Volume II: Land of Milfs and Money
Sep30

Volume II: Land of Milfs and Money

A body in rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion, unless the body is compelled to change its state.   -Newton’s First Law   I punch the accelerator on the Red Rocket and the turbocharger kicks in, sending me hurtling forward at breakneck speed. It’s more vehicle than I need, it gets poor gas mileage, and there are months when I can barely make the payment. But when I step on the gas I feel...

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Submission Call: Beatdom #14
Sep28

Submission Call: Beatdom #14

Beatdom is once again open for submissions. Until November 1st we will be accepting the usual mix of essays, short stories, artwork, and poetry for Beatdom #14: The Movie Issue. Naturally, there is a great scope for interpretation of the topic. You could write about the movie Jack Kerouac and Lucian Carr went to see after Carr killed David Kammerer. You could write about the process of making On the Road into a movie, or Howl or Naked...

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The Kentucky Derby: Decadent and Depraved?
Sep26

The Kentucky Derby: Decadent and Depraved?

  *This is the 2nd in a series of columns by Beatdom editor, David S. Wills, about the role of truth in the work of Hunter S. Thompson. To read the first, click here.    With the success of Hell’s Angels, Thompson moved on to his first true work of Gonzo, ‘The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved’. The problem with Gonzo, and with Thompson’s liberal use of both fact and fiction, is that it is extremely difficult to get to...

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A Soft Old Book with Handwritten Notes as Memento of a Life
Sep26

A Soft Old Book with Handwritten Notes as Memento of a Life

“Be always a poet, even in prose.” Charles Baudelaire Yesterday, I inherited a first-edition (1961) paperback Baudelaire by Pascal Pia published by Grove Press with notes written in the hand of my beloved brother-in-law who died at the age of fifty-six of dreaded Alzheimer’s disease, an excruciating four-year battle. He was born on September 5, 1957, the day On the Road was published and proclaimed by Gilbert Millstein in The New York...

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Beat Generation… Pencils?
Sep24

Beat Generation… Pencils?

Yes, that’s right. Beat Generation pencils. If you look closely (or click on the above image to enlarge), you will see that the pencils say: “My name is William Burroughs” and “My name is Jack Kerouac”. One also reads: “Beat Generation” while another says “Dada is everything.” Click this link to see...

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Carolyn Cassady, 1923 – 2013
Sep21

Carolyn Cassady, 1923 – 2013

Today the Beat community was saddened to hear of the death of Carolyn Cassady. Carolyn is well-known to Beat fans partly as the wife of Neal Cassady, and also through the work of Jack Kerouac. She played an important role in these men’s lives, but also contributed to the world of Beat studies by writing two memories of her involvement in the movement: Heartbeat, which was made into a movie starring Sissy Spacek, and Off the...

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The Cramps’ “Route 66” Is the Best
Sep17

The Cramps’ “Route 66” Is the Best

“That spring [1947] when he [Jack Kerouac] heard Nat King Cole singing the Bobby Troup song ‘Get Your Kicks on Route 66,’ seeing America seemed the greatest kick of all.” (Memory Babe, Gerald Nicosia, 1994, p. 184). Nat King Cole’s voice was pure silk, smooth and clear, and he possessed a natural grace. He moved from jazz roots to become a huge pop sensation, much to the wrath of jazz fans, and had a hit with “Route 66” in 1946. The...

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Volume I: Encounter With a Ghost of Suburbia
Sep15

Volume I: Encounter With a Ghost of Suburbia

*Editor’s note: This is the first in the series of columns by Brian Eckert, entitled “Dispatches from the Abyss.” We aim to bring these to you fortnightly.      People hear me people Do you know what it means to be left alone? -Jimi Hendrix   I live by myself. I work at home. I should probably get out more, but almost nobody calls. The birds that come to my feeder and occasionally talk to me are...

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