Beat News Archive: 1994

(Yes, this is a photo of Burroughs and Kerouac, apparently posing as private detectives)

Dec 26, 1994

Ben Gallitz ( has sent me info about a new Ginsberg film biography, "The Life And Times of Allen Ginsberg." The director is Jerry Aronson, and I'm not clear on whether this is a straight-to-video release or not. A review in the Washington Post criticized the film as too tame. I'll let you know more after I either see it or hear from someone who has.

Dec 1, 1994

Three items today:

1. A reliable source just whispered (can you whisper via e-mail?) the name Johnny Depp to me, referring to the casting of the still-mysterious Coppola film of "On The Road" (see below.) I don't know which part Depp is being considered for, Sal Paradise or Dean Moriarty, but I think he'd be a good Sal. He had a sort-of lonely/lost quality in 'Edward Scissorhands' that I think would fit well with the part. I hope they don't do anything dumb like cast him as Dean.

2. Check out Christian Crumlish's new Web hyperfiction (or something) project, Enterzone. You know, I keep reading in the newspapers about sites like and, and these articles ignore the fact that the Web is a vehicle for innovative creative expression. I think Xian's new project is helping to advance the creative Web to a new level. You can find it at

3. DHARMA beat, the publication of the Jack Kerouac subterranean Information Society, is accepting contributions for the February '95 issue. The editor of The Kerouac Connection has also sent me his guidelines for contributors. Click here for the details.

Nov 14 1994

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 work great 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.

Oct 20 1994

Just heard (from a regular) that Francis Ford Coppola is going to be directing a film of 'On The Road'. Wow. I happen to love some of Coppola's movies, especially the first two 'Godfather' movies, so I'm not upset about this. Well, I'm a little upset, but that's only because I've always dreamed of directing this film myself. I don't know anything about directing, so granted this is a longshot. But I'd stick real close to the book and make a great film.

I hate it when a good book gets turned into a stupid film. But Coppola was the one who filmed 'The Outsiders,' my favorite novel from ages 10 through 14 (along with 'Flowers For Algernon'-- remember that one?) and he didn't screw that one up too bad. The book was still better, but the film didn't totally suck.

Here's who I think Coppola should cast:

What are your ideas? Let me know and I'll put any good ones up here.

Literary Kicks
by Levi Asher