Saturday, October 08, 2005

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness ...

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's first public reading of the poem, "Howl," at the Six Gallery in San Francisco.

Ginsberg wrote the poem-that-defined-a-time in 1954 in an apartment at 1010 Montgomery in SF. I know this because in the mid-90s, I spent 12 weeks sleeping on seemingly piss-soaked sheets at the Golden Eagle Hotel across the street.

I moved to San Francisco because of The Beats ... Kerouac, Corso, Ferlinghetti, Cassady, and Ginsberg, specifically his poem, "Howl." That power of some one thing to literally move a person still gives me pause and wonderment. And as many of you threw out taglines, I kept being reminded of this.

In 1994, Rhino released "Allen Ginsberg: Holy Soul Jelly Roll; Poems And Songs 1949-1993." The title of the box-set came from a rare bootleg years earlier that paired Ginsberg and Dylan. I've never sought out the bootleg, in large part, because as one critic said, it could "make the very hardest of the hard-core Dylan fan cry uncle."

But, I do own the box-set recordings of Ginsberg's poems. A highlight is his '56 reading of "Howl" after being introduced by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The reading clocks in at just over 30 minutes - making Bankston look like the king of the haiku.



At 7:01 PM, Blogger b1-66er said...

blame all the problems
of all the inner cities
on hippie theory

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

just DL'd this from you...about to give it a Sunday afternoon spin. Did you happen to see the Scorcese Dylan doc? some nice footage of Ginsberg w/ bobby on the "dont look back" era tour.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger TripleJ said...

Yeah ... Marty did a hell of a job. I thought the best parts were Joan Baez talkin' like a sailor and making the film human.


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