Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday's Weekly Round-Up - 234

                                                                                [Allen Ginsberg]

                                                                     [Antonin Artaud  (1896-1948)]

                                                                             [John Cage 1912-1992]

It would have been Antonin Artaud's 119th birthday today. It would have been John Cage's 103rd. It will be Nicanor Parra's 101st tomorrow! - ¡Feliz cumpleaños! - Happy Birthday! - 101 years old ! - amazing!

                                                                     [Nicanor Parra]

Allen Ginsberg's archives - the repository at Stanford -  Geoffrey C Willard, the Media Production Coordinator, notes -  "The Allen Ginsberg Papers in the Department of Special Collections is truly the collection that keeps on giving. We here at the media lab have digitalized a huge portion of the media (current count: 2000 + items) yet our interest in it remains high because of the sheer amount of gems hidden within". Among recently-discovered such gems - two 1965 recordings of Bay Area concerts by Bob Dylan - "The audio quality is not stellar, but both tapes are very listenable during both the acoustic and electric portions." "Even more interesting though is Ginsberg's man-on-the-street style interviews with Dylan fans….Sandwiched in between the concert and the interviews on the same reel is a conversation between Ginsberg and Dylan, presumably backstage. It unfortunately suffers from a poorly placed microphone, but even with the boomy sound, it's a riveting exchange."

                                                                              [Bob Dylan, 1965]

One of the all-time great Ginsberg photos - Jim Marshall's snap of Allen and Thelonious Monk backstage at Monterey in 1963.  Chris Carosi at Abandon All Despair Ye Who Enter Here (the always-informative City Lights blog) provides some of the background - here

[Thelonious Monk and Allen Ginsberg, 1963 -  backstage at Monterey Jazz Festival - Photograph by Jim Marshall] 

Some great footage of the 1967 Human Be-In (see our post on it here) just appeared (re-appeared) on You Tube. Here are a collection of stills from it

[Allen Ginsberg, 1967]
                                                                 [Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder, 1967]
                                                                      [Michael McClure, 1967]
                                                                 [Allen Ginsberg, 1967]

The complete footage can - and should - be viewed here and here.

Howl parodies (the Howl template) continue to both inspire and provoke controversy.
 "Jay Sizemore's bitter reworking of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" called "Scowl" [sic] sent parts of the poetry community into paroxysms of disgust last week", writes Erik Kennedy, (in a piece this week on the Queen Mab's Tea House site, entitled  "The Threat Aesthetic"
Ugly misogyny? or freedom of speech? - or both? -  "abuse shelter(ing) under the umbrella of art"? -  Sizemore here attempts both to continue to fan the publicity and to defend himself.

From the vituperative to the positive. Here's a picture of the cake Doug Holder was presented with on winning the inaugeral (2015) Allen Ginsberg Literary Community Contribution Award !  - Once again, congratulations!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bob Dylan Films Allen Ginsberg

Photos Allen Ginsberg animated GIF

Well, guess who it was who was responsible for taking these ecstatic images of A.G, 1967,
dancing for joy, in a London hotel-room?  - Bob Dylan!

Donn Pennebaker's groundbreaking  cinéma vérité Dylan documentary, Don't Look Back is about to be re-released (this coming November - November 25) as a two-disc DVD set, as part of the authorative and respected Criterion Collection.  

See all the information - here

and Pennebaker's use of a personally-converted sixteen-millimeter Auricon camera, to make it more mobile, to make hand-held shooting easier, was just one of the technical "secrets" (innovations) of the film.

Like Pennebaker handing the camera on this occasion to amateur cameraman, Bob.

You can see a few further glimpses of the Dylan footage here - 

"You get a sense of the difficulty he had wielding the Auricon, which tends to want to arc up to the ceiling" 

However, when it's firm, secure, resting comfortably on your shoulder...

Photos Allen Ginsberg animated GIF

Joey Ramone

                                    [Joey Ramone and Allen Ginsberg, 1992 - Photograph by Lynn Goldsmith]

Lynn Goldsmith's charming picture of two icons - Joey Ramone and Allen Ginsberg furnishes the opportunity for us to, once again, sing the praises of that seminal rock band, The Ramones - and, once again point out that, old geezer tho' he may have been, Allen Ginsberg Was A Punk Rocker. We've already recounted his engagement with the more intellectual wing (with Joe Strummer and The Clash), but let's not forget - how could we ever? - Joey 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Marianne Faithfull

[Marianne Faithfull performing at Sin-é,  1992 - Photograph by Allen Ginsberg - courtesy the Allen Ginsberg Collection of Photographs at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, Canada] 

Sinead O'Connor performing at Sine, on The Allen Ginsberg Project yesterday. We thought we'd follow that up with Allen's image of Marianne Faithfull performing at that same East Village New York City club. 

We've featured Marianne before here (in connection with Gregory Corso) and also here 

A little bit of candid conversation

Marianne Faithfull: Allen Ginsberg tried teaching me how to give a blow job. He said it was like prayer.
Abe Gurko: That's hilarious. Maybe you can talk about that on the Sunday Morning Show [CBS tv show]. How many people can say that?

A long-time visitor with Allen and company at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa. Allen dubbed her there a "Professor of Poetics" (an honor, indeed, her father had been a London University professor of Italian literature)
For Marianne's Lyric Writing Workshop/Class from the Summer of 1988 see here,  here & here - for her workshops the following year here, here and here 

from a December 2014 Daily Telegraph profile
"Faithfull, who described herself as a "psychological masochist", explained that she had tried to live her life according to William Burroughs' rules. Burroughs wrote the stylistically experimental novel Naked Lunch (published in 1959) which follows a heroin addict called William Lee. Later in her life, Faithfull confronted Burroughs about the book. I said, "Why did you do that?". And he looked at me like I was crazy, which of course I was, and said, first of all, it [my writing] is fiction, and, secondly, it was never meant to be taken literally, and most importantly, it was never meant to be taken literally by you."

Her 50th Anniversary World Tour scheduled to begin earlier this year had to be postponed on account of hip surgery ("a fucking pickle", as she declared it, in January, to her fans) but, happy to report, she's now suitably recovered and will be doing live dates in Switzerland, Germany, France - and Turkey in October. On November 1st, she plays the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven, Holland.    

Rizzoli, last year published Marianne Faithfull - A Life On Record - and Give My Love to London (her twentieth [sic] studio album) was also released that year

Here's Marianne talking about the album

Here's a sweet image by photographer Stephen Miles of Marianne and Allen.

                        [Allen Ginsberg and Marianne Faithfull in Boulder, Colorado - Photograph by Stephen Miles]