Vintage Paul McCartney mask, vintage Allen Ginsberg stoned, Halloween face-painting, followed by a serious (and still timely) song by Messeurs Ginsberg and McCartney – with lyrics sub-titled in Spanish!

Happy Halloween! Here are a few previous  Allen Ginsberg Project Halloween posts – 20142013,  and  2012 (once, just that once – too easy! – we went there!) … Read More

Colin Still – Optic Nerve


 [Colin Still]

Colin Still and Optic Nerve‘s poetic documentation and extraordinary achievement needs to be sung. So we’re singing it today here.

By now, perhaps, many of you will have already seen, and be familiar with, this footage (Colin’s footage) – the legendary pairing – Allen Ginsberg accompanied by Paul McCartney, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in October of 1995 – “The Ballad of The Skeletons” From the same occasion – “After Lalon” but that event and that footage, extraordinary though it is, is only the very tip of the iceberg. Colin has shot full-length
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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

Allen Ginsberg – 1996 Sarasota tv Interview

Allen’s (87th) birthday tomorrow, but we figured to get a little into the spirit of things today.

Here’s a gem, recently uploaded to You Tube – Allen, interviewed by Patricia Caswell, in 1996, in Sarasota, Florida (on local television – “Sarasota Arts Today”). The occasion is the publication of his “Selected Poems” (“Actually”, Allen quietly confesses, ” I just received the very first copy in the mail today”)

Allen (who may, perhaps, be forgiven for just a tiny bit of name-dropping!) patiently explains himself to, and for, a presumed ignorant but sympathetic audience (and makes a righteous castigation of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Interviewed by Allan Gregg 1997 (ASV #28)

Allen Ginsberg, interviewed on Canadian television by another A.G., pundit Allan Gregg.

[2015 update – the video for this interview is no longer available, the audio, however, may be heard – here]
Allan Gregg: The Beat Generation of avant-garde writers and artists of the ’50’s and ’60’s are experiencing a huge resurgence, especially among the young people. As a guy who was there at its generation, who has sustained it all these years, what’s your reaction. Are you gratified by all of this? (are you) amused?
Allen Ginsberg: Well, actually, it’s been going on all along, with different … Read More

The Ballad of The Skeletons

To repeat the relevant paragraphs in our recently re-published Harvey Kubernik interview.

Allen: “I had a gig at Albert Hall in London. A reading. I had been talking quite a bit to (Paul) McCartney, visiting him and bringing him poetry and haiku, and looking at Linda McCartney’s photographs and giving him some photos I’d taken of them. So, McCartney liked it and filmed me doing “(The Ballad of The) Skeletons” in a little 8 millimeter home thing. And then I had this reading at (the) Albert Hall, and I asked (him) if he could recommend a … Read More

Allen and Music (Harvey Kubernik 1996 Interview)

[Holy Soul Jelly Roll 4 CD boxed set produced by Hal Willner, Rhino Records, 1994]

[Ballad of the Skeletons, Allen Ginsberg with Lenny Kaye, Philip Glass, Paul McCartney, Marc Ribot and David Mansfield, produced by Lenny Kaye, mixed by Hal Willner. Mercury/Mouth Almighty, 1996]

Another fugitive interview and a good one we think. From October 1996. Interviewer, Harvey R Kubernik writes:

“While Ginsberg’s considerable literary reputation has been chronicled and discussed for years, the media has never really documented (his) links to music, and his recording process, the actual collision of melody and words… I talked to him one late … Read More

Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney

Every so often we go trolling through ABE books, looking at all the high-end Ginsberg items, Did you know a signed first-edition (first printing) of Howl in the proper (pristine) condition (Howl’s first printing was actually a small mimeo edition, circulated privately among friends) can set you back over 5000 dollars? One interesting item we noticed was this, Allen’s inscribed copy of his (UK) 1967 Cape Goliard volume, TV Baby Poems, inscribed to Beatle Paul McCartney and then re-inscribed “To R von Kauffungen, who bought this copy in N.Y. at a book fair 1978″. “It is … Read More