Beat News: March 15 1996

Wow, I’ve been away a while. Still recovering from the ordeal of organizing a fiction/poetry reading last month — it went *great*, by the way, and we’re already thinking of doing it again. Here’s a bunch of pictures from the event. (I even centered my text on this page, style, just because I’ve been in a wacky mood and it looks kinda cool.)

Lots of good new Beat stuff out there. Let’s see …

1. I recently stumbled across the new William S. Burroughs book, “Ghost of Chance” — I don’t know if it’s any good, but it has a beautiful cover design. A very WIRED look, in fact. It goes well with Burroughs style.

2. Red Hot Organization, which did the Beat Generation CD-ROM I wrote about last month, also just released a tribute album, OffBeat, containing contributions from musicians like David Byrne and DJ Spooky. Red Hot Organization is a good cause (against AIDS) so if you’re thinking of buying this CD: ahh, just go do it.

3. Still no news on the proposed “On The Road” movie. I recently found and read a bootleg copy of the screenplay, though. It could have been worse — they stuck pretty close to the story, except they put the Mexican Girl scene at the end of the second trip instead of the first. WHAT ARE THEY — INSANE???? You can’t mess with this stuff. It’s sacred. But the screenplay was fairly true to the book. Dean is by far the most prominent character in this treatment, and some aspects of the book seem to take a back-seat (so to speak) to the Dean Moriarty story. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, there’s still no word that the movie will ever be made at all.

4. I’m sick of reading articles about the dumb fights between Jan Kerouac and the Sampas family over the Kerouac estate. Apparently Jan wanted to have his grave moved to New Hampshire from Lowell. A lot of people have written asking why I don’t cover these issues in Literary Kicks — I don’t because I think legal battles are depressing and boring. I still think Jan Kerouac is a good writer.

5. New stuff here, mostly from contributors: a couple of personal memoirs (on John Montgomery and Allen Ginsberg), a Jack Micheline page, and some additions to my already ridiculously lengthy Beats in Rock Music) page. Coming soon: stuff on Ed Sanders, the Fugs, Harry Smith.

I’ll try not to stay away so long next time.

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