They’ve got the beat, but backwards and in heels

I go in and out of obsession with The Beats. One, I read “Kaddish” (AG) with Tom Sleigh, at Dartmouth, in the 1980s, but didn’t really feel it. Two, in San Francisco, in late 1980s, I lived across the street from where Ginsberg wrote “Howl” (400 Vallejo to 1001 Montgomery), and worked at Green Apple, and hung at Trieste; Three, years later, I read “Howl” to crowds several times, with rotating side person, as “Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads ‘Howl’; Four, I, with partner Matt Gonzalez, produced a 50 year tribute to “LAMI” by Dartmouth answer to the Beats, Alden Van Buskirk, who was a student or friend of Jack Hirschman, who was the star of our event (in December 2011 in SF); Five, I was seated once with Ferlinghetti at Just For Your, and asked him about Dartmouth — which was the seed of my Hirschman event; Six, I’ve been obsessed by James Franco, who has a Ginsberg tribute.

But recently I started to wonder what the Beats looked like from the perspective of half the planet who are female? The books list, as examples: Diane Di Prima, Joanne Kyger, sometimes Joyce Johnson and Elise Cowen; Certainly Nancy Peters of City Lights would have a view on this.

(My headline here is a reference to the line about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire: she did everything he could do, yet backwards and in high heels.

andand: yesterday somebody to love: I’m writing this at Coupa, early on a Thursday, sans coffee so far, before rushing off to aforementioned coffee klatch at historic home (567 Hale) and I can barely hear McCartney “Yesterday” over the house muzakker, but it crosses in my mind’s ear with recent obsession with Queen, “Somebody to Love” and “Hamilton:What Comes Next>Dear Theodosia”…whatever. I’m here all week, try the lemon minicupcakes.

andandand: I have a copy of Waldman’s anthology of beats, from SF Public Library, North Beach, the one near SFAI 800 Chestnut, and I notice that stuffed into it is recent NYT Mag Amanda Petrusich “The Weight: Cat Power details the melancholy of letting go” — although I am San Francisco early-to-mid-1990s Bananfish scene with Bill smog Callahan and Cynthia Dall…god bless her soul.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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