Tag Archives: Allen Ginsberg

Support: The Beat Museum

+ Beat Support +

Many of you likely noticed the campaign to help the venerable San Francisco institution City Lights bookstore “keep the lights on” and hooray, they rocketed past the $300,000 goal thanks to many small donations from around the world. Now, there’s a few other neighbours in the North Beach area to shine a light on, specifically “the Beat Museum” – an eclectic grassroots archive of artifacts from Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and well… dozens of other luminaries who have influenced counter-culture, literature and music.

THE NORTH BEACH OF THE BEAT GENERATION IS IN GRAVE DANGER

To pitch in, you can buy a membership – especially handy if you live in the San Francisco area as it offers unlimited admission – those of us *anywhere else* can dig discounts on purchases (including mail order), exclusive content/interviews/events, and a membership card – I’m a sucker for membership cards!

Did you see a big North Beach neighbourhood round-up diary post I shared recently? Included a photo essay of many items on display including Allen Ginsberg’s typewriter (along with many other typewriters), Jack Kerouac’s jacket, Gary Snyder’s bits and pieces from Japan and so much more.

+ Their bookstore has a variety of rare additions, one-offs, special treats (I picked up a first edition of Allen Ginsberg’s Indian Journal on my visit).

So to recap, do one or several of the following:

* Go check out their website to see their mission and the big hearted folks running the show

* Purchase a membership (various levels/prices)

* Maybe buy yourself a little something nice, or a gift for someone else

* Kick them down some extra cash

* Sign up for their newsletter for campaigns & updates

* Spread the word to keep the goodness rolling

You got any questions or thoughts? Let me know.

And of course if you’re seeking unique Beat literature related content, I have dozens of podcasts, various essays, scrapbooks, maps, and so on for you to peruse.

Fondly, dave

PS shared respectfully knowing lots of folks are in tough financial situations and there’s lots of requests rolling around for various dire situations – in spirit of solidarity, safety, and abundance.

Books: Shelf and Shrine at Tsuchida cottage (Winter 2019)

Books are my pals, even since a kid  – and sometimes books (by circumstance or convenience) are stashed at mysterious locales around the world.

Sometimes, i snap pics of the cache for future reference, sometimes they go to little /free libraries, sometimes into my “Liberated Literature” program. 

Regardless, sometimes, the bookcases and/or contents are captured for memory of spending time with friends in a still-life of sorts. As such, this dossier of evidence.

In this case, the growing bookcase at Tsuchida Cottage in Okayama, Japan with a stash of new treats obtained by mail order, special delivery by folks coming to wedding or by kind gift, ergo: 

Robbie Robertson’s auto-bio, Testimony (thanks Naoki), Aaron Chapman x 2, Eve Lazarus BC crimes, Grant Lawrence’s hilarious tour diary, David Wills’ riffs about Ginsberg’s travels, Lookout records’ honcho’s rise and meltdown, Neruda’s romantic poetry, the usual Kerouac, a few Lafcadio Hearn, Ed Abbey’s postcards, Jerry Kruz’s Afterthought poster collection, Brian Hassett’s JK riffs, a few more punk rock (Please Kill Me and Our Band Could be your Life, Kim Gordon’s memoirs), various Japanese classics (Tanizaki esp) and more more – oh and Shiv’s renegade Woodstock>Nepal-made poetry. 

Displayed here with a stash of a scrapbooks and diaries, a few of my publications, and with our household shrine on the top. 

Books: Canoe Bookshelf in Nusa Ceningan (Summer 2019)

Books are my pals, even since a kid  – and sometimes books (by circumstance or convenience) are stashed at mysterious locales around the world.

Sometimes, i snap pics of the cache for future reference, sometimes they go to little /free libraries, sometimes into my “Liberated Literature” program. 

Regardless, sometimes, the bookcases and/or contents are captured for memory of spending time with friends in a still-life of sorts. As such, this dossier of evidence.

In this case, a case from Nusa Ceningan (made from an old canoe) from Summer 2019 reading, including usual assortment of Tolstoy Kerouac, plus an assortment of Vancouver-centric treats by Eve Lazarus, George Garrett and Grant Lawrence, a few Bali-specifics, Rumi’s romantic poetry, Ginsberg’s India Journal (1st edition, 1970) etc.

Note the canoe bookshelf is decorated with various insta-photos and travel / hotel luggage tags and a few paintings.

Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Along a ramble…

Along the wanders, I found myself in San Francisco, really mostly in Pacifica, one of my favourite hideaways and just south of the city… but anyway, ventured into SF proper to (finally) get some time at the Beat Museum and wow, what a great job these folks are doing. As such, a few notes and artifacts from the museum and history dripping neighbourhood for your amusement and my memory.

Inadequate backgrounder…

Now I could go on and on about the importance of *the Beats* connecting literary traditions, sparking countercultures leading to the revolutionary “pranksters“ to the *hippies* (for lack of a better term), punks (no I’m not talking mohawks here), indie-making artists of all medium, everything… while also looking back to Whitman, cummings (sic), WCW, Wolfe, Twain, Thoreau, Dostoevsky… you get the general gist.  Or what I’m trying to see is wide-thinking, free-roaming, do it yourself souls sharing empathy for others, breaking conventions to find out who you really are and then manifesting the distilled results t into one’s own life which infuses your own soul, then effectuates inspiration in others – also (critically) this ain’t always pretty, rarely is. That’s not the point.

Work in progress…

Anyhow, the Beat Museum was (maybe is) undergoing some construction as the building needs an earthquake-resistant upgrade, – I’ve shared some various fundraising campaigns and podcast riffs about their history over the years in this archive maybe you’ve come across and supported their noble efforts… but anyway, the building was surrounded by scaffolding in a bit of commotion and for a guy like me has easily sensory overload it, it could easily be intense but I stepped in and disappeared for an afternoon amongst the curated exhibits.

This is not some fancy-pants museum, this is a grassroots effort with everything done by intention and in an attentive spirit. I took some crappy snapshots along the way just to remember for my own memory as i wander far and wide and sometimes the twist and turns get a little too quick for me to process real time in my noggin.

Artifacts and abstractions…

note: There is a little mini-theatre room looping a film (was it “Pull My Daisy? It’s all a bit hazy now a few countries later), which pleased me for the visual abstraction of Beat life as well as regrouping in a small / dark / cozy room.

Notable artifacts include:

“referee shirt” Neal Cassady famously wore while driving Furthur, the Merry Prankster bus

a plaid wool jacket Kerouac wore (I’ve had one just like it)

Continue reading Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Noble and Legendary Typewriters: as evidenced at The Beat Museum

Noble and Legendary Typewriters, as evidenced at The Beat Museum, North Beach, San Francisco, Republic of California.

Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81

Podcover: Postcard Transient Cultural Riffs

Full of mis-spoken words, forgotten names and other sloppiness comes annotated thoughts (squished through time and space) for shut-ins, drifters and sufferers amidst erstwhile festive melancholy times of disruption and tumult, including poems – read alongside mosquito and rooster sounds – by:

  • Sohaib Ahmed
  • Alan Halsey
  • Charles Bukowski
  • David Smalley
  • Kat Code
  • Dave Olson
  • John Monroe
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Unknown Urban Legends
  • Marc Zegans
  • Leif Baradoy
  • Evan Leeson
  • John Sinclair

For the shut-ins: Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81 (70MB, 48:41, 192kbps mp3, stereo)

++

riffs about John Lennon and Ono Yoko and Marshall McLuhan

&

musical riffs by Chet Baker Quartet with Russ Freeman

Plus name checks for Neal Cassady, Jello Biafra, Dave Madden, Allen Ginsberg’s holy cock, dine and dash, Ken Kesey, Gary Snyder, Alan Watts, Beat Museum, City Lights, Grateful Dead, Beat Museum, City Lights Bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jim Robson and more… (note to self: add links).

Continue reading Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81

The First Recording of Allen Ginsberg Reading “Howl” (1956)

The First Recording of Allen Ginsberg Reading “Howl” (1956)

Paris Review – The Art of Poetry No. 8, Allen Ginsberg

Paris Review – The Art of Poetry No. 8, Allen Ginsberg

Allen and Bob visit Jack(‘s grave)

Dylan and Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac’s grave in Lowell, reading excerpts from Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, the first poetry that hit Dylan to the soul.

Beat film, narrated by JK, “unadulterated half-hour chunk of Pull My Daisy”

Sure, you could experience the Beat sensibility on film by watching The Beat Generation. But why settle for that high-gloss Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature treatment when you can get an unadulterated half-hour chunk of the real thing above, in Pull My Daisy? Both films came out in 1959, but only the latter comes from the lens of photographer Robert Frank, he of the famous photobook The Americans. And only the latter features the unconventional performing talents of Allen GinsbergDavid Amram,Delphine Seyrig, and Jack Kerouac.

That Kerouac himself provides all the narration assures us we’re watching a movie fully committed to the Beat mindset. “Early morning in the universe,” he says to set the opening scene. “The wife is gettin’ up, openin’ up the windows, in this loft that’s in the Bowery of the Lower East Side of New York. She’s a painter, and her husband’s a railroad brakeman, and he’s comin’ home in a couple hours, about five hours, from the local.”

Kerouac’s ambling words seem at first like one improvisational element of many. In fact, they provided the production’s only element of improvisation: Frank and company took pains to light, shoot, script, and rehearse with great deliberateness, albeit the kind of deliberateness meant to create the impression of thrown-together, ramshackle spontaneity. But if the kind of careful craft that made Pull My Daisy seems not to fit within the anarchic subcultural collective persona of the Beats, surely the premises of its story and the consequences thereof do. The aforementioned brakeman brings a bishop home for dinner, but his exuberantly low-living buddies decide they want in on the fun. Or if there’s no fun to be had, then, in keeping with what we might identify as Beat principles, they’ll create some of their own. Or at least they’ll create a disturbance, and where could a Beat possibly draw the line between disturbance and fun?