked up on this, on their blog, summarizing it, a little moralistically, with a shock-horror headline (more demonizing?) –  “Johnny Depp Entertained Allen Ginsberg’s Shameless Flirtations During the Beat Poet’s Final Years”. “Shameless flirtation”?  – Depp: “It was sweet. I just think he wanted affection on whatever level.”
Iggy Pop: You mention Ginsberg flirting with you. He visited me once but he didn’t flirt, so I’m kind of … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 165

[Allen Ginsberg, 1954 – oil on canvas – painting by Robert LaVigne]

Two weeks since the last round-up, so let’s get right to it. lavigne.jpg (39580 bytes)

[Robert LaVigne – Photograph by Myles Aronowitz]

Robert LaVigne – The troubling case of Robert LaVigne and the allegedly stolen paintings.

Newspaper reports last year noted a court case involving LaVigne and his former assistant George Chebanyuk – (“Chebanyuk is alleged to have tried to sell off six works created by LaVigne, including a nude presumably depicting Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg”).  A jury deliberated for four hours, on February 4, and returned a Read More

Iggy Pop


Iggy Pop, photographed here in his apartment at the Christodora on Avenue B, just down the street, in Allen’s old neighborhood, New York’s East Village, on April 14, 1990 There’s a delightful documentary from around this time (made by Dutch film-maker, Blam Van Splunteren) – Iggy showing the film crew around, giving them a guided tour, around what was then a decidedly different neighborhood!

Iggy – perhaps this is the ultimate Iggy footage – Iggy and The Stooges in 1970 at the Cincinnati Pop Festival. Iggy’s legendary crowd-surfing and peanut-butter smearing (!)

and, of course, the legendary … Read More