COLUMN TWENTY-NINE, JANUARY 1, 1998
(Copyright © 1998 Al Aronowitz)
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 17:12:23 GMT
From: roger duncan
Subject: listening to blacklisted
i am a quiet lurker on Beat L, and from their found your pages. i just wanted to say how much i enjoy them, am inspired by them, and have found so much to try to understand within them. this internet thing is so amazing. its great that you've been able to get the international publication that you deserve, and that we (readers generally, beat interested people too) have the opportunity to hear how it all seemed to you and others as a participant.
anyway - just wanted to say thanx - and to hope that 1998 brings you everything that you want.
if you ever need anything from the distant lands of Wales - or Dylan Thomas's city of Swansea - then you have only to let me know.
roger - from wales.
(ps i am slowly trying to raise the Memory Babe Archive issue with people i meet over here) ##
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Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 20:42:58 -0600
From: Patricia Elliott
Subject: ohhh your site is so good
Thank you for sharing so much. I just read aloud to my husband
for 20 minutes. He will return to your site and read and read again.
patricia elliott ##
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Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 20:08:45 -0500
From: Marcus Williamson <email@example.com>
Subject: In Memoriam - James Laughlin
James Laughlin, founder and head of New Directions, died on Wednesday 12 November 1997 at the age of 83.
He was "A man who combined bold taste with a gentle demeanor, Laughlin made a major contribution to literature as well as to the field of publishing.
The list of his writers is staggering in its length and artistic complexity. He was Vladimir Nabokov's first American publisher and also printed the work of Tennessee Williams, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Henry Miller, Djuna Barnes, Dylan Thomas, Delmore Schwartz and John Hawkes, among many others."
For the text of an obituary published in the New York Times today (Friday 14 November), please see the link at :
(thanks to Anastasios Kozaitis for providing the text of this obituary)
Thanks & regards
London, UK ##
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MORE SAD NEWS
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 1997 16:41:39 -0500
From: Marcus Williamson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RIP Denise Levertov
Sender: Marcus Williamson <email@example.com>
Denise Levertov died on 20 December 1997, aged 74.
For more information see:
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STILL MORE SAD NEWS
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 97 11:34:36 -0500
From: "David Greenberg"
Subject: A moment of silence for ROBERT PALMER
Robert passed away yesterday morning at 6 am. He recently received a liver transplant, but had been non-responsive for the last five days. For more information you should read the obits wherever they show up.
Robert's writing for ONOBOX was put up on the web to promote the latest Yoko Ono releases. His writing was always witty, to the point, and highly persuasive. It had to be as he was always championing musics that the world HAD to hear, but were too busy or too dull to care about. He wrote with such a simple flourish that you were unaware that he was pitching you to try out something new like a Madison Ave adman would love to sell soap to you, but somehow they are too crass and commercial. He was a musician, a producer, a human being who loved music. He will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will take place between 2-4 at TRAMPS in NYC.
I will be getting more information from Studio One as to a fund being set up to
send donations in lieu of flowers. Anyone in NYC that can go, please send
condolences for all of Rykodisc.
Thank you. ##
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SAD NEWS AGAIN
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 10:38:14 -0800
From: Levi Asher
Subject: Kathy Acker
I just heard the real sad news that Kathy Acker died. I don't know much more -- anybody else? This was unexpected to me as I hadn't even known she was sick.
Levi Asher = firstname.lastname@example.org
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MEMOIRS OF A "SLUT"
From: "Far Gone Design & Strategic Services"
Subject: _Hell Bottled Up!: Chronicles of a Late Propaganda Minister_
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 06:16:27 -0600
Dear Blacklisted Folk,
Am greatly enamored of yr Web site. A fan & scholar of things Beat, it warms my heart to see lucid & meaningful memoirs of giants lately passed. & a link to a Kenneth Patchen site!...made my early a.m.
I am the author/publisher of an underground novel called Wisdom's Maw, which takes on the CIA's MK-ULTRA acid tests and their influence on the Sixties' counterculture (the dramatis personae includes Hunter Thompson, Aldous Huxley, Kerouac, Cassady, and thinly-veiled portraitures of Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey).
For The Blacklisted Journalist, tho, I am hoping you might be interested in reviewing & mebbe running a section of my demented Gonzo autobiography, Hell Bottled Up!: Chronicles of a Late Propaganda Minister; written in 1988 (as I said in the Philly 'zine Carbon 14, "in a white-heat in six months, basically smashed on acid"), which revivifies my days in the political firestorm that was Arizona under the reign of right-wing governor Evan Mecham and a revival of the John Birch Society. I was, for a time, a "darling of the far-right" in Arizona, serving as a spy and hatchet-man in Congressional campaigns and state agencies...but "I was also a terrible drunk, and was more than a little curious about psychedelics; plus I was a slut" (Carbon 14).
Hell Bottled Up!--which was submitted as my Master's thesis at University of Southern California (1991)--made the rounds of the NY houses, got long looks from Faber & Faber, Thunder's Mouth Press, & Grove, but...
OK. Should this sound interesting to you, let me know, and I'll send over the transom a couple stand-alone stand-outs. & I'll circulate your URL widely!
All the best,
Todd Brendan Fahey
Doctoral Teaching Fellow, English
University of Southwestern Louisiana, & Publisher, Far Gone Books
Please Visit the Award-Winning Far Gone Books/Wisdom's Maw Site: http://www.fargonebooks.com (best viewed with Netscape)
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Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 22:39:04 +0930
From: Alan & Glenys Grundy
Organization: SE Net
Subject: Mersey Monsters Group
This is Orlak from the original Mersey Monsters - (AKA Alan Grundy). Have just visited your page and found it very interesting. I moved to Australia in 1968 - not too escape our fans !! Miss Liverpool, but love Australia as well !!
Thanks for an interesting read.
Regards from Alan - email:- email@example.com
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EITHER NUTS OR DEDICATED
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 04:03:48 EST
Subject: Re: BEAT GENERATION
greetings from raleigh, n.c. i get up between 2:30 and 3:30 every morning. i'm either nuts or dedicated. probably both. i'm going to be sending you some photographs...if you want them. they are photographs from my books...photographs of lowell, Ma. and rocky mount, NC. although it won't be for a few weeks. i'm having problems with my computer. waiting to reinstall windows. i was on the phone with Packard Bell for like an hour last night. i lost my CD Rom Drive. what a pain in the ass. but...hey that's technology.
i really am enjoying your website. i've been reading it the last few mornings. i enjoyed the Kerouac interview. really brought jack to life. i would have loved to talk to him. i was a kid when Kerouac passed over (growing up in Woodstock in 1969 i had no idea that someone named Jack Kerouac was closing his eyes just as a generation of kids were opening theirs) and of course never heard of him until i ended up in Portland Oregon in 1973. and got a job in a book distributor and a friend turned me on the Kerouac by Ann Charters. of course i've never been the same. started reading everything i could get my hands on by this guy Kerouac. the funny thing is...is i have no idea what Kerouac book i read first. but as soon as i read Dr. Sax...i knew my life would never be the same. of all the books and writing that jack did...i think Dr. Sax, Visions of Cody, Visions of Gerard are my favorites. (what a sense of reality it was to finally stand in the little kitchen in rocky mount, the kitchen where jack wrote his Gerard book...and to hang out on the back porch where he lived and stayed...god i'm lucky to be able to do this. i have become good friends with the owner of the house. (if you'd like i could send you a bunch of articles about my books and Kerouac's life and times in Rocky Mount, NC.)
well let me run...just wanted to say hello and let you know that i'm enjoying your website.
john j dorfner
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SNAIL MAIL FAN LETTER
54 Ranger Dr.,
Charleston, SC, 29405
December 4, 1997
Dear Mr. Aronowitz,
As a journalist, I know the importance of brevity, but I fear this letter may turn into an epistle. I beg your forbearance, because it was your work and that of a handful of others, (Ralph Gleason, Nat Hentoff and Leonard Feather come to mind) that led me to writing for .... a living? (Hell, if my wife didn't teach school, I'd have to go back to working on the waterfront for serious money.)
I grew up in what was then a tiny, backwoods South Carolina town, and at about the time I hit junior high, what Jerry Garcia called "the folk scare" hit me. I followed it through your Saturday Evening Post articles. I saved them, reread them time after time, and came to appreciate your style as much as I did your choice of subjects. I still have a closet full of that stuff. My wife wants me to get rid of it, as did my first wife. My archives also contain numerous ancient, arcane LPs bearing your liner notes, so I've often wondered over the years why you stopped spinning your wonderful lines of bullshit.
I'm the overnight news editor for a talk radio station. In addition to preparing two hours worth of material for our anchorman, I have to come up with a two-and-a-half minute daily commentary. On mornings when I feel too good to have an opinion on anything, but still must come up with something, I stare at the computer screen, looking for things that will amuse ME until I get a flash that might amuse my listeners. A few mornings back, I ran across your name on the "Literary Kicks" web site. I cheerfully fed a bale of my boss's paper through the machine printing up your columns.
To tell the truth, I can't figure out how you got "blacklisted" for doing the same thing dozens of other writers were doing, while publishers printed features by the likes of Derek Taylor as straight reporting, without a trace of a disclaimer about Taylor being on his subjects' payroll. And I'm not putting Taylor or you or anyone else down for doing it, because the writing was usually first rate, and because those of us who read those stories were hungry for them. In these days when political hacks become "distinguished journalists" overnight, and switch back and forth as often as they change their socks, the old rules of journalistic ethics seem a bit perverted if they're keeping you out of work. And in the world of music and staying up all night without TV, I can understand the impossibility of impartiality. For 20 years, I hosted a weekly jazz show on South Carolina Educational Radio. I also wrote music columns and reviews for a number of regional and national publications, all of which are now defunct. In that time, I got to know and hang out with Dexter Gordon, Les McCann and other musicians. Looking back, I'd say we used each other's friendship for our own purposes. You tried to do it on a grander scale, and I wish you had succeeded. But looking on the bright side, if either one of us had had more money than we could logically spend 25 years ago, neither of us would be alive to bitch. I'd love to send a donation, but my salary barely covers my own scaled-back vices.
HOWEVER, I DO HAVE WHAT MAY COME AS SOME GOOD NEWS!!!!!
Reading through your Column 23 piece about Thomas Jefferson Kaye and Bob Neuwirth, I was delighted to notice that you were looking for something seemingly nonexistent. Until a few moments ago, I hadn't planned to write this fan letter, because I really didn't have anything to offer you but thanks and praise. But the column made this letter necessary, because you see, I was one of the half-dozen poor assholes to actually buy Neuwirth's record, and since I only played it once or twice, I surmise it's still in pretty good shape. I don't want to part with it, but I'd be happy to make you a tape. If you know any other cultists who want one, I'd do it for them too. Feel free to give them my number. I haven't raced to the shelf to put in on the turntable though, because as I recall, It was a terrible disappointment at the time. I had heard wonderful rumors about Neuwirth, and I must have seen "Don't Look Back" a dozen times. But the record sounded as though all those geniuses were purposely trying to thumb their noses at me, one of the six poor assholes who gave Geffen a fraction of a fraction of a percentage of his investment.
My dear departed friend, Lou Gottlieb, always told me that if you're performing for money, you have a moral obligation to make sure your audience has a better time than you do. Did you know Lou in his "Limeliter" mode? If not, you missed a great contact high and one of our forgotten treasures. Before he died, we were working together on editing his autobiography. I doubt it will ever be published, but at least I got to read it.
Thanks for reading this far. Get in touch by phone or mail if you want a copy of the Neuwirth record. It may be better than I can remember from half my lifetime back. We'll find out.
Yours in laughter,
* * *
LIFTED FROM BILL GARGAN'S BEAT-L LIST
(A Sort of Chat Room for Beat Generation Fans)
McCLURE AND MANZAREK
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 14:57:14 -0800
Sender: "BEAT-L: Beat Generation List"
From: tristan saldana
Subject: Re: Michael McClure and Jim Morrison.
Reply-To: "BEAT-L: Beat Generation List"
I saw McClure and Manzarek at the LA County Museum of Art in October. They had a one-hour gig. McClure performed his poetry and Manzarek did the interpreting with the piano. Manzarek played "Riders on the Storm" to one of McClure's pieces. It was quite good. Manzarek and McClure said there is an Egyptian belief that whenever you say a person's name that you, in effect, resurrect their spirit. They closed with saying Jim's name.
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DYLAN IN D.C.
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 16:08:23 EST
Sender: "BEAT-L: Beat Generation List"
Subject: Re: speaking of music
At the risk of seeming bragadocious I had the privlige of seeing Mr. Bob Dylan last Thursday and Friday nights at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. It was a real treat to see Dylan at a "small" 1,000 person capacity club. It was fun to see the ol' sage having fun himself as he actually smiled several times. He is in great form these days - like always he looks to me like he could put on 10 pounds or so - but he's a long, long way from knockin' on heavens door! Each night he played for a solid two hours---mixing old and new. Songs like Maggies Farm, Rainy Day Woman, Highway 61, Mr. Tamborine Man, It Ain't Me Babe, etc. are in heavy rotation on his set list (he does use one).
Bob will be honored by President Clinton at the Kennedy Center tomorrow. I think it will be broadcast on public television sometime in the future (check listings under "The Kennedy Center Honors").
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ZAPPA AND W.S.B.
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 01:07:10 -0600
Sender:"BEAT-L: Beat Generation List"
From: Patricia Elliott
I am not a musical person but. When i was house sitting for william (wsb) when he was in new york for his 70 birthday, i got a phone call and . oh around 7, asking for william's number in NY, i politely said, im sorry but i can't give out where he is ( he was at the bunker getting ready to go to the party) , the man said he would like the address of the bunker or address of the place of the party, again i demurred. we were at a stalemate, then i offered to take his number and give it to william, the guy said yes, yes, i'm frank zappa, well i did a double take, then said,(looking hurriedly in williams rollodex, under frank, there he was. then quickly gavin mr zappa the particulars. I heard he sent literally dozens of long stem red roses to the bar where the party was at. It was quite a party. william brought me back the neatest poster, it was a shadowy silhouette of him. signed by the artist and by william. I know that this might not be "not boring" but i so seldom have a musical story. I remember that when bob dylan played in kansas city, william went and visited with him back stage. James g has group and i hear it is very good, i haven't made it out to hear him. as i have "married with children" syndrome.
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I LIKED THE STORY, TOO, JERRY
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 12:39:58 -0500
From: Al Aronowitz
To: BEAT-L: Beat Generation List
Subject: Re: Kerouac clippings
> In a message dated 97-11-28 02:27:08 EST, Jerry Cimino wrote:
> << "Hey, darlin', if you're making coffee, will you make me a cup?" "Where's your mug?" "It's on the Allen"... and after awhile we started to get used to it and now it we don't even hardly laugh when we say it anymore... And now we're looking around for something to call "Bill"...
> Jerry Cimino
> Fog City
> I thoroughly loved this story, and your creative naming of
unknown architectural details. What a great idea, and of course, completely
goofy, as well.
> In fact, I enjoyed your whole letter, including the images of you all trying to scat to a wrestling match! I would give a week's pay to see that.
> Good to hear from you, telling personal tales, and making me thankful in the afterglow of Thanksgiving. Keep up the good work! ##
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THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST IS A SERVICE MARK OF AL ARONOWITZ