COLUMN THIRTY-EIGHT, OCTOBER 1, 1998
(Copyright © 1998 Al Aronowitz)
FROM THE HINTERLANDS
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 22:05:19 EDT
just to let you know us here in the hinterlands are having a fine time reading your stuff whatever kind of listed it might be.
all good wishes
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ABOUT PAUL WILLIAMS
Date: Sat, 05 Sep 1998 15:27:22 +0000
From: "D. Whitney Quinn"
To: Al Aronowitz
Subject: greetings-i come in peace
i just wanted to introduce myself and say how much i have enjoyed your work over the years. paul williams (the dylan and brian wilson writer, not the songwriter-even though HE is also a friend) is a friend of mine, and he's working on a book "entitled the 20th century's greatest hits" which is a top 40 of what paul considers the artistic benchmarks of this century. he has included "howl" and "on the road". i was doing some legwork for paul, checking out some resources, and i came across your excellent web pages on the beats, so i forwarded them to paul. in the spirit of reciprocity, i thought you might want to check out paul's crawdaddy! site. here's the url:
http://www.cdaddy.com/FormatHomePage.cgi and his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
i come from noo yawk myself, and i have admired your work for a long time. i appreciate the opportunity to tell you. keep up the good work!
all the best,
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Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:34:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: Maggie Gerrity
Subject: Re: COLUMN 35
Thanks for keeping me up to date on your column. I like your work a lot, 1., because it's Beat-related and I've done a lot of research on the Beats, especially Ginsberg, in the last year, and 2., I'm an aspiring journalist working summers for a newspaper and I like to see cutting-edge work in my field.
Will probably be doing more work on my Ginsberg anthology this coming semester (if time allows) and would really appreciate any help you could offer.
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ABOUT THE BANDSHELL RAINOUT
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 11:46:45 +0100
Organization: Long Shot
Subject: Allen Ginsberg Tribute
I don't usually get involved in literary controversies but I've held my tongue for too long. The tribute to Allen Ginsberg in June, 98 that you organized was one of the most pathetic failures I ever experienced. I was there in the bandshell with about 30 other brave and hearty souls. You were nowhere to be found, and the main topic of conversation among us was your cowardice for not showing up at an event you organized. I know firsthand that you put Bob Rosenthal through hell, insulting him publicly in print, questioning his motivation and credentials, and generally being a thorn in his ass. Throughout your involvement with this event I wondered about your motivation, because your attitude toward Allen appears to be ambivalent at best, and downright hostile in all probability. I could go on and on.
Let me put it simply Al: What you did was wrong. You misled people to believe this event was going to be something it could never be. Then you did not have the guts to show up at an event that you organized. Al, people paid their own airfare to travel across the country to pay tribute and to honor Allen Ginsberg, and you were not there. What's worse, you continue to sugarcoat the entire failure of an event by paying patronizing homage to the poets and performers who cared enough to show up in the rain to pay tribute to Allen Ginsberg. I was there Al.
Shame on you!
P.S. Thank God Bob Rosenthal had the wearwithal to put on a truly inspired event at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, in May.
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MORE ABOUT THE BANDSHELL RAINOUT
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 17:26:29 +0000
thanx for yr letter i finally got around to checking out column 35 several interesting items on display Antler seems to have come along quite late in the day cause he missed out on some great reading from Merilene Murphy (telepoetics L.A.), Frank Messina (spoken motion), Larry Winfield, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Jordan Green, William Loran Smith, Ron Whitehead and moreandmoreandmore activity from the new front line warriors in the new Literary Renaissance who snatched VICTORY from the jaws of DEFEAT on a rainy day in June in Central Park.
As you remember Al the GREAT SPIRIT conjured in the park continued on into the evening with a GREAT reading at the CENTERFOLD and let me just say here that i personally enjoyed your reading the whole evening was moving/electric i am still driving on that energy/spirit/fuel thanx to all the great poet/spirits/artisans who ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO BOW DOWN TO ADVERSITY........Allens spirit had plenty of reasons to smile that day....POETRY DRUMS KEEP BEATING!
MICHAEL DEAN ODIN POLLOCK
P.S. Let me suggest to you and yr readers checking out BIRGITTA JONSDOTTIRS article on Ginsberg Memorial at http://poetry.miningco.com or go to htpp://www.summersault.com/tilt-a-whirl check out the NETWORK ROOM
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STILL MORE ABOUT THE BANDSHELL RAINOUT
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 00:16:23 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Central Park- Ginsberg Tribute
I've read some of your apologies for the rained out so-called Ginsberg Tribute. I must tell you that it was special. I got there for the last hour and found it awe-inspiring. The poets who contributed during the hour I witnessed, most of whom remain nameless to me. . . were fantastic. The mood brought me to what I perceived as a return to the real grass roots of readings, teletransported somewhere into the 1950s in what I am sure would have been reported as one of the great poetic gatherings of the decade. It wasn't hype or mass produced theatrical, impersonal theatrics, it was warm and real and touched the hearts and souls of those fortunate to have not read that the event had been rained out. To me it will remain as a most memorable happening. Whether there is a follow-up to it is inconsequential.
To those of us who experienced it, it was no wash out. Allen probably would have loved more fanfare, but deep down would have agreed that this tribute was most fitting.
p.s. Al, I wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy New Year. It is amazing that you are at Col.36 (three years) Keep up the good work. Keep in touch.
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ROLLING THUNDER MEMORY
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 09:32:43 -0500
From: Kip.Stratton@natinst.com (Kip Stratton)
Subject: One Review
The publishing world is full of "geniuses," isn't it? Maybe there's some democracy at work on the Internet, at least for a while before the greedheads ruin it too.
I got an e-mail or two from Roger McGuinn about his involvement with Dylan during the Rolling Thunder timeframe. A highpoint of that episode came when the revue may a stop at the State Fairgrounds Arena in Oklahoma City---I think the revue had been kicked out of Dallas for some reason or other and alighted in the nearest community of any size that had an available arena. Dylan was outstanding that night, and McGuinn recalls that Dylan was in great form as well. I remember Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys also being in fine form (which didn't happen too often), especially the evening's rendition of Asshole from El Passo. (Of course I could have gone my whole life without hearing Joan Baez cover Dancing in the Street. That was the night's worst moment.) Anyway. . .I had Dylan on my mind this morning, especially Dylan from the mid-1970s when he hit one of his creative peaks with BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, DESIRE, and the greatly unappreciated collaboration with the Band, PLANET WAVES.
Reviews. I don't have the Thompson review with me right now in electronic format, but I'll get it to you in the next day or two. In the meantime, here's the most recent for the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. . .
Take care, brother. . . Kip
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