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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:02 pm
by garth cartwright
Papa M - you definitely get to hear the talent: Terry Allen is a Lubbock Zen master and I regret never having seen him in concert. I caught Flaco in concert in new Orleans in 1990 and he was superb and i have been looking forward to seeing him again - no luck so far. His new album He'll Have To Go (wonder if he was singing about a personal Des?) on MEM Records is excellent - first new album i've heard from Flaco for ages, sung in English and Spanish and beautifully felt. I imagine Charlie played Flaco and Terry in the 70s.

Adam, Henry Miller is one of the funniest most life affirming writers ever. He wasn't a misogynist - a man who hates women - look at his life and the women who knew him spoke very warmly of him; he was as raw and funny as Richard Pryor and just as funny (at times). I think he - like Albert Goldman - has a New Yorkers ability to really wind some people up and make them miss the humour. Anyway, he was as revolutionary with words as Jimi was with the guitar - appreciate the explosives expert!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:31 pm
by Papa M
garth cartwright wrote: I imagine Charlie played Flaco and Terry in the 70s.


I bet Charlie was sitting a couple of rows in front of me when I first saw Flaco in Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Band in the seventies.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:20 am
by Adam Blake
garth cartwright wrote:Adam, Henry Miller is one of the funniest most life affirming writers ever.


Is it OK if I don't agree? :) Anais Nin needed a wet fish around the chops, preferably one that had been lying around for a couple of days, and Henry needed a proper job like being a carpenter or a bookbinder or something.

(Oh God, I'd better make it abundantly clear that I AM ONLY MESSING ABOUT, OK? Henry Miller was a great author. I just don't like the little of his work that I've read.)

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:19 pm
by mike gavin
Ted wrote:But who needs more than one cut-up Burroughs book? One Evan Parker record? Visual art I'm not so sure about...


Isn't the point that these art forms are immediate expressions? Bebop, free jazz, modern forms in poetry, art and literature should be experienced in the moment. You may not want to own Evan Parker's albums, but you should go and see him as often as possible. Each time he applies his extraordinary art, the result is new and fresh. Similarly, it's worth getting hold of some of the recordings of Burroughs reading from his work (used to be boot legs but I think there are some on the Sub Rosa label - also worth a go is the Seven Souls project with reworkings of B's texts by Bill Laswell). And if I can add my tuppence worth to the On The Road debate, it was written on a single roll of paper and should be read as such to get the most out of it - in a session, as a stream of consciousness. Look I know it's illegal and everything, and not wanting to be a pusher or anything, but ain't any of you lot enhanced the experience of listening to music, or reading, or wandering around a gallery with a little, well, enhancement?

One name rarely mentioned in Beat conversations is Wyndham Lewis, responsible (with B's, or alone) for the cut-up method. Derided for some apparently Nazi sympathetic ideas, he was at the centre of the beat movement from his flat in Paris and responsible for introducing many to the delights of Morocco. There's an exhibition of his wonderful portraiture at the London national Portrait gallery now.

Finally Londoners should visit the beat shop in Cecil Court, off Charing Cross Road. What's it called? red Snapper, I think.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:36 pm
by Ted
mike gavin wrote:You may not want to own Evan Parker's albums, but you should go and see him as often as possible.


Absolutely. And I do. Even though he once falsely accused me of stealing his pint. (Does that count as name-dropping?)

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:03 pm
by Dominic
mike gavin wrote:... I think there are some on the Sub Rosa label ...

Go to http://www.subrosa.net/index_fr.htm, click on "sub rosa website" and search for burroughs. Sub Rosa's UK distributors don't list these titles, but in the process of checking, I've come across some DVDs, including one called The Final Academy Documents:

[quote]A welcome re-promotion for this title, popular on release in 2002, but unavailable for some time.William Burroughs was undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Amongst those who sight him as an influence are Patti Smith, REM, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and the late Kurt Cobain, many of whom he collaborated with.His extensive literary legacy is constantly reprinted as each new generation study the man who influenced modern contemporary literature more than any other writer.His readings are legendary. The Final Academy Documents DVD contains a rare glimpse of the man himself appearing in public with some stunning readings from his work at Manchester’s famous Hacienda club. Its limited release on video in the 1980’s makes this DVD even more collectable.

• Special Features
Also featured on this highly collectable DVD are some wonderful examples of Burroughs work as an experimental filmartist. “Ghosts At Number 9â€

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:15 pm
by Charlie
Papa M wrote:I bet Charlie was sitting a couple of rows in front of me when I first saw Flaco in Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Band in the seventies.

Yup, that's where I first heard Flaco live. Gabby Pahinui too, from Hawaii. Probably sat aboout five rows from the front and loved every minute.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:24 pm
by Charlie
Adam Blake wrote:Henry needed a proper job like being a carpenter or a bookbinder or something.

You had to be a certain age, Adam, when it was worth making a special trip to Paris as a teenager to buy illegal books published by the Olympia Press (in English). Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricon was the prize purchase. J.P.Donleavy's The Ginger Man, too. All daring stuff, sex and swear words.

I don't remember much of it anymore, but the books hit me hard at the time - it was a thrill to realise that people lived like that and then wrote about it, yes, it was enough to make you want to grow up faster than circumstances would allow.

I imagine that if you lived in New Zealand, these books would hit you hard whenever you found them, even decades later.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:11 pm
by NormanD
Charlie wrote:You had to be a certain age, Adam, when it was worth making a special trip to Paris as a teenager to buy illegal books published by the Olympia Press (in English). Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricon was the prize purchase. J.P.Donleavy's The Ginger Man, too. All daring stuff, sex and swear words.
Now available from Red Snapper Books (see above). You can also download them as e-books, most of the Original greenback Olympia Press books. Probably pirated, which the owner Maurice Girodias would have thoroughly hated (a deserved payback in kind). Mostly rubbishy porn (with a large proportion of flagellation books, presumably for the English market), though va-va-va-voom for their time. A lot were written by ex-pats, living in Paris and starving to support their writing or addiction, and Girodias paid them sod all, and by the word. Though these were interspersed with genuine literary classics, like"Lolita", and works by Beckett and Burroughs. I've got a rare one by Chester Himes called "Pinktoes". I've no idea how it became an Olympia book - I presume that any English youth in Paris and keen to get a bit of the real (reading) stuff, might just grab whatever, especially if it had a horny-sounding name like "Pinktoes". I bet they weren't expecting to read a satire on black-white society life.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:58 pm
by garth cartwright
Charlie wrote "I imagine that if you lived in New Zealand, these books would hit you hard whenever you found them, even decades later." Blimey, were we such a backwater? Quite possibly. But I don't think it was really location as I left NZ in 1990 and my admiration for both Kerouac and Miller's best works remains very high. ON THE ROAD and TROPIC OF CANCER remain 2 of the 20th C's greatest, most revolutionary novels. Beautiful, illuminating writing. Only Junot Diaz today comes close to matching their mastery.

Mike, thanks for the tip on Red Snapper - never knew it existed but i will make a be-line there next time in central London. Dom, thanks for the link. Oh, anyone been to see the Wyndham Lewis exhibition Mike mentions? I read Ian Sinclair on him in the Guardian but didn't make the connection with the Beats. Norman, Chester lived for a long time in Paris as part of the exiled writer community - I guess that's how he ended up on Olympia. His work is now very collectable as his status has risen. I read a dull autobiography on the man a few years back - written by a US crime writer who I believe Charlie may have had as a guest for ping pong once. Tho I could be inventing the latter . . .

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:03 pm
by NormanD
No, not an invention. It was James Sallis. His early thrillers (with insects in the title) are exceptionally good - darker than you really want them. His Chester Himes biog is disappointingly dull, I should find it and read it again to remember his Paris days.

I started collecting Olympia Press books years back when they were around and relatively cheap. I pretty much stopped because many of the titles were an embarrassment to have on the shelf. There is a shop on Charing X Rd that had unread copies of "Naked Lunch", "Lolita" (in two volumes), "The Gingerman" in hardcover, Gregory Corso's "American Express". I've also a couple by Akbar del Piombo (I forget which artist this is the pseudonym for) who did collage novels from old Victorian prints - "Fuzz Against Junk" is very funny.

The life of the post-war ex-pat writers (and wannabes) living on the Left Banke is a fascinating one. Ah, the romance: cafés with zinc topped bars, unpaid hotel rooms with unflushable lavatories, the friendly whores who would sit and smoke jaunes with you...... I guess a few books did get written in spite of all this. Didn't James Baldwin live there too for a while? A lot of Black jazzers found some recognition and audiences there, and still do in fact.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:16 pm
by mike gavin
garth cartwright wrote: Oh, anyone been to see the Wyndham Lewis exhibition Mike mentions? I read Ian Sinclair on him in the Guardian but didn't make the connection with the Beats.


Erm,

that's because I missed out a para...the beat with the connection to cut up was of course Brion Gysin whose Paris flat was a centre for beat action. Lewis was a founder member of the Vorticist movement in art and an earlier traveler to maroc. Not to be confused. Lesson: don't try to write joined up prose while talking on the phone.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:42 am
by mike gavin
If anyone is still watching, The October Gallery in Holborn, London, has a Brion Gysin exhibition starting 6 Dec
http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/exhibit ... ndex.shtml

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:44 pm
by Charlie
Papa M wrote:I bet Charlie was sitting a couple of rows in front of me when I first saw Flaco in Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Band in the seventies.

Near the front, for sure, and with mouth agape in wonder at it all. Life changing music.

Terry Allen was good too, Garth, yes, but the Borderline is never the best place to see people, so uncomfortable. He was good at telling stories between the songs, one of those narrators with whom you can hardly spot the join between fable and flannel.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:52 pm
by Charlie
NormanD wrote:His Chester Himes biog is disappointingly dull,

Sorry to say, I agree with you Norman, having shared your pleasure in the Sallis novels set in New Orleans