Monday, August 15, 2022

Belatedly remembering David Kammerer

 

David Kammerer


Yesterday -- August 14 -- was the anniversary of David Kammerer's death in 1944. We wrote about Kammerer on his birthday in September 2020 HERE. Kammerer appeared in Visions of Cody as Dave Stroheim, Vanity of Duluoz as Franz (Swinburne) Mueller, The Town and the City as Waldo Meister, Ramsey Allen in And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, and Alfred in The Haunted Life (Source: Character Key to Kerouac's Duluoz Legend).

Kammerer was most likely a sexual predator, and we remember him only because he figured into the early Beat Generation -- if only as a dark presence.


Monday, August 8, 2022

Remembering Herbert Huncke

                                                     

On this date-- August 8 -- in 1996, Beat Generation core figure Herbert Huncke died. Huncke was Elmer Hassel in Jack Kerouac's On The Road; Huck in Desolation AngelsBook of Dreams, and Visions of Cody; Hunkey in Lonesome Traveler; and Junkey in The Town and the City.

Regular readers of The Daily Beat need no introduction to the man from whom Kerouac likely learned the word, "beat." Click on the link above if you want to read a short bio.

We curated a Huncke biography by Hilary Holladay HERE. You can listen to him read three poems HERE (at the Chelsea Hotel in 1994).

RIP, Mr. Huncke.



Saturday, August 6, 2022

Happy Heavenly Birthday to Beat poet, Diane di Prima

                                     



Today -- August 6 -- is award-winning Beat poet Diane di Prima's birthday. She was born in 1934. I don't think she appeared in any of Jack Kerouac's works, but he appeared in hers in a randy sex scene in her Memoirs of a Beatnik. I liked that book a lot, in particular how she graphically but sensitively described her various sexual experiences.

We reviewed her 2015 poetry book, The Poetry DealHERE, and curated it HERE. We curated Memoirs of a Beatnik HERE.

In honor of her birthday, you can read about Diane and find some of her poetry HERE.


Happy Heavenly Birthday, Ms. di Prima!



Friday, August 5, 2022

Jack Kerouac's father was born on this date in 1889

                                             


Leo Kerouac, Jack Kerouac's father, was born on this date -- August 5 -- in 1889 in Saint-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada as Joseph Alcide Léon Kirouack. Leo appeared in several of his son Jack's books: Emil Alcide Duluoz in Visions of Gerard, Emil (Pop) Duluoz in Doctor Sax/Visions of Cody/Vanity of Duluoz, George Martin in The Town and the City, Emil in Maggie Cassidy/Desolation Angels, Pa in Book of Dreams, Charlie Martin in The Sea is My Brother, and Joe Martin in The Haunted Life and Other Writings.

Happy Heavenly Birthday to the man without whom there would be no Jack Kerouac!



Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Remembering William S. Burroughs

(c) Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Core Beat Generation member, writer, and cultural iconoclast William S. Burroughs died on this date in 1997. He needs no introduction to regular readers of The Daily Beat. His importance to the Jack Kerouac story cannot be overestimated.

Burroughs appeared in several of Kerouac's works: as Old Bull Lee in On The Road; Frank Carmody in The Subterraneans; Bull Hubbard in Book of DreamsDesolation AngelsDoctor Sax, and Visions of Cody; Bull in Tristessa; Bill/William Seward Burroughs in Lonesome Traveler; Wilson Holmes Hubbard in Vanity of Duluoz; Bill Dennison in The Haunted Life and Other Writings; and, Will Dennison in The Town and the City and And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks


RIP, Mr. Burroughs.


Monday, August 1, 2022

Happy 91st Birthday to Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Ramblin' Jack at Sweetwater
(c) 2013 Crystal Bond

Ramblin' Jack Elliott turns 91 today. Elliott appeared as Jack Elliot in Jack Kerouac's Book of Dreams.

Here's some Kerouac scoop from Dave Moore's excellent Character Key to Kerouac's Duluoz Legend.

In January 2013, at a live Beat Poetry event at Sweetwater in Mill Valley, Jack asked the crowd not to take pictures during his show. People didn't comply, and he then really admonished the crowd, saying he would pose naked on his horse after the show, but during the show, NO PICTURES! I don't know what his peeve was -- he didn't give a reason -- and it's sad that this is the main thing I remember about him from the show. Crystal was at the bathroom during the original warning, and what do you think she did when she came back? Yup -- she took a picture (see above).

Happy Birthday, Mr. Elliott. I hope it's okay that I posted your picture.


Sunday, July 31, 2022

A three-4-one Kerouac date

 

Gore Vidal, Elise Cowen, and Ruth Weiss (L-R)

Writer and bon vivant Gore Vidal died on this date -- July 31-- in 2012, Beat poet Elise Cowen was born on this date in 1933, and Beat poet Ruth Weiss (<---link includes details on how Jack Kerouac and Ms. Weiss met) died on this date in 2020. Vidal appeared in Kerouac's The Subterraneans as Arial Lavalina and in Old Angel Midnight as Gore Bedavalled. Cowen appeared as Barbara Lipp in Desolation Angels. I could not verify that Weiss appeared in any of Kerouac's works.

Given my personal history with depression, I should note here that Cowen ended her own life (not dissimilarly to Natalie Jackson) by throwing herself out of her parents' 7th floor window.

If you are thinking about suicide or just need someone to talk to about emotional distress in your life, you can text Crisis Text Line at 741741 or call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

RIP, Mr.* Vidal and Ms.* Weiss, and Happy Birthday, Ms.* Cowen.



*These are guesses at preferred salutations. If I'm wrong, let me know.