Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Jack Kerouac and Janis Joplin

I'm about 3/4 of the way through the above book, The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder, edited by Bill Morgan and published by Counterpoint in Berkeley. That means soon I'll be posting a review of the book.

Ginsberg mentions Bob Dylan a number of times in his letters. For example, on December 10, 1975 he wrote:

Just returned home from Dylan Rolling Thunder tour, learned how to sing better, learned some show biz, and tried to infiltrate some dharma into the community scene (p. 175).

Here's a well-known picture from that tour:

Ginsberg and Dylan. What a combo! It makes me wish Jack had lived longer. There's no telling the collaborations possible.

Jack Kerouac and Joan Baez.
Jack Kerouac and Janis Joplin (well, if she could have likewise stayed out of the bottle).
Jack Kerouac and Tom Waits.
Jack Kerouac and Gillian Welch.
Jack Kerouac and Don McLean.

But those are just my biases. And, of course, all songwriters pale in comparison to Dylan at his peak, but still . . . the mind staggers at the thought.


Evening Light Writer said...

I think the friendship between Ginsberg and Dylan was very interesting and fruitful for both parties. I can't help but see Ginsberg's influence and the much larger Beats influence in Dylan's song "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

Ohh a pairing between Gillian Welch and Jack Kerouac would have been so interesting. Perhaps an "On the Road" soundtrack?

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Hmmm.... They are supposedly making the film now. I wonder if they've thought of Gillian for the soundtrack? Or at least some of it (obviously, jazz would be the mainstay).