William Burroughs

Cynthia Kraman

Chinas Comidas: Live and Studio Recordings 1977-80

Chinas Comidas
Chinas Comidas, copyright 2006 Exquisite Corpse Records

One the real perks of living in Austin is the live music, and in April, I was fortunate enough to see Patti Smith in concert— and even though she is 66 years old now, she was spectacular. After a two hour set (including an encore), I was floored that the original punk-poet-goddess could still embody so much of the artistic anti-establishment energy almost forty years after she first came on the scene. But it also made me reflect on the long relationship between poetry and punk music, and what their intertwined history in the 1970's could mean.

Gordon Ball: Unknown Collaborators: photos

From the world of Allen Ginsberg and his many friends among the Beats, from 1969 to Ginsberg’s death in 1997

Cadets read Howl, February 19, 1991, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Vir
Cadets read Howl, February 19, 1991, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia. Photo Copyright © Gordon Ball, 2006.

From the mid-sixties on through, photographer Gordon Ball took thousands of photos of Allen Ginsberg and his many friends and colleagues: Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Herbert Huncke, Philip Whalen, William S. Burroughs, and many others.

“We often think of photography as an individualistic, solitary art — a single man or woman working the alchemy of a dark room, or one with a frequently small sometimes large mostly metal object that has a magical, transforming effect on others before that little ‘click’ is ever heard. We don’t usually speak of Annie Leibowitz and collaborators, of Alfred Eisenstadt and partners, of Robert Frank and co-workers in the writing of light. But much of whatever I may have managed to do in photography involves, in a variety of ways, a debt to others — and wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

More here in Jacket 33.

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