[Allen Ginsberg & Anne Waldman, Vienna, 1993. Schule für dichtung Wien]
Videoheads, an artist’s video collective, now based in Amsterdam, made several video recordings of Allen over the years, in London, Amsterdam, and Paris. This is a snippet from his performance (with Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovsky) at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 1979. The spirited rendition of “Guru Blues” is introduced by, (unrelated) Allen, en francais, noting that the children of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (Robert and Michael Meeropol) had written a book (We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (1975)), about their experience growing up as the children of the famously executed pair. Dark Cold War secrets.
(Larry Rivers, Jack Kerouac, David Amram, Allen Ginsberg, & Gregory Corso (in hat), during the filming of Pull My Daisy. c. John Cohen/Hulton Archive)
In today’s Guardian, Hermione Hoby has collected some entertaining accounts from Joyce Johnson, John Allen Cassady, Steven Taylor and Anne Waldman, memories of Allen, that can be read here on the Guardian site.
[Allen Ginsberg & Steven Taylor, Passaic Falls, Paterson, NJ, May 1978. photo: c. Terry Sanders]
NEW JERSEY ‘S BARD
Allen was always proud of – and rightly so – his New Jersey roots. This past weekend, several young poets from that State gathered together at The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College for the annual Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, “honoring Allen Ginsberg’s Contribution to American Literature.”
In a related story, Allen is – and, perhaps surprisingly, given the company – among those nominated for the 2011 New Jersey Hall of Fame in what appears to be a spirited local boostering enterprise. Curiously under the “General” not the “Arts and Entertainment” category (movie stars like John Travolta and Bruce Willis are among the latter, not to mention Queen Latifah and singer Tony Bennett!). Voters are encouraged to vote on-line and the top vote-getters will be officially inducted in the Spring. Seems tho’, you have to vote for someone in each of the categories, you can’t just vote for Allen – oh well, he’s already a de facto New Jersey hall-of-famer, as far as we’re concerned!
Seems the current omnipresence of Howl has summoned up all sorts of feelings and nostalgia and memories. One tiny annotation that you might well have missed (it appeared buried in another blog’s Comments section) is from New Yorker Stefan Jones who writes:
“”who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to…”.My grandparents owned Fugazzis, and ran it at the time Howl was written. My father tended bar there for a short time, while in grad school.It was on 6th, a few doors down from the Waverly theater. The building was torn down and a fast food place installed. According to my parents, the clientele were old Italian guys who came for the polenta and bacala special, and beatniks.I have vague toddler memories of the place, and my grandparents’ apartment up above”.
Anybody else out there got any site-specific Howl memories?
[Bill Katz & James Schuyler, November 7, 1987. photo. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
Someone kindly pointed out in our comments that November 9 was Jimmy Schuyler’s birthday as well as Anne Sexton’s. We’re particularly keen on Schuyler here, and it just so happens one of our frequent contributors, Simon Pettet, was editor on a number of his books, the most recent being Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems published earlier this year.
The photo find of the week is this one by Douglas Gilbert of Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg oustside Albert Grossman’s house house in Woodstock, NY 1964. That’s the same house the cover of Bringing it All Back Home was shot in a year later, where Dylan’s pictured sitting with Sally Grossman. We found if off Jody’s When you Awake page, but the full book Forever Young published by DaCapo Press is available and has plenty more interesting images.
Last but not least, we came across this Arabic translation of “Song” posted by London based Libyan, Ghazi Gheblawi on his blog. Anyone with better Arabic skills than us have any take on the translation?
We’re not supposed to encourage online posting of copyrighted materiel outright, but we figure just one track from a full album doesn’t hurt and well, maybe just might rouse some curiosity in the album First Blues which the good people at Water Records/Runt Distribution reissued in 2006, complete with original liner notes, (which is available on the allenginsberg.org shop among other places.) This is such a great recording of Dope Fiend Blues.
Allen writes: Read between the lines you get Orient non-attachment rather than Western addiction. Jon Sholle guitar thru pig-amp sets funky ’50’s style. (Steven) Taylor’s letter-perfect vocal harmony was practiced thru five years’ fun in Europe & America at poetry readings
There will be a memorial Reading for poet, Peter Orlovsky on Wednesday, September 22, 8pm. St. Mark’s Church. 10th St at 2nd Ave, NYC. The event is free.
Peter Orlovsky (July 8,1933-May 30, 2010) Poet, singer, farmer, yodeler, banjo-picker, Buddhist practitioner, Allen Ginsberg’s lifelong-companion, Kerouac’s Simon Darlovsky in Desolation Angels & George in The Dharma Bums, the generous & wonderfully whimsical Peter Orlovsky, was an unforgettable & hugely colorful presence in the East Village, and in and around the Poetry Project.
Please join us in a night of music, video, song and poetry, as some of his closest friends pay tribute to him including: Chuck Lief – Philip Glass – Ed Sanders – Steven Taylor – Hal Willner – Janine Pommy Vega – Andy Clausen – Patti Smith – Ambrose Bye – Miriam Sanders – Anne Waldman – Gordon Ball – Rosebud Pettet – Simon Pettet – Juanita Lieberman – Bill Morgan – Anselm Berrigan – Bob Rosenthal – Beverly Isis – John Godfrey – and others TBA
>In 2008, the Asia Society hosted a mini conference on the Beats in India, partly to celebrate the publication of Deborah Baker’s book A Blue Hand that follows Allen, Gary Snyder, Joanne Kyger, Peter Orlovsky and the mysterious Hope Savage through India. The conference offered some lively debate on who influenced who, and the whole legacy of this first trip they all made back in 1961. This clip, produced by the Asia Society, is a full day simmered down to 5 mins, with playful jibes and comments from Gita Mehta reading from her book Karma Cola, Ed Sanders, Ginsberg biographer Bill Morgan, Steven Taylor, John Giorno, Joanne Kyger and Gary Snyder.