Miltonic Psalm Notations

[ Portrait of John Milton –  (circa 1803) – by William Blake]

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Basic Poetics class (at Naropa) – continuing from here

AG: So, the next experiment I did (was) with Miltonics – Milton. This is my Miltonics. It was pretty sick Miltonics.  Because what it is,  is a total – 1949 -it’s a.. I think I was either coming or..  going to-and-fro from.. Bedlam – New York State Psychiatric Institute, and I was convinced that there was a supernatural consciousness that I had to achieve and I was not achieving it, and that I wouldn’t achieve … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Ken Kesey at the 1982 Jack Kerouac Conference


 [Vintage Ephemera – Poster from the 1982 Naropa Jack Kerouac Conference]

Another classic piece of audio this week from the 1982 Jack Kerouac Conference. We’ve been featuring a number of recordings from the Conference in the past few weeks. See, for example, here, here, and here, here and here.

Today – Lawrence Ferlinghetti reads Jack Kerouac (from the then-unpublished Pomes All Sizes

and Ken Kesey speaks (presciently) of marijuana de-criminalization and reads an early draft of his classic  “Now We Know How Many Holes It Takes To Fill The Albert Hall” (a piece originally … Read More

Ginsberg Rare Video Footage Addenda

Following on from yesterday’s posting of Allen in Scotland in 1973, there’s a fourth and final video that we omitted, but include today just to give you the complete picture.  It consists of documentation of a press-conference (but with considerable intrusive ambient sound interference, not to mention amateur camera-work, making it almost impossible – indeed quite literally impossible – to transcribe – Listen hard and you can, perhaps, glean a few of the highlights.   Approximately sixteen minutes in, that conference concludes, and the focus shifts to Allen in a performance of the popular Hindu mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, accompanying … Read More

John Lennon’s Birthday

[John Lennon (1940-1980)]

So today would’ve been John Lennon’s 74th birthday.

Allen, writing in 1984, in Rolling Stone

“I remember the precise moment, the precise night I went to this place in New York City called the Dom and they turned on “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and I heard that high, yodeling alto sound of the OOOH that went right through my skull, and I realized it was going to go through the skull of Western civilization. I began dancing in public the first time in my life complete delight and abandon, no self-conscious wallflower anxieties. … Read More

Burroughs Sings! – (Falling In Love Again)

Another Burroughs weekend. We’re doing a lot of William Burroughs posts here on the Ginsberg blog – unapologetic – it being the Burroughs Centennial. Today, Wiliam Burroughs Sings! (We’ve already posted a Jack Kerouac Sings! – Allen Ginsberg Singing is, of course, pretty ubiquitous!)

As he explains at the outset of another musical encounter…“just something I picked up, a knack of going along with somebody’s song, putting myself into it..”..”Marlene Dietrich, not one of my favorite people, but..” – William Burroughs’ spirited rendition of Dietrich’s classic torch-song, “Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss Auf Liebe eingestellt”Read More

Text and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

The recent publication of Simon Warner‘s quaintly-titled, monumental (500+ pages) tome, Text and Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll, had us thinking again about lineage and connections and those issues – “Was rock culture the natural heir to the activities of the Beats? Were the hippies the Beats of the 1960s? What attitude did the Beat writers have towards musical forms and particularly rock music? How did literary works shape the consciousness of leading rock music-makers and their followers? Why did Beat literature retain its cultural potency with later rock musicians who rejected hippie values? How did rock musicians … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – 27

[Walter Ralegh (1554-1618) aged 34 – portrait via National Portrait Gallery]

Allen’s Spontaneous Poetry (Ballads) lectures, given at the Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, in July and August of 1976, continue. This particular section continues the June 16 class.

AG:  “The Lie” by Sir Walter Ralegh – Moving now from ballad to song, staying around the same time. We’re still before and after Shakespeare. There are a number of classical pieces of rhythm and imagery that those of you who are interested in poetry  just as beaming mind-eye movies should know. And those of you who are writing

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Allen’s Spiritual Jukebox (Notes on Music Notes 3)

[“The Music Lesson – Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg on the Rolling Thunder Revue, in Lowell, Mass” – for Jack Kerouac – photograph by Elsa Dorfman]

continuing with “Allen Ginsberg’s Jukebox”

“Pop fragments addenda”. So, to conclude, some essential Dylan and The Beatles. Not to forget, the Stones (tho’, significantly – and this is 1971, after all – only one track from the Rolling Stones, the lasciviously seductive “Let’s Spend The Night Together” – famously delivered as Let’s Spend Some Time Together on the Ed Sullivan tv show – appears on Allen’s list). A contemporaneous (1967) clip … Read More

Gone Travelling and John Lennon documentary teaser

A few of us here are gone traveling across the country and globe for the next few weeks and likely we won’t be able to keep this up as regularly as we usually do. We should be back up ‘n’ running full speed ahead after December 14th. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this trailer for the PBS American Masters John Lennon documentary. In case you missed it, and are in the US, they’re airing it a few more times next week.

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John Lennon (1971 Birthday Celebration)

This one tops the list for ‘spirit’ awards. Not hard to pick out Peter Orlovksy who then introduces Ginsberg. We’re thinking it’s gotta be Lennon’s 31st birthday, October 9, 1971 at a hotel room in Syracuse. (disregard the Bed Peace photo on the posting) Allen, just back from India brought along the new harmonium he bought there, and played that and his finger cymbals while introducing the chant “Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum” as well as “September on Jessore Road” he’d only just written days before. According to Bill Morgan, Phil Spector was also in the room … Read More