Archives For February 2011

Howl Comes to the UK

‘Howl’, the wonderful movie starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, is set to hit UK cinemas on 25th February. For all UK fans of the Beat generation Beatdom strongly suggests that you go out and watch it. Franco is magnificent and the directors and artists have done a truly spectacular job in putting together this masterpiece.

The UK distributor for this movie is Soda Pictures. You can watch a trailer and learn more about the movie at their website:

McClure/Manzarek on Tour

Beat poet Michael McClure and The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek are going on tour this year. They will be performing at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on May 10th and 11th, with tickets costing $35. See here for more info.

Michael McClure is also signing copies of his new book, Of Indigo and Saffron, at Diesel Bookstore in Oakland, California on February 24th.

Remembering Hunter S. Thompson

It’s 20th February, and that means it’s the anniversary of the death of Hunter S. Thompson. It has been six years now since he shot himself at Owl Farm, and every year legions of Gonzo fans remember his life and work by raising a glass on this sad day.

The Quietus is marking the anniversary of his death by publishing an interview with him that you’ve never seen before.

The Independent has a story about Bruce Robinson’s efforts to make HST’s The Rum Diary into a movie.

(image copyright Isaac Bonan)

3D Portraits of William S. Burroughs

The above image is used courtesy of Phillip Marcus Bell, who is attempting to release a limited edition box set of 3D Lenticular Portraits of William S. Burroughs and Chet Baker.

The photos were taken in the 1980s, when Bell visited Burroughs to discuss an illustrated book of the author’s dreams. He used a camera that was purchased in Japan to capture what are probably the only 3D images of Burroughs and Baker.

The project is being funded on Kickstarter, so if you are able, please make a contribution or help by sharing the link with your friends. The finished collection of fifty photographs should cost around $300.

Here’s the link again:

Jerry Aronson Podcast

Jerry Aronson, director of The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, has a podcast up at the National Gallery of Art website. The podcast includes the beginning of his film, a few stories by the director, and Allen Ginsberg reading a shortened version of the first part of ‘Howl’.

The Life of Times of Allen Ginsberg was originally released in 1994 but is now available as an updated, 2-disc DVD. You can read more at

The Drugs Issue

Lately, Beatdom has been publishing themed issues. Issue six was travel-themed, seven was music-themed, and issue eight was about sex. The next issue, the ninth, is about drugs. The Beats (along with writers and artists throughout history) were no strangers to drug use and abuse, and so I’m sure we will have no problem finding some fascinating areas to explore.

Ideas for study: Essays could explore a particular person and their experiences with or opinions of various substances. You could also choose to look at a drug and explore its relationship to the Beat Generation.

We are also looking for short stories and poems. But please, please, pretty please, NO CHEAP GONZO IMITATIONS. At Beatdom, we love and respect Hunter S. Thompson and his madcap writing, but we cannot stand poor copies. So please, write something original.

Fans of Beatdom will also be aware that artwork is very important to us. We have several talented artists working for us, but we are always open to new work. Artwork general fits around the essays and stories so please send a sample of your work and we will tell you what we need.

The door is now officially open to submissions for Issue Nine. The editors will be reading your work (and reviewing your ideas) until the end of May. Send all mail to the usual address: editor (at) beatdom (dot) com.

Howl UK Release

On February 25th, Soda Pictures is releasing ‘Howl’ in UK cinemas. The celebrated new movie features James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, and also includes John Hamm and Jeff Daniels in the cast. The movies centres around the obscenity trial against City Lights Bookstore after the publication of Ginsberg’s legendary Beat poem, ‘Howl.’

William S. Burroughs: A Man Within On PBS

On February 22, 2011, the PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS will premiere WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN. Featuring never-before-seen archival footage of the legendary beat author and American icon, as well as exclusive interviews with colleagues and confidants including John Waters, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, and Laurie Anderson, this new documentary is a probing yet loving look at the man whose works at once savaged conservative ideals, spawned countercultural movements, and reconfigured 20th century culture.

Check out the website here:

PBS has also compiled a William S. Burroughs quiz that you can try here:

Beatdom Assistant Editor, Michael Hendrick, today wrote a blog post about A Man Within. Take a look here:

John Ross, 1938-2011

HT @David Endris

Beat-era poet, journalist and activist John Ross passed away January 17th. The Village Voice has posted an obituary penned by Tom Robbins.

Ross began reading his poetry in Greenwich Village bars, but became better known on the West Coast, reading at venues likes City Lights. He was a staunch anti-war activist, incarcerated for refusing to serve in Vietnam, and later travelled to Iraq to serve as a “human shield” against the American-led invasion.