15 minutes before this show I was lying on the ground behind the Cassady’s booth trying not to lose consciousness. . . .
An hour into it I was running around the stage playing Gregory Corso on a football team. The build from wounded wobbly to careening comedy is completely crazy.
Everything had been going more-than-well. I’d done two killer hour-long shows the day before [see them here or below], then gone to the kick-off of the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well 50th anniversary all evening, and despite the non-stop madness, was holding up quite well — until I helped move some boxes of books just before showtime sparking one of my dizzy/pass-out spells. I’ve seen doctors about it, and they tell me I have to get horizontal as soon as it happens or I’ll lose consciousness. It was one of those.
This past month I’ve been editing & posting all the filmed shows on file from the last two years since The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac came out — and by flukey happenstance / karma / fate this was the final one revisited.
It’s by far the weirdest craziest strangest Beatest of them all. I look like hell, and feel older than Ferlinghetti! . . . but then gather strength & steam as it progresses — in fact, beginning surprisingly a minute in when the “opening announcement” gets not one but two big laughs. 😀
I appreciate a good drama — be it the stage the page or the screen — and love “the arc.” But this is the only time I’ve ever done a show where it happens without being written into the script — from barely conscious … to sustained needle-pinning laughter. It’s real-life reverse aging — where the character gets more youthful with each passing moment. But it’s all natural / real / improvised and unrehearsed.
To me, this is my most Dead-like show. It’s so weird, and so easy if you’re not inclined and don’t know there’s a pay-off coming to turn it off. But this crazy thing happens . . . it just sorta builds and gets into its own groove and wild blossoms bloom . . . I can’t explain it, like you can’t really explain a Dead show. But this is the closest I ever came to executing one.
Tate Swindell, B, Jerry Cimino, Gerd Stern, Levi Asher, James Stauffer
Sunday, June 28th, 2015, The Beat Shindig, San Francisco
Here’s the Cassady panel from the day before — featuring Jami Cassady, the great Al Hinkle, myself, and hosted by Levi Asher . . .
Or here’s the funny interview with Gerd Stern about the infamous “Joan Anderson / Cherry Mary letter” . . .
Or here’s a playlist of the Woodstock Mothership show on the same day but the next year . . . 🙂
Or here’s a playlist of the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac show in 2016 including the killer first-time-ever “Pic” . . .
Or here’s a playlist of all the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac clips from 10 different shows over 2 years . . .
Or here’s the group piece we did from the book release party at the Kettle of Fish in New York featuring Jami Cassady, Levi Asher and Walter Raubicheck . . .
Or here’s the opening of the Merry Prankster family reunion in 2016 . . .
For more on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac check out these reviews & reactions.
Or here was a ton more including a bunch of the original Merry Pranksters.
Or so many kept coming in there was a whole nuther batch!
Here’s where you can get the book direct from the publisher.
Or here’s a whole wild story about the whole wild Shindig.
Or for more on the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well shows check out this report from Chicago.
by Brian Hassett — email@example.com — BrianHassett.com
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