Saturday, August 25, 2018

Curation #123 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac by David Amram

Item #123 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this paperback 2008 Paradigm Publishers edition of Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac by David Amram. The printing number line is mysterious: 12 11 10 09 08 1 2 3 4 5. Usually, the numbers run sequentially higher from outside in, but in this case the lowest outside number is 5 yet there are 4 lower numbers in the line. If you can interpret this, let me know in a comment.

335 pages, this book measures about 6" x 9" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that I met David Amram at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! in 2009 and we traded books (mine is available at that  link over there on the right and David's is available at the link below). You can read about our encounter here. Below is a picture of David's signature and inscription on the book's title page.

If you can decipher the word about Offbeat, let me know in a comment.

David Amram's Kerouac bona fides hardly need to be repeated here on The Daily Beat. Suffice to say that he knew Jack Kerouac well and this book is a celebration of their relationship. Click here for a link to a number of reviews.

I am sad to report that I started this book soon after getting it in 2009 and never finished it. At the time I found it tough going (for reasons I can't remember). I've never tried to read it again, but it's on my bucket list. I know, I know -- how can I be Jack Kerouac's biggest fan and not have read David Amram's memoir about Ti Jean? At least I'm being honest about what I've read, and it doesn't matter anyway because lately I don't remember 99% of what I read after a couple of days have passed.

I will say that in his own right, David Amram is an international treasure. He is a highly accomplished composer and consummate musician and a hell of a nice guy to boot.

Tangential comment: Is it just me, or does David's picture on the cover make him look like Ed Norton from The Honeymooners?

I didn't see a place on David's website to order his book, so I am leaving you with the Amazon link below.

Below is a picture of Shelf #4 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (17th from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: A Memoir of Kerouac and the Fifties by Helen Weaver.

Shelf #4 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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