Kerouac meantioned 2 derivations of the phrase beat, the 1st was indeed beat from Hurbert Huncke (who just died recently)meaning something bad, gone wrong, i.e. a beat dope deal. The 2nd he brought up with John Clellon Holmes in which he said beat also means in the beatific sense searching for bliss or maybe the sacred. I never thought of it as trying to beat time, but especially in view of Neal/Dean that seems a pretty good interpertation, & original run with it. By the way Europe is a country?