Why Can’t They Get It?
Feb23

Why Can’t They Get It?

By Neil Reddy Originally published in Beatdom #14   There are two questions that have to be asked about Beat movies. What do we want and why can’t they get it right? If we’re looking for Beat movies as in expressions of the flow and rhythm of Beat poetry and Jazz Bebop, then you have to go to the source material: Pull My Daisy (1959), or The Flower Thief (1960), or Howl (2010). If you want to get derivative, try any college arts...

Read More
Go… the Summer, Fall, and Winter of Discontent
Feb12

Go… the Summer, Fall, and Winter of Discontent

The summer, the fall, and the winter of discontent, shovel after shovel of snow that turns to filthy slush, as in slush pile (publishers’ slush piles) . . . the discontent of youth, the discontent of marriage, the discontent of writers, the discontent of New Yorkers, and the discontent that turns to temporary joy at the nightclub The Go Hole. “Go! Go!” and “gone.” The discontent of life right from the beginning, as whimsically stated...

Read More
Neal Cassady Birthday Bash
Jan22

Neal Cassady Birthday Bash

5th ANNUAL DENVER NEAL CASSADY BIRTHDAY BASH FEBRUARY 7th The Fifth Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash will take place on Friday, February 7th at 8:00pm, upstairs at the Mercury Café located at 2199 California in Denver. The Bash features music, poetry and reminiscences celebrating the birthday and life of Neal Cassady. Reared on the streets of Denver, pop culture icon Cassady was the archetype Beat writer as well as the protagonist of...

Read More
Visions of Winter… Russia… Cody
Dec06

Visions of Winter… Russia… Cody

Hot chocolate . . . delicious Blustery deep freeze winds Cut through cruel canyons of Manhattan Past Dostoevsky Christmas angels Huddled in icy doorway Snowfall and heavenly whirls and waltzes And bare souls and mystic mad Rasputin Listening to Tchaikovsky in snowy swirls O, Robert, where art thou Frost? Are we in St. Petersburg, Russia? The littlest Romanov Tender Alexei lambevich And four sister lilies pure as pearls Hothouse saints...

Read More
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,...

Read More
Jack and Frank
Oct06

Jack and Frank

“Jack’s ultimate vision of success was himself and Sinatra as drinking buddies singing songs to each other.” [ i] Jack Kerouac loved Frank Sinatra. The smooth, free-wheeling Frankie, ah, what is it about Frank? The cool, the voice, the ring-a-ding-ding. The swing, the sway, the broads, the babes. The tough guy, the mob, the cigarette, the Jack . . . Daniels. When Frank stayed at the swanky Waldorf Astoria in New York, he always...

Read More
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...

Read More
Mayor Hancock Proclaims February 1st “Neal Cassady Day”
Jan03

Mayor Hancock Proclaims February 1st “Neal Cassady Day”

MAYOR PROCLAIMS FEBRUARY 1, 2013 AS “NEAL CASSADY DAY” IN DENVER 4th Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash At Mercury Cafe Mayor Michael Hancock has proclaimed February 1, 2013 as “Neal Cassady Day.” In his proclamation the Mayor cited Cassady’s, “major impact on American literature as an author and as the muse of literary figures including; Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, William  S. Burroughs,...

Read More