Graham Seidman

Beat Generation News Tributes Visual Art
This morning we received word that artist, Beat photographer and friend of LitKicks Graham Seidman has passed away. Graham was an accomplished photographer who was always reinventing ways to use his talents in new formats and to raise awareness. You can view some of his work here.

As a friend to many of the Beat Generation authors and characters, Graham was always willing to share a story or a bit of knowledge whenever anyone had a question. He was also an adept storyteller in his own right, recounting many events, such as this one about the famed "Beat Hotel" in Paris. These great stories are not only a pleasure to read, but provide a link to that piece of literary history. Graham was also integral in helping LitKicks to present one of our best features -- a 1970 original recording of Corso reading BOMB. Graham was generous in helping us put this together with his audio and images and we feel it's a great testament to not only his spirit, but also his desire to keep art and poetry alive.

As did a few others here, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Graham in person, and he was just as kind and friendly as in his postings or email. He will be missed as not only a resource on Beat history, but also as a friend.

We'll pass along any memorial information if/when it becomes available. In the meantime, consider checking out the Jazz Foundation of America, a cause that Graham was involved in recently through this site. Please share any thoughts or memories of Graham Seidman, his art or stories here.
19 Responses to "Graham Seidman"

by brooklyn on

GrahamThanks for writing this, Caryn. Graham was a "regular guy" with a lot of artistry to offer and an exotic literary history to share. That "BOMB" audio, which he held onto in the form of a cheap cassette for decades before he handed it over to us, is still one of my favorite things we've ever done on LitKicks. Note to fans of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers -- that's the one and only Gilbert Shelton in the photo montage you'll find if you follow the first link. When we met Graham a couple of years ago, he regaled me with stories about Shelton along with the other Beat freaks. I'm really sorry we won't get to hang out with him again.

by Billectric on

damnDamn, I'm sorry to hear this news.Graham seemed like a really cool person when we all interacted with him on Litkicks. I remember some stories and jokes he told late one night; this is when we had the ongoing threads that were almost like a live chat, and the man was corny in a good, fun way. Another time, he called me a "smart-ass" over some sarcastic thing I posted to him, but I could tell he was just kidding around, you know, it wasn't mean or anything. We talked a few times in the web but I never got to meet him in person. I love his "cut-up" photos.That is a wild-ass photo of Gilbert Shelton! Yes, I was a big fan of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Ma-a-a-n, I haven't thought about them in years!

by buddhabitch on

Sad NewsThis is truly sad news. I have been a fan of Graham for many years and enjoyed our repartee on LitKicks in recent times. He was legend and most creative. Graham was there where it all happened and to touch him through this media was such a thrill for me. Rest in Peace Graham, you will be missed. See you later.SooZen

by Arcadia on

PhotoI remember some photos by Seidman that I saw on LitKicks some time ago. I especially liked a Ginsberg one. Thanks!

by judih. on

It's sad, alright. r.i.p., brotherI guess he was a brother to me, a cousin, a relative, a true blood connection. That's how it felt, anyway, from the first time I asked him to share his photography to the active e-mail interaction we shared. He was putting together a book of his stories and often I'd get to proof-read. (How I loved it when he asked if I'd care to see his latest story!)When we walked the Village in NYC that summer a few years ago (was it 3, already?), he told me tales of Ginsberg and the irrepressible Corso. I hadn't brought along a tape recorder so I wrote it all down from memory days later. He corrected every detail before he let me post it on Litkicks. How I wish I'd taped him.He was a sweet, brilliant man. Highly political, blessed with amazing good sense and courage. He went from American to Parisian to Puerto Rican to Floridian.A sweet man - my partner and my son shared a fat sandwich with him at the 2nd Avenue Deli. We all said goodbye last night when we heard the news.Hope there's someone to carry on with his projects - photography exhibits and his book.Here's a link to the Litkicks article:Graham Seidmanand a link to a site I put up for him to preserve his photos and stories.There you can see the famous Beat Walk for those who want to visit Paris and see the sites.Graham Seidman's Eye on the Beats

by brooklyn on

Judih -- I always liked his political outspokenness too. If I remember correctly, isn't he originally from New York City? I know he has a son in Florida, a software engineer who he spoke proudly of. He was very polite and didn't try to dominate conversations, but he made sure his points were heard. That's a quality I really like.

by brooklyn on

Yeah ... I think his best photo was one he took in the 50's or 60's, a Paris street where two monks are walking with their heads down and Gregory Corso is behind them laughing. I don't have a copy of the photo around, but it's been around the web -- if you ever see that one, it's a Graham Seidman original.

by panta rhei on

oh nothis is sad news. what a loss!even though i have never met graham in person, through his words and those of others about him, he felt like family to me.i remember his vivid postings at litkicks - so very unpretentious and kind.rest in peace, graham.you won't be forgotten.

by kairo on

GrahamAlthough I never interacted with Graham on Litkicks or in person, I remember reading his posts with intense interest. This is a great loss to the Beat Generation chronicles. Thank you for posting the information.Kate

by judih. on

The street photo of Corso and the monks can be seen here:Gregoryand some of his Ginsberg work can be seen at Allen Ginsberg

by brooklyn on

Thanks Judih! I was kinda hoping you'd find that photo ...

by judih. on

yeah - wouldn't it be great to blow it up to life-size.

by Claude on

To all his friends hereThis is Claude, his only son. My father and I were very close all through my life - no matter how this falls in the natural order of things, his death is nothing other than huge loss for me. It's very nice to know that there are so many people on this site that have such kind words for him.He had a fantastic and interesting life in which he made many dear friends. He was also one who took interest in people from wherever he travelled, resulting in a huge collection of photos, paintings, and drawings.As I go through tons of yet undeveloped film and boxed photos, I'll be sure to share some with you as they relate to the subject of this site.Thanks again for all of you paying respects to him like this.

by brooklyn on

Claude, I'm really glad to see you here. When I met your Dad a couple of years ago, he talked a lot about you. He was interested in hearing about my work as a web software developer, and proudly told me that you are one of the best in the business. I'm really sorry about your family's loss, and I'm glad it might have helped a little to read this short cross-section of the large number of people around the world who knew him. I will send you an email so we can stay in touch either privately or here on the site.

by Billectric on

When I lost my father a few years ago, it was a great comfort to look through his old photographs,letters he had written to his family from South America, where he was stationed in the 1940's, his collection of books and memorabilia. I understand and feel for your loss.

by judih. on

Claude,So good to see you here. Yes, your father was loved and admired. He opened the mind of many a particpant in the mindless chatter board when Litkicks had a page for pure discussion.He offered stories and comments and wisdom. When he saw complete and utter crap, he said so! There was no one like him for pulling out facts from his sleeve to support his opinions. He blasted unfounded posturing. Graham was wisdom on wheels.So, there are more photos! And film. Looking forward to seeing what comes from your explorations.Should prove to be a fascinating search.If you need assistance, please ask.

by The_Parisite on

Claude-I sent Graham a email holiday greeting, only to have it bounce back. Then a quick Google search and this terrible news.All my condolences.Get in touch. You know who this is.

by stimso on

GrahamI remember the first time I interacted with Graham on the old LitKicks boards; I inadvertantly insulted him. Not directly, mind you, but all the same. But he played it cool, didn't come out swinging, just responded in measured tones that made me realize what I had done without directly addressing my callow statements.Anyway, after that we exchanged some emails and he ended up sending me a color copy of the Bomb manuscript Corso had given him and I sent him a VHS copy on Un Chien Andalou. I was hoping to visit him when I moved to France but by that time he was back in the States.We never kept up the correspondence but I always got the impression he was a really nice fellow. An inventive photographer, a skillful raconteur.....cheers, Graham, and as the kids say these days: respect!

by WIREMAN on

thanks for the site j, he was an awesome photo-collagist, they have a feel that is alive, like they are happening right NOW!