THE BEAT GENERATION, creators of us all!
The prosperity after WWII threatened to make America a state of capitalist conformity, based on the war machine and Madison Avenue. But Rosie-the-Riveters, integrated soldiers, blacklisted artisans and politicos, civil rights and anti-nuclear activists, and amped musicians, artists, and writers had new ideas. Rebellion was growing everywhere in the 1950's.
The Beat Generation writers took on the government, the military, homophobes, segregationists, sexism, greed, censors, the police, academia, and the media. They won; they sparked the 1960's, protest folk, stand-up satirists, activist Rock, anarcho-Punk, Slam poetry, and literary outlaws. They are the Big Bang of every modern rebel.
Our liberators: Woodie Guthrie, populist folk rebel (see Dylan, Strummer, Springsteen, Bragg, Shocked); Swing Jazz mutated into abstract Bebop, with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and George Shearing, with his integrated band; abstract expressionist Jackson Pollack; Marlon Brando in "The Wild One", and James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause"; the Beat's Holy Trinity, JACK KEROUAC, ALLEN GINSBERG, and WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS; their catalyst, the manic NEAL CASSADY; his wife, author CAROLYN CASSADY ("Off The Road"); Jack's crucial text "ON THE ROAD" was an international bohemian manifesto; Ginsberg's "HOWL" took on all of society, and the censors in court; the British "Ban The Bomb" movement first waged peace against the war machine; Burrough's "JUNKIE", "QUEER", and especially "NAKED LUNCH" turned literature inside out; poet LEROI JONES (later, Amiri Baraka) took on all comers; poet LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI opened CITY LIGHTS Bookstore, the capitol of Beat and rebel literature; conservatives, paranoid about Communism, labeled it all "Beatnik" after Sputnik; Rock'n'Roll broadened the rebel palette with artists like RITCHIE VALENS, WANDA JACKSON, and CHUCK BERRY; less-sung but as crucial were Beat writers like MARY FABILLI, DIANE diPRIMA, ANNE WALDMAN, and later Jack's daughter JAN KEROUAC (see also: Elise Cowen, Hettie Jones, Joanne Kyger, Ruth Weiss, Lenore Kandel, Ann Charters); former secretary BETTIE PAGE liberated sensuality; meanwhile, "Beatnik" stereotypes littered paperbacks, movies, TV, and editorials;// This literate rebellion opened the 60's with acolytes such as the spirtual son of Kerouac and Guthrie, BOB DYLAN; the conceptual comedian and social assassin LENNY BRUCE; and author KEN KESEY ("ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST") whose bus 'Further' was driven across America by Kerouc's running partner, Neal Cassady.
STORMY GAYLE co-wrote this finger-snapping number sometime in the Rock'n'Roll explosion of the late 50's. If you know more, please let me know!
-"On the Road", "The Subterraneans", "Dharma Bums", "Visions of Cody", Jack Kerouac.
-"Howl", "Kaddish", Allen Ginsberg.
-"Queer", "Naked Lunch", "Cities of the Red Night", William S. Burroughs.
-"Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs", Ted Morgan.
-"The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones", Amiri Baraka.
-"Women of the Beat Generation", Brenda Knight.
-"The Holy Goof: A Biography of Neal Cassady", William Plummer.
-"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Demon Box", "The Further Inquiry", Ken Kesey.
-"The Source", (1999) *****
-"Gang of Souls: A Generation of Beat Poets", (1989)
-"The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg", (2006)
-"Heart Beat", (1980).
-"The Last Time I Committed Suicide", (1997).
-"Luz del MUndo", (2007).
-"Beat Angel: The Spirit of Kerouac", (2006)
-"Murder Never Skips a... Beat".
-"Naked Lunch", (1991).
Tags: JackKerouac OnTheRoad BeatGeneration BeatWriters AllenGinsberg WilliamBurroughs NakedLunch Cronenberg SlamPoetry LyricistRap UndergroundHipHop SocialProtest LennyBruce CeorgeCarlin RichardPryor
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