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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac at The Beat Shindig in San Francisco

March 19th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Hitchhiker's Guide to Jack Kerouac, Kerouac and The Beats, Merry Pranksters, Weird Things About Me

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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.

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Tate Swindell, B, Jerry Cimino, Gerd Stern, Levi Asher, James Stauffer

Sunday, June 28th, 2015, The Beat Shindig, San Francisco

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Here’s the Cassady panel from the day before — featuring Jami Cassady, the great Al Hinkle, myself, and hosted by Levi Asher . . .

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Or here’s the funny interview with Gerd Stern about the infamous “Joan Anderson / Cherry Mary letter” . . . 

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Or here’s a playlist of the Woodstock Mothership show on the same day but the next year  . . .  🙂 

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Or here’s a playlist of the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac show in 2016 including the killer first-time-ever “Pic” . . . 

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Or here’s a playlist of all the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac clips from 10 different shows over 2 years . . . 

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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 . . . 

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Or here’s the opening of the Merry Prankster family reunion in 2016 . . . 

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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 where you can get it on Amazon.

Or here’s where you can get an e-book Kindle version.

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.

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by Brian Hassett  —  karmacoupon@gmail.com   —  BrianHassett.com

Or here’s my Facebook account if you wanna follow things there —

https://www.facebook.com/Brian.Hassett.Canada

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dawn Mathews // Mar 19, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    I’m so happy to have found The Hitchhikers Guide to Jack Kerouac!
    You are a wonderful writer with a memory like the Great Rememberer, Jack Kerouac.

  • 2 Dawny Halliday // Mar 19, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Cool Mr H ! 🙂

  • 3 Philip Thomas // Mar 19, 2017 at 9:18 PM

    The Fare the Well Flower

  • 4 Spirit Mentalist // Apr 13, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    I just wanted to tell you that your stories really bring me right there in the room with you. I could listen to you for hours. I love how excitable you are … it gets my heart racing to know what’s around the corner.
    I also loved the part of journal reflection and how it works out your thoughts … just free writing no rules. It helps you discover things about yourself.

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