Thursday, July 18, 2019

Happy Birthday to Chandler Brossard

On this date -- July 18 -- in 1922, American writer Chandler Brossard was born. He would have been 97 today. Brossard appeared as Chris Rivers in Jack Kerouac's and William S. Burroughs' And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Some claim Brossard's Who Walk in Darkness (1952) was the first Beat novel. Brossard was not pleased with being associated with the early Beat writers, but given the content of Darkness it is hard to dismiss the connections. I wrote about that book here.

So Happy Birthday, Mr. Brossard, wherever you are!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Happy Birthday to Robert LaVigne

On this date -- July 15 -- in 1928, artist Robert LaVigne was born. LaVigne (I've seen it with the V capitalized and not capitalized) was Guy Levesque in Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels.

A well-known story about LaVigne is that it was his portrait of Peter Orlovsky -- his model and lover -- that caused Allen Ginsberg to request an introduction to Orlovsky, beginning a life-long relationship.

LaVigne has papers archived at Columbia University. See (this resource includes a concise biographical sketch).

Friday, June 28, 2019


We recently purchased this 2019 Winnebago Travato 59K and are about to get it registered. We will get a vanity plate for it, and since we plan to take a cross-country trek in it next year, we may have it read ONTHRD. Faithful readers will know what that means. It could be misinterpreted as ON THIRD, but then it's good to separate the true Kerouac fans from the rest. I'll know by the reactions of passing motorists. Thumbs up means they "get it."

P.S. Another idea is JAPHY. Which do you prefer?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Random Kerouac quote

Below is the last paragraph of a particular Kerouac book. Can you name it without raiding your bookshelf?
I'll go light candles to the Madonna, I'll paint the Madonna, and eat ice cream, benny and bread --"Dope and saltpork," as Bhikku Booboo said--I'll go to the South of Sicily in the winter, and paint memories of Arles--I'll buy a piano and Mozart me that--I'll write long sad tales about people in the legend of my life--This is my part of the movie, let's hear yours

Seems to me Jack was answering Mary Oliver's provocative question: "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Remembering Stanley Twardowicz

Abstract painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz died on this date -- June 12 -- in 2008 at the age of 90. He became good friends with Jack Kerouac in Jack's later years. They met while both of them were living in Northport. Click here for a NY Times piece on the two friends. Click here for Twardowicz's obit.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Remembering Kenneth Rexroth

Kenneth Rexroth

No time today for a lengthy post but I didn't want it to escape our attention that poet and critic Kenneth Rexroth died this date -- June 6 -- in 1982 at the age of 76. Rexroth was no fan of Jack Kerouac and the feeling was mutual. We posted previously about Rexroth here and here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Interview with Locke McCorkle, an original "dharma bum"

Locke McCorkle
photo (c) Stephen Kennedy

Studious readers of The Daily Beat know who Locke McCorkle is -- he was the character Sean Monahan in Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums, the guy whose cabin Kerouac and Gary Snyder (Japhy Ryder in the book) lived in behind Sean's house in Mill Valley.

I posted a picture of Locke taken by Gerald Nicosia in 2012 and a relevant excerpt from The Dharma Bums here.

Now, thanks to Brian Hassett posting the link in the Jack Kerouac Facebook group, I know about this 2017 interview of Locke from 2017 sponsored by the Mill Valley Historical Association -- click here.

While writing this post, I ran across this other interview of Locke from 2015 -- click here.

Good stuff.