[Allen Ginsberg's signed copy of his Collected Poems 1947-1980) to the Living Theatre (Julian Beck and Judith Malina) - "On With the Show of Eternity!" - from the Living Theatre Archives - courtesy The Boo-Hooray Gallery, NYC]
Here's a sweet little snippet of grainy video - Allen Ginsberg, in 1976, in Larry Rivers' loft in Manhattan, improvising a twelve-bar blues, recollecting the life-changing experience that he'd had the previous months (specifically, an extended Vajrayana meditation retreat, with his teacher Chogyam Trungpa and students, at a hastily-convened seminary at Land O'Lakes, in Northern Wisconsin)
- "I haven't been in New York City three months out of this year/But I've been three months meditating and there I did not shed a tear/In fact, I cursed the ghost of William Blake and got rid of all of my fear.."
[1976 seminary, Land o' Lakes, Wisconsin]
Speaking of Chogyam Trungpa. Here's Ram Dass (we featured Ram Dass and Allen in conversation last weekend) recollecting the early days at Naropa (a "shout-out" to Naropa on it's 40th anniversary). Week three of the Summer School begins next week - "Lineages, Histories, Archives and Beyond - Roots, Elders, Maps"..
"John, he (Jack Kerouac) was just like you - a frightened man. Everybody, everything frightened Jack. You wouldn't have come here [Allen's home on East 12th Sreet] half-drunk and bringing beer - and then buying more beer, if - alcoholic or not - you weren't scared. And I'm not sure of what. Well, Jack was the same. The world was a playground he couldn't join, (it) was all horror to him.." - The "John" here is John Langsdorf, and the recollected conversation, part of an e-book recently (posthumously) published, Are You Cute? - A Visit with Allen Ginsberg, detailing a visit the then-twenty-two-year-old author made to the poet, back in 1979
Speaking of Ginsberg memoirs, Marc Olmsted's Don't Hesitate - Knowing Allen Ginsberg is forthcoming from Beatdom, "break(ing) new ground as a composite scrapbook-journal-memoir-poetry collection". We'll have more to say about it on its release in August.
Here's a great bit of audio - Mark Lally (no relation to our good friend, Michael Lally) interviewing Allen in England in 1984 (Allen sings the praises of The Clash, corrects him on his pronumciation of the Yage ("yah-hey") Letters)
Burroughs' biography continues to get enthusiastic responses. Here's Jesse Walker's piece for Reason.