|Trading books with David in Lowell in 2011|
Musician and Jack Kerouac close friend David Amram turned 91 years old yesterday, November 17. David (I call him that having met him and talked with him a number of times at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! and having traded books with him there -- click HERE) wrote a book titled Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac (curated HERE) and was an intimate acquaintance of Jack Kerouac's, yet I don't think he appears in any of Kerouac's works, under pseudonym or otherwise. He did appear in and write the music for the Beat film narrated by Kerouac, Pull My Daisy, which you can watch HERE and read David's thoughts about in an Evergreen Review piece HERE.
There is an official David Amram website with a ton of information -- click HERE.
If you know David or know about him, you know that he is an amazing force of nature, consummate musician, and all-around nice guy. It's good that such a fine human being has enjoyed such a long life and I wish him many more years.
In July 1968, Kerouac wrote the following on a postcard to David, who had sent him phonograph records and a musical setting of a section of Lonesome Traveler;
You must have a secretary to be able to turn out so much work and at the same time mail records to people--I just sent you this little note to thank you for the beautiful records--I have no piccolo but (picolo) I had the nextdoor Lutheran minister play me the Lonesome Traveler piece and of course I found it beautiful--I have just signed your Peters contract [permission to quote the text] and it will be in to you soon, a week or so--That's the main thing--I wish you success with this land of ours oratorio--I'll buy a picolo next year and play the other records too--So, vell, kidsel, see you in N.Y. sometime next year . . . .Excuse the postcard but I have so much mail and not time to buy envelopes ugh, fame is a drag to anybody who wants new work done . . . . as you know already . . . stick to guns . . . I'll do same
(Source: Jack Kerouac Selected Letters 1957-1969, 1999, Penguin Books, p. 516.)
Happy Belated 91st, David!