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

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

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


[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

Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 134

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Alain Dister – via “Beat Generation/Allen Ginsberg” at ZKM]

Big Allen-celebration in San Francisco this evening, Beat Reunion For more details here.

The current July/August issue of Poetry magazine includes this memoir by Marjorie Perloff“Allen Ginsberg – Remembering A Rose Rabbi” – “I have been listening to (his) lectures and marveling at Allen’s interest in the minutiae of prosody“, she writes. She recalls his participation at the 1993 NPF (National Poetry Foundation) Conference (on American poetry of the (19)30’s) – (“(he) had been invited to pay homage to the ninety-year-old

Read More

New York, 1967, What Was Happening?


[Still from What’s Happening? (1967)  (shown on Italian tv – watch – here]

“The prophecies of Marinetti are coming true some of them, the wilder, more poetic ones”, so, gleefully, declares Allen in this quintessentially 1967 documentary film by Antonello Branca, What’s Happening? What, indeed, is happening? Poets and painters and a brash New York City just for that moment in time and space come together. Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg candidly speak (Andy speaks!). Allen appears first (around six and a half minutes in) being interviewed as he walks along the street and then (circa 30 … Read More

1998 Memorial

[Illustration by Eric Drooker, used for Planet News: Allen Ginsberg Memorial, May 1999]

Thelma Blitz and Revolting News have generously made available Norman Savitt’s footage from the May 14 1998 memorial for Allen at The Cathedral Church of St John The Divine in New York.

Included in this video document are brief glimpses of media wizard, Danny Schechter followed by Ed Sanders (getting the congregation to “Om” for Allen!), Bob Rosenthal (introducing the late great Pedro Pietri), Steven Taylor (playing “New Stanzas for Amazing Grace” on Allen’s old harmonium), and Philip Glass with Patti Smith and her band … Read More

Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010)

We’ve just been told that Tuli Kupferberg passed away this afternoon at 12:30 with his family by his side. He’d been quite ill for some time, so not entirely unexpected, but still this news always seems to come as a surprise. New York Times obit gives a decent but brief overview of his life, with a full obit to follow they state.

As a reminder of Tuli’s unique and great sense of humor we thought we’d post some of his drawings that his daughter Samara posted on their blog a few months ago. But also check out his (Thelma Blitz’s) … Read More