Jack Kerouac starts this albums as he was probably the first person to coin the phrase "Beat Generation" in 1948.
“Is there a Beat generation?” is a recording taken from a symposium sponsored by Brandeis University which was held at the Hunter College Playhouse.(Verve LP #15005, January 1960)
It wouldn't be quite correct to call Alan Watts a beatnik... Nevertheles his figure was quite influential inside the group - it would be fair to say he was kind of a spiritual guru for them and undoubtely his lectures had great impact on their art.
Excerpts from Alan Watts lecture:
Learning the Human Game
Allen Ginsberg is probably on of the most recognizable figure of Beat Generation and piece above is not involved in any specials contexts that are worth explaining.
Excerpts from Allen Ginsberg poem America,
written in Berkeley, Jan. 17, 1956.
This is a melt of excerpts from Wichita Vortex Sutra #3 - a text primarily composed on a tape recording in a Greyhound bus in early 1960's -
and Donald Trumps - let's say - "boastful sutras"
Excerpts from Wichita Vortex Sutra #3
Allen Ginsberg - Wichita Vortex Sutra #3
Various excerpts from media
Cassady was a model for Dean Moriarty character from "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. This recording comes from THE Road Trip, where Neal Cassady
was a driver and didn't stop ranting for even a tiniest moment.
But Beat Generation wasn't "the men only" movement - there were quite a few women beatniks, that unfortunately stayed in the shadow of that supposedly very progressive males.
In the track above - Diane Di Prima and collate excerpts from their poems with Neal Cassady acid's rant.
Neal Cassady - talking while driving "Magic trip" bus
Diane Di Prima - She is the wind poem
Oh Man is in a way quite characteristic piece for beatniks movement - in a simple, acute and somehow indifferent manner brings a posthuman or maybe simply Buddhist perspective to a western order.
Joanne Kyger - Oh Man is the highest type of animal existing poem
Herbert Huncke is another person to whom coining the term "Beat Generation" is being attributed. Living for years on streets of New York, being a so called "Mayor of 42nd Street" there are no doubts he must felt beaten.
His experiences with demi-monde, street life and drug addiction became and inspiration for Ginsberg, Burroughs and Kerouac, who pictured him as Elmer Hassel character in his "On the Road".
Herbert Huncke - recording from a meeting in Brugge, Belgium, July 1994.
Probably the last living beatnik - in March 2019 he turned 100. However he doesn't consider himself a Beat poet - in 2013 documentary he said: Don't call me a Beat. I was never a Beat poet.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Poetry Reading. From the MICA Mades Audio Cassette Collection.
This one is tricky: in 1964 Ken Kesey set off on a legendary cross-country trip to the New York World's Fair. Inspiraton for such an endavours was of course "On the road" (1950) by Jack Kerouac. And in this particular trip a bus driver was no one else but... Neal Cassady / Dean Moriarty character from "On the Road".
They intented to make a documentary from that trip. Unfortunately the film was never finished but...
in 2011, based on a original footage Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood made a documentary movie titled "Magic Trip".
This track is a medley from excerpts from that movie and "On the road" audiobook, supplemented by fragments from TV commercials from the time.
"Magic Trip", 2011 movie by Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood
"On the road" audiobook (couldn't find credits for it...)
Car commercials from the 1950s
It is rather pointless to explain this joke - if it is not self explanatory, then it means that author must have failed to fulfill his idea,
or he simply had a bad idea... that strikes only his own sense of humor...
Allen Ginsberg, excerpts from "footnote to Howl"
Jack Kerouac, excerpts from "The San Francisco Scene"
Micheal Jackson, excerpts from "Beat it"
This is clearly a huge mix of topics and few so called facts may come handy
while going through this:
Roy Cohn, portrayed in Kushner's play was a real character, who died from AIDS-related complications
Age-wise - he was the same generation as beatniks, however from a totally different political spectrum.
Wizard of Oz and road from Kansas towards the Rainbow became an important LGBT motiv.
Allen Ginsberg's Howl is probably the most famous poem from the Beatniks' era, with its focus around homosexual relations.
Howl is dedicated to Carl Salomon - a writer, friend of Ginsberg
Rest of the story is up to you
"Angels in America", a movie by Mike Nichols based on Tony Kushner's play
Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" poem
Wizard of Oz - excerpts from a movie
Richard Nixon voice
Surprinsingly it is hard to find beatniks pieces about Vietnam War - of course there are some mentions and general attitude should be quite clear but pointing to a particular text isn't apparently that obvious. The Vietnam War topic however - seems to be one of the most important for that period of time.
Allan Watts lecture about Wars
USA president - Lyndon B. Johnson about Vietnam War
USA president - Richard Nixon about Vietnam War
USA president - George W. Bush about war in Afganistan
USA president - Barack Obama about war in Afganistan
Martin Luther King - summing them up
In "Dharma Bums" Jack Kerouac is criticizing a TV and people who watchs it to such an extent that it is becoming somehow repulsive and seems a bit naive or maybe too obvious from 21st century perspective. If Jack Kerouac had an occasion to talk with David Foster Wallace - I guess he would be able to change his perspective diametrically.
One of the first tv commercial promoting a set with remote control
interview with David Foster Wallace
excerpts from "Dharma Bums" novel by Jack Kerouac