Count by Any Other Name
Sep28

Count by Any Other Name

“Basie’s stuff means something.” i Jack Kerouac, Horace Mann Record Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie as told to Albert Murray (first edition 1985) is something like the Count’s music: it’s not only about the notes he plays, it’s also about the notes he leaves out. This is more a “tell some” rather than a “tell all,” and so be it. Basie plays it straight and simple, like his music, and the subject of the book is...

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From Albion to Shangri-La
Jul23

From Albion to Shangri-La

From Albion to Shangri-La consists of collected excerpts from Peter Doherty’s journals, circa 2008 to 2013, with an added selection from his tour diaries, all rounded off with a previously unpublished interview with editor, Nina Antonia – the rock journalist’s rock journalist, no stranger to the darker excesses of some of rock’s more elegantly wasted sons – whose sharp eye and clear ear have been called upon to assist in this literary...

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The is NOT an Anthology
Jul13

The is NOT an Anthology

In 1959, the painter, Brion Gysin, “accidentally” cut through a pile of newspapers with a Stanley Knife and changed the future of writing. William S. Burroughs, who would popularize this “cut-up method” would prefer to say that Gysin “cut into the future,” but regardless of semantics – “art is merely a three letter word, my dear” – that which was done could not be undone. Burroughs worked to hone the technique from purely haphazard to...

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Mark Murphy/ Bop for Kerouac
May01

Mark Murphy/ Bop for Kerouac

“I want to be considered a jazz poet . . .” i Don’t miss Mark Murphy’s 1981 recording “Bop for Kerouac.”ii Jack loved jazz and wanted to be known as a jazz poet. Highly-acclaimed American jazz vocalist Mark Murphy will take you for a luxurious spin with this beautiful recording, a rich tribute to Kerouac and the music he adored. It’s gorgeous jazz—silky smooth and pure as a pure jazz singer or a pure man jazz poet—and Murphy puts...

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The Architect Who Shaped Paterson, New Jersey, and Its People
Mar13

The Architect Who Shaped Paterson, New Jersey, and Its People

For readers especially interested in the Paterson life of Allen Ginsberg and his family, take note of The Life & Times of Fred Wesley Wentworth: The Architect Who Shaped Paterson, NJ, and Its People by Richard E. Polton. There is no mention of the Ginsbergs in this architectural history book, but this was their home, a “red” city that with its waves of immigrants—by 1900 a tremendous influx of Italians and Eastern European...

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The Stray Bullet: William S. Burroughs in Mexico
Jan20

The Stray Bullet: William S. Burroughs in Mexico

In 1995 a scholar named Jorge Garcia-Robles wrote a long essay about William S. Burroughs’ time in Mexico, partly based upon interviews conducted with Burroughs and people that knew him during his time there. The essay was well-received and won the Malcolm Lowry literary essay award, and Garcia-Robles became the leading expert on the Beat Generation and their ties to Mexico. Unfortunately this reviewer doesn’t speak Spanish and had to...

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American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke
Nov11

American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke

From: While the name Herbert Huncke may not be well-known among the general population, it is certainly familiar to readers of the Beat Generation. You simply cannot tell the life story of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, or Jack Kerouac without it, and he appears quite obviously in some of their most important works, including Junky, On the Road, and “Howl.” These three writers, among the most important in American literature,...

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The Town and the City
Nov07

The Town and the City

The Town and the City is a complete joy, Jack Kerouac’s holiday present to the world. As the New England chill turns to cold and colored leaves fall from trees, girls and boys, it’s time to dust off copies of The Town and the City and settle down to an autumnal read for the fall season of football games and big Thanksgiving turkey dinners and American life seen through the glorious, golden, rose-colored glasses of Jack Kerouac....

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