A revolution of the Soul…The Beats

(Thanks Shaun…I dig this..cd)
The Beats
“The Beats were not programmatically political, but were utopian in their belief that artists – citizens would be the leaders of a new society.â€? The “Beat Movement” has become an important period in the history of literature and society in America. Incorporating influences such as jazz, art, literature, philosophy and religion, the beat writers created a new and prophetic vision of modern life and changed the way a generation of people see the world. That generation, considered dead and buried with its voice becoming lost to eternity, for some poets the message is alive and well. The Beat Generation of writers offered the world a new attitude. They brought to society a consciousness of life worth living. They offered a method of escape from the unimaginative world we live in, through the exploration of one’s intellect. Beat has had many different contemporary implications in music, poetry and literature. One of the most important beat contributions to contemporary verse was to take poetry out of the classrooms and into non-academic setting, coffee houses & jazz clubs. Poetry is now more popular and more read than anytime in history. Especially with the help of the internet (chat rooms, blogs, online magazines & books) Literature has become more accessible. Music has been influenced greatly by Beat writing. The lyrics of many great songs have forever been changed by the writing of the Beat Generation. “Bob Dylan’s favourite poet was Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg became one of Dylan’s greatest friends. Let’s not forget Dylan’s “Jack Kerouacâ€? influence: “On the Road againâ€? & “Subterranean Home Sick Bluesâ€? “I read On the Road in maybe 1959. It changed my life like it changed everyone else’sâ€? Bob Dylan On the Road Again Well, I woke up in the morning There’s frogs inside my socks Your mama, she’s a-hidin’ Inside the icebox Your daddy walks in wearin’ A Napoleon Bonaparte mask Then you ask why I don’t live here Honey, do you have to ask? Well, I go to pet your monkey I get a face full of claws I ask who’s in the fireplace And you tell me Santa Claus The milkman comes in He’s wearing a derby hat Then you ask why I don’t live here Honey, how come you have to ask me that? Subterranean Homesick Blues Johnny’s in the basement Mixing up the medicine I’m on the pavement Thinking about the government The man in the trench coat Badge out, laid off Says he’s got a bad cough Wants to get it paid off Look out kid It’s somethin’ you did God knows when But you’re doin’ it again You better duck down the alley way Lookin’ for a new friend The man in the coon-skin cap In the big pen Wants eleven dollar bills You only got ten The slacker generation “Generation X writersâ€? are compared to the Beat writers. Many people say that the “Generation Xâ€? movement has the potential to bring a new vision to society. Let’s not forget “Robert Frankâ€? In 1955, Frank set out to observe and photograph the United States. Supported by a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, he traveled across the country for two years. The result was “The Americansâ€?, a milestone in the history of photography. Frank befriended the Beat poet Jack Kerouac who later wrote the introduction to the book “The Americansâ€? Frank became one of the key visual artists to document the bohemian beat subculture in both photography and film, including the highly influential cinematic work “Pull My Daisyâ€?. Like the Beats, Frank sought to reveal the profound tensions he saw in American society. His photographic journey encompasses rich and poor, black and white, north and south, offering a glimpse of what makes these people and places truly American. “Pull my daisyâ€? In the film, the Neal Cassady character is named Milo and is played by the painter Larry Rivers. Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Gregory Corso were signed on to play versions of themselves. Figures from the New York art world rounded out the cast: art dealer Richard Bellamy plays the Bishop; Alice Neal plays the Bishop’s mother; David Amram, who composed the score and theme song, plays a jazz musician whose arrival at the party signals its collapse into chaos. Milo’s son is played by Robert Frank’s son Pablo and Milo’s wife is played by Delphine Seyrig. The story takes place entirely inside the apartment of Milo’s family, except for a brief outdoor scene in which the Bishop is seen (but not heard) giving a sermon, while a disproportionately large American flag dominates the frame, even occasionally blocking out the Bishop – a scene uncannily reminiscent of the very first photograph in “The Americansâ€? Other essential beat films: (1) What happened to Kerouac? (Macadams & Lerner) 96 min film includes the infamous drunk and down beat Kerouac arguing with Ed Sanders and William Buckley on Firing Line. (2) Jack Kerouac’s Road – A Franco American Odyssey. A Hermeneglide Chiasson 55 minute colour film. A view of Kerouac from the perspective of his French catholic background. (3) Burroughs: The Movie – (1983) by Howard Brookner. B/W & colour. Rare footage of Burroughs appearance on Saturday Night Live. (4) This Song for Jack – (1983) by Robert Frank. B/W 30min – Documents the 1982 “On the Road – Jack Kerouac Conferenceâ€? in Boulder Colorado. Frank creates a deliberate companion piece to his earlier film “Pull my Daisyâ€?. (5) Gregory Corso reads from the U.S. Constitutional and Bill of Rights – 1992 by Rasin & Poynton – Colour 18 minutes. http://the-beat.co.uk/on-the-road-the-movie/ http://the-beat.co.uk/william-burroughs/