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PostPosted: Mon November 17th, 2008, 22:08 GMT 
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As I listen to this two-CD recording by the late Allen Ginsberg, I cannot help thinking about Dick Cheney. The American vice president might just be the exact polar opposite of Allen Ginsberg, kind of a beat Dr. Evil. I suspect he’s never heard Ginsberg read his unexpurgated Buddhist poetry or joined a sing-along with his harmonium. But then again, who knows what Cheney does in his bunker. He might be learning the lyrics to “Everybody Sing”—”everybody is just a little bit homosexual, whether they like it or not.”
The famous poet was nearly beatified before his death in 1997. His recordings have included poetry readings, of course, but also song. His most easily accessible release would be The Lion For Real (Great Jones, 1989), a Hal Willner-produced session with jazz artists Marc Ribot, Arto Lindsay and Bill Frisell. He also recorded with Philip Glass, Paul McCartney and The Clash.

First Blues, a reissue of a long out-of-print LP, revives these sessions from 1971 (with Bob Dylan and Anne Waldman), 1976 (with famous producer John Hammond) and 1981. Ginsberg’s naked voice is quite honest. Like his poetry, he can strip a lyric to plain meaning, whether he speaks about war, corporate greed or sex with young men. Like the late recordings of John Lennon, pretensions are dropped. How else can you sing about dildos and eternity?

File these sessions as Ginsberg unplugged, covering tunes he is famous for: “Father Death Blues,” “Vomit Express (Going To Puerto Rico),” and “CIA Dope Calypso.” Raw, funny and beautiful, his life and his karma endures in this music. I don’t know if we should miss him in these troubled times or we should be happy he doesn’t have to endure them.

Track listing: CD1: Going To San Diego; Vomit Express; Jimmy Berman (Gay Lib Rag); NY Youth Call Annunciation; CIA Dope Calypso; Put Down Yr Cigarette Rag; Sickness Blues; Broken Bone Blues; Stay Away From White House; Hard-On Blues; Guru Blues. CD2: Everybody Sing; Gospel Nobel Truths; Bus Ride Ballad To Suva; Prayer Blues - 1972; Love Forgiven; Father Death Blues; Dope Fiend Blues Tyger; You Are My Dildo; Old Pond; No Reason; My Pretty Rode Tree; Capitol Air.

Personnel: Allen Ginsberg: vocals, harmonium, finger cymbals, song sticks; David Amram: French horn, flute, recorder, piano, hi-hat; Perry Robinson: clarinet, Bob Dylan: guitar; Happy Traum: banjo; Jon Sholle: guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, harmonizer, maracas, drums; Surya: zither; Moruga: drums; Arthur Russell: cello, tambourine; David Mansfield: mandolin, bass guitar, pedal steel guitar, violin; Stephen Taylor: recorder, guitar, conga; Peter Orlovsky: vocals.

By Mark Corroto (SEE: http://stupidd.blogspot.com/2008/09/all ... -rare.html)

Released on LP in 1983, First Blues is Allen Ginsberg's recorded opus; it was finally made available in the 21st century on compact disc courtesy of those wonderfully weird folks from Water Records in San Francisco. It contains studio-recorded performances of songs he'd written and performed and finally taped between 1971 and 1983. Ginsberg's charm as a songwriter is the same one he holds as a poet: he was a fearless queer dharma lion who was so utterly and completely honest. With the Heart Sutra as his creed, he spoke, read, sang, improvised, protested, and lived as one so in the moment and brutally honest with himself that he made one either want to join him in present fearless nearness or to flee from him as fast as one could travel. These songs of his are, in their way, beautiful. His ragged angel's singing voice, so flat and devoid of musicality, was musicality itself.

Obviously others thought so, too, when looking at who appears on some of these cuts. The first three -- "Going to San Diego," "Vomit Express," and "Jimmy Berman (Gay Lib Rag)" -- are played by David Amram, Bob Dylan, John Scholle, and Happy Traum to name a few (the beguiling his priestess of American poetry, Anne Waldman, appears as a vocalist as well). These first sessions, from 1971, were engineered by no less a studio persona than Jack Douglas. The next sessions were taped in 1976 and make up the remainder of disc one and the first two selections of disc two. These were produced by the legendary John Hammond, and featured David Mansfield, the late Arthur Russell, Stephen Taylor, Scholle, and Ginsberg. Some of these tracks -- "CIA Dope Calypso," "Everybody Sing," and "Put Down Yr Cigarette Rag" -- are the best known.

The final ten tunes are from the ZBS Media session recorded in 1981 between Allen, Peter Orlovsky, and Taylor. Amram, Russell, and Scholle also participated later and were overdubbed onto the original tracks. Of these cuts, the most infamous were "Dope Fiend Blues" and "You Are My Dildo," but far more beautiful are Ginsberg's musical read of William Blake's "Tyger" and his own "Father Death Blues," perhaps the most well known song he recorded. He performed it on the harmonium at readings until the end of his life in 1997. Ginsberg's knowledge of the blues form as a historical and improvisational entity that tied it to the poetic voice was singular. He found in the blues a universal voice that lent itself to an expression that could always be shared by anyone willing to join the song. And for Ginsberg, it was always, always about song. One had only to hear him read once to know that he and song were one, and these recordings bear that out especially well. [Thom Jurek, All Music Guide]

See: http://chrisgoesrocks.blogspot.com/2007 ... -rare.html

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First Blues -- Rags, Ballads, & Harmonium Songs on Folkways Records is
an earlier LP with the same title as the 1980's Hammond-produced double LP.


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PostPosted: Mon November 17th, 2008, 23:39 GMT 
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I wonder if one could get a copy of that in cd format?? 8)


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PostPosted: Mon November 17th, 2008, 23:56 GMT 
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It's listed on Amazon!


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 00:30 GMT 
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onemorecup wrote:
It's listed on Amazon!


And.......................................................???


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 00:51 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
onemorecup wrote:
It's listed on Amazon!


And.......................................................???


Just trying to be helpful to our Gypsy :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 01:44 GMT 
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onemorecup wrote:
It's listed on Amazon!


The download police can take that up with chrisgoesrocks.blogspot.com :D

Great one, LJ. I can't wait to hear it. I LOVE Holy Soul Jelly Roll. All Dylan fans should make a point of getting into Allen Ginsberg


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 02:08 GMT 
As far as Ginsberg and John Lennon, according to Philip Norman, Lennon basically found him repulsive on first meeting him with Dylan. Later, Ginsberg invited John and George and their wives to visit him in his London hotel room. They went, to be polite, and Ginsberg opened the door naked except for a pair of underpants on his head and a "do not disturb" sign hung on his penis. John and George were horrified that Ginsberg had behaved this way in front of their wives (they agreed that it was not okay to pull that crap in front of women) and the four of them fled. My impression is that they had a powerful dislike for him and tolerated him only as part of Dylan's entourage.




.


Last edited by therevelator on Tue December 9th, 2008, 19:27 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 02:24 GMT 
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Never met him, don't really care about the person. Some of his poetry is as goodf as it gets; the recording of him reading "Howl" in SF with Kerouac bangiong the stage and shouting "Go! Go! Go!" is still breathtaking.

I think the best of his later work is the music and the double LP on John Hammond Records (Hammond Sr. founded the label to put the record out after Columbia rejected it) is the best.


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 02:55 GMT 
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Its weird, i love all the beat stuff, Kerouac, Burroughs, Corso, and of course Cassady. Although i never liked Ginsberg, at all. I always get the feeling he's a pest or a hanger-on of some kind, at least with dylan. Just not my thing i guess.


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 03:30 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
Never met him, don't really care about the person. Some of his poetry is as goodf as it gets; the recording of him reading "Howl" in SF with Kerouac bangiong the stage and shouting "Go! Go! Go!" is still breathtaking.

I think the best of his later work is the music and the double LP on John Hammond Records (Hammond Sr. founded the label to put the record out after Columbia rejected it) is the best.


Can you upload that please? or link?


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 04:39 GMT 
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George_Costanza123 wrote:
Its weird, i love all the beat stuff, Kerouac, Burroughs, Corso, and of course Cassady. Although i never liked Ginsberg, at all. I always get the feeling he's a pest or a hanger-on of some kind, at least with dylan. Just not my thing i guess.


That's odd; I really think at his best he's as good or better than any of them. He produced an enormous amount of work, I don't claim to be anything more than superficially familiar with it, but things like Kaddish and Howl beat the best of Bob, hands down. At the beginning at least I think it would have been more accurate to see DYlan as the hanger-on.


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 04:59 GMT 
As an artist, I think Burroughs has him beat by miles.


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 05:40 GMT 
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The Dylan / Ginsberg sessions
A list of all known collaborations between Allen Ginsberg & Bob Dylan

Oct 1971 Allen Ginsberg & Friends

PBS-TV Studios, New York

1. ?
2. Nurse's Song (William Blake/Allen Ginsberg)
3. September On Jessore Road (Allen Ginsberg)
4. A Dream (William Blake/Allen Ginsberg)
5. Vajra Mantra (?)

Allen Ginsberg (harmonium & vocal), Peter Orlovsky (vocal),
David Amram (fr horn),
Gregory Corso (vocal),
Happy Traum (banjo & guitar),
Bob Dylan (guitar) and others...

Broadcast mid-november in Freetime on PBS-TV, New York.

***************************

Nov 17 - 18 The Allen Ginsberg sessions

1. Vomit Express (Allen Ginsberg/Bob Dylan-Allen Ginsberg)**
2. Going To San Diego (Allen Ginsberg)
3. Om My Soul Shalom (trad.)
4. Nurse's Song (William Blake/Allen Ginsberg)
5. Jimmy Berman (Allen Ginsberg/Bob Dylan-Allen Ginsberg)
6. Many Loves (Allen Ginsberg)
7. Prajnaparamitra Sutra (trad.)
8. September On Jessore Road (Allen Ginsberg/Dylan-Allen Ginsberg)**
9. September On Jessore Road (Allen Ginsberg/Dylan-Allen Ginsberg)
10. The Tyger (William Blake/Allen Ginsberg)

Allen Ginsberg (harmonium & vocal),
Peter Orlovsky (vocal),
David Amram (fr horn),
Artie Traum (banjo),
John Sholle (guitar),
Happy Traum (mandolin),
Bob Dylan (guitar, piano & organ).


Tracks marked ** are available on The Rhino 4CD-set.
9 released on a flexidisc in Sing Out!, Vol 21, No 2, 1972.
1-8 were planned to be released on "Holy Soul & Jelly Roll", Apple.
5 released on "Disconnected", Giorno Poetry Systems Records, 1974
1,2 and 5 released on "Allen Ginsberg: First Blues", John Hammond Records, February 1983.

RAGHUPATI RASHAVA Bob Dylan/Allen Ginsberg, 1971

Recorded at The Record Plant, New York, 17 Nov 1971 - intended for Ginsberg's "Holy Soul Jelly Roll" album,
but as yet unreleased - according to some reports this is not a Dylan/Ginsberg composition but a traditional
song associated with the Weavers.

http://folk.uio.no/alfs/bob.htm

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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 05:54 GMT 
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Allen Ginsberg & Paul McCartney

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZvzdzwP ... re=related

Some prophetic words here...

Said the Saving & Loan skeleton
Make the State pay
Said the Chrysler skeleton
Pay for you & me


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 06:24 GMT 
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I love when Ginsberg gets all crude and gay... I'm not gay, but if I was - that's the kind of gay I would be.


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 06:43 GMT 
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I had the pleasure to have spend a great deal of time with both Kerouac and Ginsberg when I was five and then I met Ginsberg and Bob years later. I Love Al !I know not many can call him Al but I can and he let everyone including bob know that. Heck Bob could not even call him AL (I think it is due in part because of my association with John) Oh dont get me wrong if you begged or tried and get him to notice you and try too hard to befriend him he could be bookish on you. ( If you had and In and believe me I had an In with John) Al would take you all the way in and protect you and your visions. we were great friends and I miss John and Al very much I miss bob but hes gone and I have to live with the great memories I guess and I think that is okay to. Oh thank you for the Amazon tip I will go in and order and BTW I love Vomit Express I was gifted with it from some nice person in my comments section of myspace very sweet. Hugs and Kisses All Around, GypsyDaisy Thank you for posting this!! :P


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 06:47 GMT 
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therevelator wrote:
As an artist, I think Burroughs has him beat by miles.


Ah!! I forgot to mention that along with Jack and Al I also met Burroughs and Cassidy and I dont know. I dont want to bash anyone of those but they did have some issues that kept me and arms length. Besides Jack never wanted be to have anything to do with Neil. I can't tell you why but I think it was sound advice and I followed it.


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 06:49 GMT 
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You got the internet at your abode! Wooo! Cause I know no library is open at this hour 8)


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 06:54 GMT 
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George_Costanza123 wrote:
Its weird, i love all the beat stuff, Kerouac, Burroughs, Corso, and of course Cassady. Although i never liked Ginsberg, at all. I always get the feeling he's a pest or a hanger-on of some kind, at least with dylan. Just not my thing i guess.



Again having seen the two of them together Al Help Bob and probably saved his life a few times!!! and Bob was just as close to Al. I think bob Loved him because he would teach him things and tell him certain books to read and probably help him edit songs and such he was good at that he help edit Burroughs books. I know Bob really like Jack but Jack was Beat and not going any further so he did not have much to do with bob. I guess I have open up the pandoras box I will shut it know Kisses GypsyDaisy


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 08:05 GMT 

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LJ, I'm not sure if there is a recording that features Kerouac beating on the stage.

there are 2 HOWL's that I know of from March '56 & Jan '59. Jack may have been there in '56, but he is not audible. Or if he is, I've been ignorant of that amazing fact, despite listening to it while on vacation in Berkeley!

I believe a 3rd early HOWL recording was unearthed last year, found in a college archive? Does that ring a bell?


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 12:47 GMT 
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Quote:
Ginsberg opened the door naked except for a pair of underpants on his head and a "do not disturb" sign hung on his penis


I would love to have seen that :lol: :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 17:02 GMT 
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For someone who loved music and knew a fair amount about it, Ginsberg was one of the least talented musical performers I've ever heard--no sense of rhythm or pitch whatsoever. His attempt to teach a class on the blues was one of the biggest pedagogical disasters I've seen. He did not seem capable of hearing anything other than his own voice, both literally and figuratively.

I heard from a reliable source that John Lennon, when told by a fellow musician that he was going to see Ginsberg, said, "Whatever you do, don't let him sing Jessore Road." I heard Allen sing it to his own harmonium in his kitchen one evening, and Lennon had a point--the thing droned on and on and on without relief, music/poetry as punishment.

But like many other aspects of his creative personality, Ginsberg had his better musical side, at least as a teacher. He showed me a more effective way of setting Yeats poems to music, how to keep the rhythm of speech intact in a musical phrase, and how to avoid mannerism in some of the lyrics I was starting to write and sing (in private). He loved sharp images and original phrases in song lyrics, even if he had a hard time singing them himself, and could talk with great insight abou the songs of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Rabbit Brown and other old bluesmen. I think he over-emphasized their bardic, reportorial, improvisational approaches to singing and in the blues in general, because that was how he heard himself as poet. He claimed Dylan was the greatest living poet, greater than himself, a debateable point but he had his reasons to say so. To him, popularity, fame, reknown, were equal to greatness.


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PostPosted: Tue November 18th, 2008, 17:38 GMT 
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You gotta hand it to Ginsberg, no matter how "good" or "bad" he is, in music or poetry, he never NEVER fails to be entertaining. His stuff can always put a smile on my face.

I do think that 'Howl' easily tops anything that Dylan's ever done, although both of them are beat by Jack Kerouac's 400 plus page prose poem 'Visions of Cody'.


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PostPosted: Wed January 5th, 2011, 10:29 GMT 
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GypsyDaisy wrote:
Ah!! I forgot to mention that along with Jack and Al I also met Burroughs and Cassidy and I dont know. I dont want to bash anyone of those but they did have some issues that kept me at arms length. Besides Jack never wanted me to have anything to do with Neil. I can't tell you why but I think it was sound advice and I followed it.
You can't say why?? Must've been a penchant for underage girls?


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PostPosted: Wed January 5th, 2011, 14:18 GMT 
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Allen Ginsberg was great, period. The world is lacking for intellectual kooks these days.

That said, to paraphrase Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg's poetry began to suffer when he became besotted with Dylan and chased a poet-as-rockstar dream for a stretch.

But to end on an up-note: Ginsberg once nicely responded to a fan letter of mine and even kindly helped edit/comment upon my poems. It was a magnanimous gesture to do for an awestruck teenager as myself. Bless him.


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