Ginsberg’s in the news a lot lately. His new CD boxed-set
‘Holy Soul Jelly Roll’ was released, and it’s an excellent package. It includes a historic ‘Howl‘ recorded in Berkeley in 1956, a full ‘Kaddish,’ and many other great poems. Most of his best recent songs are also included here, along with some previously unreleased stuff featuring Bob Dylan, plus a smokin’ live cut with The Clash. Ginsberg’s voice has a weird charm to it, and you can actually listen to him for pleasure if you’re in a certain mood — though there are also some pieces here that would workgreat if you want to end a party early.
There was also a ridiculous editorial in the New York Times criticizing Ginsberg for selling his personal archives to Stanford University for something like 1.2 million dollars. In an age when individuals are made to feel puny next to the money-fed corporations that tower over us, I feel personally thrilled whenever a person in the arts gets to cash in a little bit. I only hope Allen Ginsberg enjoys the money as much as possible. And really, I’d think the Times would have better things to do than take random pot-shots at unsuspecting poets.