Tag Archives: san francisco

(Brief) Intro to The Beat Generation #video

A rollicking rapid-fire, mixed-media introduction to The Beat Generation – made especially for youth (specifically, a 11th grade lit class at a DoD base school) – with topics including:

  • what made The Beats, the beats (ergo: time, place, circumstance, intentions, global mindset, searching for “holy”)
  • characteristics of style (freeverse, spontaneous prose, collaboration, diversity, art + craft + integrity)
  • notable writers and characters including: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • roots and branches extending from the Beats like: Merry Pranksters, folkies, hippies, yippies, punks, DIY and even “digital nomads”
  • riffs about censorship, “obscenity” trials, sexuality, religiosity
  • call to action about the importance everyone with something to say “saying it” – including YOU
  • plus more notable writers: Gregory Corso, Richard Brautigan, Ruth Weiss, Diane DiParma & currently working Ron Whitehead and Anne Waldman
  • namechecks and cameos for: The Clash, Tom Waits, Jello Biafra, Ken Kesey, Wang Ping, Masa Uehara, Nanao Sakaki many more…

Presented from a historic barn in provincial Japan with vinyl records, artifacts, ephemera, loads of books, postcards etc – by storymaker Dave Olson who invites you to ask questions via postcard (address included within).

Continue reading (Brief) Intro to The Beat Generation #video

“Meet the Beats“ ~ Upgrade your Heroes #1

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. Presented by Cannaverse Club.

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!

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

Note from UW: “If you’re curious *at all*, please share your questions and comments &/or “Replay live chat” at Youtube to catch some of the stuff I forgot to say during the premiere”

Continue reading “Meet the Beats“ ~ Upgrade your Heroes #1

Poets, Passports, Postcards in the Cascadia Consulate

Burning sage, sharing global postal arrivals, variety of historic & alt passports, dropping needle on Ginsberg’s Howl, digressions on reconciliation, exhaustion & <3 for pals & family. 

Poets, Passports, Postcards in the Cascadia Consulate

Feeling weary, burning sage and obviously *not at his best* Dave meanders through topics including (not necessarily in this order):

Passports galore! From CCCP, Yugoslavia, USA, Albania, Romania and *alt* passports from The Matinee Band https://thematineemusic.com and Cascadia Bioregion https://cascasdiabioregion.org / with my *important photo choosing process* {and yes this dear old grain storehouse is the Setouchi Consulate of Cascadia}. Come get your passport stamped (just not right now). 

Membership for the Beat Museum (join/participate/visit http://kerouac.com) Leading to riffs about Jack Kerouac Alley, City Lights bookstore (http://citylights.com) and my photo tour of the North Beach, San Francisco environs.

First spins of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl on red vinyl (thanks ScurvyDawg) along with ephemera and riffs about the “6 Poets at 6 Gallery” (legendary reading) and how you can do something like that, i.e.: 1) make a poster and postcard, 2) invite folks, 3) pass a hat for wine. 

And *Loads* of postcards and packets from:

* Sri Lanka (see Rasika’s YouTube channel @CeylonRelation)

* Powell River, BC; Olympia (Greece, not Washington); Kentucky

* Estonia with items from Aqaba, Jordan (maybe you’ve heard from Lawrence of Arabia)

Musing about phone calls with Uncle Mark, buddies Scales in Montreal and Kemp in Vancouver, and pal Cam’s 50th birthday (I made a video with ukulele)

And even:

* Being good papa and hubby (so lucky! hot dinner and bath)

* Visitor Ted (mountain guide) and a new book case so filled with wonder! 

* Gord Downie’s Secret Path and final days

* First Nations reconciliation & shame of residential school (poem)

* DownieWenjack foundation (donate)

* Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society (donate)

* Brother on Diego Garcia and flashback to Ghandruk, Annapurna district, Nepal

* Miracle of Death” and being weak and making art through the transition

* Larry’s Dark Star Ranch and not knowing whether a particular beast is an Elk or a Deer (indeed! we collectively know so little)

Other rambling meanderings about feeling a bit exhausted from this year of house renovation, firewood (first fire and making firestarters) and getting adorable son Ichiro into school, plus so many medical appointments and endless paperwork to get properly settled. Whew.

How to find my address: tip = anywhere/everywhere.

Yes I do send a lot of postcards. You can join the club if that’s of interest ($5 gets you a piece of handmade art each month) https://daveostory.com/shop 

Plus thanks for Banghi and Maddog for holding books and records (support book stores and humans)

So much, so little, such nothing and everything and anything. Settle in. 

Fondy, daveo, Tsuchida Cottage

PS tips of how to improve lighting and sound welcome (memo: there is no natural light in the barn, i want to make well-lit 2 camera videos with quality sound with as minimal processing (moving stuff and files around) as possible. hit me up with ideas

Art Makes the Future / 6 Poets at 6 Gallery

Oct 7, 1955, San Francisco

{Of course, much has been written and documented this, however I’ll be uncharacteristically brief}, ergo:

How to change the world

  • Rally up creative pals
  • Post some easy flyers
  • Gather in a space with others
  • No charge (pass a hat for jugs of wine)
  • Spark the future

{Primer: Oct 7, 1955 / The list of poets reading included Allen Ginsberg (debut Howl), Gary Snyder, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure and Kenneth Rexroth.

Others merely observed > Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Neal Cassady and Ann Charters were among the large audience at Six Gallery.}

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.

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.

A Lunch with the Future, Contextualized

Marshall McLuhan in San Francisco 1965

Re: academic soothsayer Marshall McLuhan… in this case, a lunch in San Francisco 1965, introduced thusly (note recently deceased Tom Wolfe namecheck):

“Hot on the trail of this titan, I thought to myself, “Where is the last place in town you’d expect to see Marshall McLuhan?” and that’s where we I found him–at Off-Broadway in North Beach, lunching amid the topless waitresses with Writer Tom Wolfe, Adman Howard Gossage and Dr. Gerald Feigen.”

More… 

 

X (40th anniversary) + Mike Watt and The Secondmen / San Francisco

Stage set-up / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
Stage set-up / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco

Sometimes, a plan comes together just right, and then sometimes there’s the opposite…. This night of X (Dec. 9, 2016) was definitely the opposite.

X 40th anniversary tour / show at The Independent in San Francisco - marquee
X 40th anniversary tour / show at The Independent in San Francisco – marquee

The “Plan” was to come back from a healing journey at an Ayurvedic clinic in India to meet up with old friends and celebrate this legendary punk band’s 40th anniversary. As it goes, my trip was cut short under frankly the worst circumstances (which I won’t bother you with here). Then, my friends decided to go to the LA shows instead of the San Francisco 3-night run, another friend simply didn’t show up, and phone calls to other pals couldn’t rally up any excitement.

Continue reading X (40th anniversary) + Mike Watt and The Secondmen / San Francisco

Jerry Day: About Jerry Day

Jerry Day :: About Jerry Day

Ferlighetti: I never wrote Beat poetry (etc) via SF Gate (for LF’s 90th birthday)

Ferlinghetti: I never wrote Beat poetry. Wide-open poetry (is) what Neruda told me in Cuba “I love your wide-open poetry’ 

##

Catching up with Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Heidi Benson, Chronicle Staff Writer , Published Thursday, March 19, 2009

Excerpt:

Q: When you were named San Francisco’s first poet laureate in 1998, you spoke of the damage to the culture caused by the yawning gap between the city’s rich and poor. Have your worst fears been borne out?

A: When I arrived in the city, the citizens seemed to have an island, considering San Francisco a kind of offshore republic, founded by gold miners and gold diggers, cast-off seamen and vagabonds, railroad barons and rogue adventurers and ladies of fortune. What with the electronic revolution and the Information Age, we have joined the rest of the world.

Oldies such as myself talk about the good old days with nostalgia since that was when they were young and beautiful (and full of testosterone).

 

Q: You served as a ship’s commander in the Pacific during World War II. What’s the most important thing you learned in the Navy?

A: In four years at sea, I learned that the sea is a monster and can turn on you at any time. Seeing Nagasaki made me an instant pacifist.

Q: How have the concerns of poets changed since you began writing?

A: In the social revolution of the 1960s, the chant was “Be here now.” Today with television, e-mail and especially cell phones, it’s “Be somewhere else now.”

Q: Your favorite 19th century American poet?

A: Walt Whitman, of course. He gave voice to the people and articulated an American populist consciousness.

Q: Why do you prefer the term wide-open poetry to Beat poetry?

A: I never wrote “Beat” poetry. Wide-open poetry refers to what Pablo Neruda told me in Cuba in 1950 at the beginning of the Fidelista revolution: Neruda said, “I love your wide-open poetry.”

 

He was either referring to the wide-ranging content of my poetry, or, in a different mode, to the poetry of the Beats. Wide-open poetry also refers to the “open form” typography of a poem on the page. (A term borrowed from the gestural painting of the Abstract Expressionists.)

Q: Can writing be taught?

A: It has to be taut.

Q: Is texting poetry?

A: It can be.

Q: You’ve always been an activist, as well as an artist. What do you advise activists who are complacent now that a new, seemingly more enlightened administration is in charge?

A: The dictatorial reign of George the Second almost destroyed our civil liberties as well as our economy.

We shall now see whether an “enlightened” administration can defeat Washington, D.C.,’s culture of corruption. The press has given socialism a bad name, falsely equating it with Soviet Communism. What is needed today is a form of civil libertarian socialism in which all democratic civil rights are fully protected.

What with shrinking energy resources and radical climate change, a worldwide planned economy is needed. Why won’t any politician even whisper it?

Q: In the upcoming film of “Howl,” James Franco will play Allen Ginsberg. Who is playing you?

A: Charlie Chaplin.

Q: Who is the love of your life?

A: Life itself is the love of my life.

Q: What’s the secret of your beautiful skin?

A: Genetics.