“Meet the Beats“ ~ From 6 Poets San Fran 1955 to *everywhere*

A rapid-fire introduction to the “Beat Generation” focused on the story of “6 Poets at Gallery 6” reading Oct, 1955 SF CA when Allen Ginsberg, Phillip Whalen, Gary Snyder, Micheal McClure, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti et al were all in the room for a reading hosted by Kenneth Rexroth that would go into legend and launch a poetry renaissance in San Francisco and the world.

Includes extended erstwhile members of the movement and “what happened” after that night as the poets and their friends scattered their influence globally (with, not surprisingly, a little bit of extra emphasis on Japan, Zen, India/Nepal) plus Merry Pranksters, Furthur bus, Grateful Dead and even the Simpsons. Whoa!

i really think you are gonna dig this story

Lots of the usual ephemera, show & tell, couple of vinyl records, loads of books, various digressions and asides, hats & homework.

NOTE: i incorrectly say that Neal Cassady’s “Joan Anderson” letter was written whilst sojourned in San Quentin, however, i misspoke. My apologies and thanks to JC for bringing to my attention.

Extended notes to “Meet the Beats“ ~ From 6 Poets San Fran 1955 to *everywhere*

editing in action, my eyes are so tired!

Included photos by: 

  • Dave Olson
  • R. Scales

plus other credited in-line as best as possible, including: 

a stack of Jack (in kura barn studio)

Quotes and riffs from:

Books referenced:

  • “City of Love and Revolution: Vancouver in the Sixties”  by Lawrence Aronson 
  • “Poets on Peaks”  by John Suiter
  • “World Citizen: Allen Ginsberg as Traveler” by David S Wills http://beatdom.com
  • “Hitchhiking to Kerouac” by Brian Hassett http://brianhassett.com
  • cameos of 
  • “Neal Cassady: Fast Life of a Beat Hero” by David Sandison and Graham Vickers
  • “Jack Kerouac: Windblown World” ed. Douglas Brinkley
  • “Afterthought” by Jerry Kruz

+ Covers by: 

  • Richard Brautigan
  • Gregory Corso
  • William S Burroughs
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Neal Cassady
  • Jack Kerouac
  • Thomas Wolfe
  • Phillip Whalen
  • Gary Snyder

Recordings by: 

  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Jack Kerouac

All of above used under Fair Use doctrine for educational, non-commercial purposes

Errors and Omissions: if omitted or incorrect, please accept pardons and let me know for future updates

Produced © Dec. 2021 by Dave Olson, Tsuchida, Japan 

End of Dispatch

10 thoughts on ““Meet the Beats“ ~ From 6 Poets San Fran 1955 to *everywhere*”

  1. Fascinating stuff. Expertly collated and brilliantly related.

    A request. Do you have more on Brautigan? I loved his stuff. A huge regret is selling my collection of his books when I moved to Japan. Would love to hear an uncle weed riff on him sometime.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Julian. I am also a huge Brautigan fan and have lost so many of his books along the way (slowly reacquiring but finding some to be rarer than expected.

      Good news is, i have a few audio podcasts here in the archive featuring his words plus other treats from other friends.

      I am especially entranced with his visit to Japan (his beloved uncle died in Pacific war) and the wonderful book for poetry that came from it all “June 30, June 30” – wish was more known about the “logistics” of his trip.

      As it goes, seems to be a lot more respect and awareness about Brautigan in these recent years, it’s all about the cycles I suppose. I also recently acquired a biography called “jubilee hitchhiker” but it’s a heavy tome that literally starts with a bang and goes on from there in small type for my old eyes :)

      Here’s a link to start you down the Brautigan odds and ends here: https://daveostory.com/tag/richard-brautigan/

    2. You prompted me to grab Brautigan from the kura barn to freshen up my bedside stack as I’ve been spending a lot time resting. Working through “an unfortunate woman” – published posthumously as far as I can tell and I have a nice hardback first edition.

      For the record, my all-time favorite of his is “Rommel drives deep into Egypt”.

      Goes particularly well with a tart organic marmalade jam.

  2. Dave, you delivered a fine jam on the 6 Poets at the 6 Gallery, and the avalanche that followed. Superb! Kaori and I enjoyed every second of your breathlessly insightful narration.

    1. Been meaning to send you an adequate “thank you“ for the super kind remark. So grateful that you took the time to watch and save her and share your sentiments. PS Before you know it, our interview from the “on the road” exhibit is going to finally float to the top of the project list :-)

    2. I’m very late reply to say how thankful and grateful I am for this wonderful comment, almost as grateful as I am for the wonderful few hours we were able to spend together. Here’s to more “on the road specials“ at coffee shops.

      On my list for this year – really – is making a video of our interview and the different photos from the exhibit. I move a little bit slow these days :-)

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