2. I think news of Patti Smith counts as Beat News. She became famous as a punk-rock poet in the mid-70's, but there are lots of Beat echoes in her music. She hung out with Burroughs and chanted the name of Rimbaud in her songs. I think that qualifies her ... she was also one of the great singer-songwriters of her time, in my opinion. The reason I mention this is that she's doing a live show in Central Park (here in NY) on July 27th! This is happy news because she's been in retirement for a long time. She read poetry in Central Park a couple of years ago, and it was pretty good (but kind of quiet). Now she's bringing ace guitarist Lenny Kaye along, and is apparently prepared to rock.
There's a sad subtext to this: Patti's husband Fred "Sonic" Smith (of MC5) died suddenly in the past year. I understand Patti's bringing her two children along as part of this concert tour. If this is therapy ... I'll only be applauding that much harder because of it. Maybe I'll see some of you there?
2. Would you like to know why I've been so busy? I've been trying to finish my new web project, which I'M FINALLY DONE WITH!!! I've really been knocking myself out over this thing, and I'd really like it if you'd visit and tell me what you think. I'm not going to try to describe it except to say that this is my first attempt at truly expressing myself on the Web. It's dedicated to the city where I live, it's inspired by the music I listen to and the books I read, and it's called Queensboro Ballads.
3. There's a new internet mailing list dedicated to the Beat Generation. It's called the BEAT-L, and you can subscribe to it by sending a SUBSCRIBE BEAT-L message to email@example.com. There's been some very interesting activity lately, and after three weeks there's already a minor flame war going on.
4. Penguin is releasing a CD-ROM dedicated to Jack Kerouac. I haven't found it in any of the stores here in New York, so I can't say much about it yet, but there is a very extensive preview available at Penguin's web site. Click here.
Another marginally beat-related thing I like a lot is Malcolm Humes' work on the web. Malcolm does the William S. Burroughs web site (listed below), and has also been exploring some obsessive graphical ideas lately, often involving meat, cheese, photos of the seashore, romance novels, public-domain porn and Netscape server-pushes. His home page is here.
Both Malcolm and the Enterzone people are independent web artists (like me). The business world has really been going wild on the web lately, hasn't it? I hear about huge commercial web ventures constantly now. But some of us aren't doing this to cash in -- and we were here first. And we're not leaving, either!
Also, to people who've sent me stuff (especially music/film references, as well as a few other things): I'm still holding on to your material, and am just trying to finish my new project (click here for preview) before I start making major additions to Literary Kicks. Once the new project is done, I plan to devote myself full time to LitKicks again. Thanks!
June 4, 1995, 2:30 pm.
The University Theater, 35 W.4th Street
Rollo Whitehead walking tour.
June 5, 7pm
Biblio's Cafe, 317 Church St, 212/334-6990
Jack Kerouac Impersonators Contest.
June 6, 7:15 pm
Town Hall, on 43rd St btwn 6th & 7th Aves
A gathering to protest exclusive & expensive reading of Kerouac's poetry. Bring signs, banners and implements of conspicuous outrage. We'll also be reading poetry in front of Town Hall for *free*.
On the other hand, I've never seen Lawrence Ferlinghetti in person, and since he doesn't show up on the East Coast often I hate to miss this chance. But still on the OTHER hand, Lou Reed had originally been listed as one of the speakers, and now he's off the list. Hmmm ...
See you at Biblio's Cafe. Or maybe I'll just stay home and read.
2. A very nice person named Sherri has endeavored to finally create a comprehensive Beat bibliography for Literary Kicks. She is now beginning to work on author-specific bibliographies, some of which will be written by other contributors. Sherri and I would like these bibliographies to be as complete as possible, so please check the first one out and send her any info you think she might be missing.
3. There's a fun new radio show dedicated to online culture being produced in New York, and they were nice enough to call me for a phone interview this week. I probably got picked because the guy who runs the show -- his name is Galinsky -- is a young poet from Brooklyn, and Galinsky knows Beats. The show is called Pseudo Online Radio, and it's on WEVD 1050 AM on Thursday nights at 11. Here's their logo:
If it turns out that this film sucks (which is what I'm hearing so far), there's also 'Crumb,' a documentary about the legendary underground comic artist Robert Crumb. Crumb belongs to the hippie era more than the beat era, but he's great, and at least these filmmakers didn't change the 60's to the 90's.
2. Allen Ginsberg's journals from the 50's have just been published. I'll read them after I read the new volume of Kerouac's letters.
1. Allen Ginsberg will be reading his poetry at the Knitting Factory in New York for several nights in a row this spring. He will be covering his entire career chronologically, and I believe he will not read any poem more than once during the series. Dates are May 4, 5, 9 and 11, two sets a night.
2. New York University is sponsoring a conference on 'The Writings of Jack Kerouac' on June 5-6. Participants include Ginsberg, Ann Charters, David Amram, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ed Sanders, Lee Ranaldo, Diane DiPrima, Gregory Corso and (a new addition to this crowd) Lou Reed.
3. Visit Mystic Fire Video if you're interested in ordering some rare Beat-related videos. There are several other kinds of videos available here as well, many with mystical, literary or alternative-lifestyle themes.
The Collected Letters (the first of what will probably be two editions) looks really fascinating. I haven't bought it yet, as I've already got a huge pile of stuff to read that'll last me through the spring (I'm reading Ed Sanders' "Tales Of Beatnik Glory" right now). If anybody can send me a good review or summary I'll link it in here.
2. Two new plugs: if you want a great catalog of Beat-related books and videos, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address included. Also, there's a very cool on-paper publication called RALPH (subtitle: 'Coffee, Jazz & Poetry') which you might want to check out. It's printed on an old Gestetner for that retro appeal, and it's only four pages long so you don't have to feel guilty about all the stuff you don't read. If you're interested, visit Ralph Alfonso's web page or send e-mail to email@example.com.