Steven Taylor

[Steven Taylor,  Tibet House Benefit rehearsal, February 28, 1995. Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

[Allen Ginsberg photographed by Steven Taylor/ Steven Taylor photographed by Allen Ginsberg, NYC 1995 – courtesy The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]

The dedication to Allen’s Cosmopolitan Geetings volume (1994) reads -“To Steven Taylor”  followed by that echoing line of William Shakespeare – “If music be the food of love, play on” – Steven, most definitely, did and has. It is a major omission that we haven’t focused on him before, here on the Allen Ginsberg Project – (altho’ we have – see for example here, here, hereRead More

William Blake’s Birthday

William Blake was born today, two hundred and sixty years ago, in London, England

We salute the great, inspired, poet, painter, visionary.

Here’s poet, scholar, literary maverick, Iain Sinclair, for the British Library, on an essential quality of the man – William Blake’s radicalism

[Blake’s image of Albion, accompanying the words Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves/Giving himself for the Nations hedanc’d thedance of Eternal Death]

and here’s Sinclair speaking of Blake’s spiritual visions

[The Ghost of A Flea – William Blake (c.1820)]

Allen Ginsberg and William Blake – we have covered the relationship … Read More

Ed Sanders on Harry Smith

In anticipation of Ed Sanders’ seventy-fifth birthday tomorrow “Ed Sanders, poet and founding member of The Fugs, recalls his deep friendship with Harry Smith, compiler of the highly influential Anthology of American Folk Music. (Smith produced the Fugs’ first album in 1965) for Folkways Records“) “The recording sessions for Folkways Records resulted in the 1965 album “The Village Fugs Sing Ballads of Contemporary Protest, Point of Views, and General Dissatisfaction.” The album was reissued in 1966 as The Fugs First Album by the ESP-Disk Label, followed by several reissues with additional tracks”

[Harry Smith (1923-1991)]

(For more

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Conrad Rooks – Chappaqua

Chappaqua, the legendary 1966 film, written and directed by Conrad Rooks (Rooks not Brooks – sic), now available, in its entirety, on You Tube [2014 update – they come and they go, Chappaqua is no longer available in its entirety on You Tube], is this weekend’s Allen Ginsberg Project focus.  

Here’s the original trailer

As Jack Sargeant, in his essential account in Naked Lens – Beat Cinema points out:  “Rooks began to experiment with alcohol in his teens and later with drugs [a variety of drugs], to which he became addicted” [as he declares quite explicitly in the opening … Read More

Maretta Greer

thefactory-: Ginsberg with Maretta Greer and Gary Snyder at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14, 1967.

[Allen Ginsberg, Maretta Greer and Gary Snyder at The Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco,  1967 – Photograph by Leo Holub]

[Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Maretta Greer at the opening of Timothy Leary’s Meditation Center, Hudson Street, New York City, 1967]

Maretta Greer, another of Allen’s “girlfriends”, his mantra teacher, spiritual goad, and sometime live-in companion, when she wasn’t (as she was, a good deal of the time) wandering barefoot around India.  She’d left home at aged fifteen to become a saddhu.  Gordon Ball recalls glimpsing her in Allen’s company, in 1966 at the Jonas Read More

Investigative Poetics – 3

AG: So what I want to do this period is to talk about just what I understand of his (Ed Sanders) notion of “Investigative Poetry”, and the things that we’ve done in common (maybe touching on some things that he’ll go into in more extensive detail. I’ll just give my angle on the same). 

I want to begin with a sample of..  This is something that I did that Ed approved or encouraged, (and) that I, actually, got a little bit out of Ed. It’s a song. Ed started The Fugs, a rock group, which also … Read More

Fugs Howl

And here’s one more from the Thelma Blitz Tuli Kupferberg/Fugs archive trove – “I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation Rot”, The Fugs lively 1966 musical interpretation of Allen’s classic“Howl” (which first appeared on the ESP disc, Virgin Fugs). Contributions to the video also from Jeffrey Lewis and Norman Savitt. That is, of course, Ed Sanders taking the lead vocal, but Tuli can be heard intoning here too.

1968 Beat Exorcism

Thelma Blitz’s dutiful documentation of The Fugs and, most particularly, the late great Tuli Kupferberg, we mentioned yesterday. Here’s a montage by her to audio of a fabled and curious event – the 1968 “Exorcism” at the Grave of Senator Joe McCarthy, in St Mary’s Parish Cemetery, Appleton, Wisconsin

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[Senator Joe McCarthy (1908-1957)]

Ed Sanders, in his recent memoir, Fug You, (despite contrary, incendiary, reports), describes the action as “dignified and respectful” (occurring, as it did, just a few months after he and various other Vietnam war protesters staged their famous (absurdist but necessary and

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