“I don’t like the government where I live..”

[“Capitol Air” – “I don’t like the government where I live..” – Allen Ginsberg, pictured here with Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash]

[Allen Ginsberg, 1985 Self Portrait – Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]

More strange tapes from the archives. Solitary splendors. Throw-away musings. We’ll be featuring plenty more substantial things in the months to come but thought to follow up last week’s mournful ditty with this – another fugitive thing, another fleeting but poignant “audio-selfie” – Allen, alone with the tape-recorder, practicing, sounding out and composing a … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 372

 

“In a climate of fear and hysteria..” – It’s always revealing and instructive to “get to see the files”. We featured a lengthy post on Allen’s FBI files some years back (courtesy the pioneering work of Shawn Musgrave and Muck Rock). Another tenacious investigator. S.P. Sullivan is to be commended for just recently uncovering William Carlos Williams’ files – “He was one of Jersey’s most famous poets. The FBI worried he was a Communist”.  Sullivan’s full report (just published, by Inside Jersey magazine, and on-line at NJ.Com) may be accessed  – here

[Allen Ginsberg in Uncle Sam … Read More

Stonewall Anniversary

[Stonewall Inn, 1969. Photo: Fred W McDarrah (c) the Estate of Fred W McDarrah. All rights reserved]

A key anniversary today – the anniversary of Stonewall.

In 1994 the Village Voice ran a special section, “Stonewall 25,” and Allen Ginsberg was among those who contributed. His contribution (excerpted from the introduction to Gay Pride – Photographs From Stonewall to Today by Fred W and Timothy McDarrah, soon to be reissued by Or Books, in preparation for “Stonewall 50”) ran as follows:

Think of the historic importance of coming out of the closet! Stonewall’s cry echoed round the world!Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 371 (Gay Pride)

[The original rainbow flag designed, in 1978, by Gilbert Baker]

Gay Pride in San Francisco and New York this weekend

 

Allen Ginsberg interviewed on Stonewall Nation, (WBFO-FM, SUNY, Buffalo), October 6, 1978, by Alex Van Oss and Al Hershberger (recording courtesy the incomparable PennSound)

AVO: You’ve been out as gay for so many years. Were you ever in the closet?

AG: I was, very much so, in Columbia, when I was going to school, at first, the first year. I was afraid somebody would find out, actually, and I never.. didn’t want to tip my mitt … Read More

T.V. Baby

“Television Was A Baby Crawling Toward That Death Chamber”, Allen’s scorching jeremiad of a poem that featured as the opening poem of his 1967 Cape Goliard/Grossman collection TV Baby Poems is our focus today, and a live reading of it that took place, March 15, 1968, at California State University, Sacramento.

“…Here I am – Old Betty Boop whoopsing behind the skull microphone wondering what Idiot soap opera horror show we broadcast by Mistake/hypnotizing millions of regional-eyed detectives to commit mass murder on the Invisible/which is only a bunch of women weeping hidden behind newspapers in the Andes, conspired against … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1982 Leicester Student Interview

Last week, we featured transcription from a tape in the Stanford University Archives that featured an interview with Jack Kerouac’s childhood friend (and Allen’s friend) jazz aficiando, Seymour Wyse. This week, from the same tape, the conversation is followed by an interview with an earnest young English student (presumably an undergraduate at Leicester University, prior to the reading Allen gave there with Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovsky in the Fall of 1982 – at one point in the transcript, Allen breathlessly itemizes his itinerary)

Interviewer (Student):  Do you make recordings of all your work?

AG:  Not all, but I have … Read More

Barry Farber – 7 (interview concludes)

The Allen Ginsberg-Barry Farber radio transcription that we’ve been serializing continues and concludes today

BF: I want (you) to read from the Table of Contents, like the virtuous… AG: (It’s) [“Wales Visitation‘] a bit long, like eight minutes or so. Something.. And I had been used, generally, on television, to be told to please make it one minute – “Please make it two minutes” – (because they don’t realize the power of poetry, they think, you know, that everybody’s going to get bored!) So I’ll read it again and I’d like to dedicate the reading to the absent … Read More

Barry Farber Interview – 5 (continues)

[On May 4, 1970, four unarmed students at Vietnam War protests at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, were killed by National Guardsmen – the iconic image here shows, on the ground, one of the deceased, Jeffrey Miller, shortly after the shooting – Student Protest –  “After Kent State, after Kent State, people got really scared” (Allen Ginsberg, 1976, to Robert Goodman and Barry Farber on the Barry Farber show)]

Allen Ginsberg on the Barry Farber show continuing from here

Robert Goodman, a young journalist, rails, rather vacantly, against, his 1970’s student contemporaries, Jonathan Robbins, (seventeen years old, even younger … Read More

Barry Farber Interview – 4

[Barry Farber]

We continue with the transcription of Allen’s appearance on Barry Farber’s 1976 radio broadcast.

In this episode, a punk Jonathan Robbins appears to the consternation of Barry Farber, and Allen discusses, among other things, ecology (eco-consciousness) and the apparent difficulty (alleged impossibility) of translation. 

BF:  (The Beat Generation) ….was every feature-writer’s security blanket tranquillizer and pacifier. (I want to know, technically, how you attracted that much attention?)

AG:  I think, mainly, it was we said what we really thought, rather than what we were supposed to think or what we thought would be, you know, palatable for the … Read More

Barry Farber Interview – 3

[ Allen Ginsberg and Andrei Voznesensky]

The Barry Farber 1976 interview that we featured last week continues. Audio for the interview can be heard here and here 

BF: I’m Barry Farber, Peter Orlovsky is with us –  I think that means “the son of the eagle”

AG: Right…  Russian too.

BF: Allen Ginsberg, Jonathan Robbins, that’s the poetic part of the panel. The journalistic side, who can’t care if it rhymes or has soul just as long as it asks the desired questions, Robert Goodman, a new broadcast journalist and a good one, Bullets Durgin, just said goodbye, … Read More