the Best in Kerouac & the Beats, Adventure, Politics, Music, Movies, Poetry & other Lifejoys

Brianland header image 2

some over the transoms lately

February 9th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Real-life Adventure Tales, Weird Things About Me



Brian is an undiscovered (or at least under-rated) genius, and I think I can say that with some authority — I’ve known a few.

Ask him to tell you the story someday about when the two of us climbed the “Hollywood Sign” in LA in the ’90s with his ubiquitous Heinekens in tow, hilarious! (I even have digital film of it — I should post it someday). Or the week we spent in Amsterdam with Carolyn!  They were inducting my father Neal and his friend Jack Kerouac into their “Hall of Fame. (I’m told I had a good time, ha ha).

John Allen Cassady


Brian pretty much ruled Woodstock ’94.  And wasn’t he the only guy in New York to sneak into ground zero?

We had an amazing New Hampshire primary escapade — seven candidates in 12 hours — four years ago.   Ask him about the Al Franken tussle at the Howard Dean speech …


-John Grady

[EDIT:  Thanks for the reminder!  I added the Franken Fracas to the politics section.]


Rock on!  Hassett rules!!  And yeah it’s about time the world figured this out…

I’m going to see Donovan tonight … Remember, Brian, getting us backstage at Carnegie Hall to meet him?

Walter Raubicheck


While we are reminiscing about our favorite Brian stories did I ever tell you guys the story about how I met this fine fellow? It was at the Toronto premiere of Festival Express and it became quickly apparent that Hassett was the guy to know when I saw him hanging with the star of the film, promoter Kenny Walker. When the film ended, we all headed for post film pints to the roof of The Pilot, where Walker launched into an amazing retrospective of the event, telling us all the inside stories that didn’t get told in the film and answering all of my hundreds of questions without batting an eye, like the one about how Robbie and Levon thought they were too big to actually travel on the train and decided to fly to the shows, while Danko made the right decision and got annihilated on the train….

That was a real memorable night indeed. Thanks for making the introduction Brian!!

When it comes to hockey, waterfalls and American politics, nobody is more passionate than Hassett!!!

Ben Marshall


I met Brian in 1980 at NYU.  I was on the other side of the this big courtyard party listening to the music, when he put U.S. Blues on the speakers.  The next day we went to the Dead movie and he snuck beers in for us.  I, from the burbs, was taken aback, but, “Yes, I’ll have one of those.”  Then, we spent the next four years on various fun adventures at NYU and road trips and things.

Someday soon, I’ll board a plane or train or something and get my butt to Toronto, it’s been a while.

Albert Kaufman


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Here’s “The Franken Fracas” story John Grady is referring to above.

Here’s the great story where Walter Raubicheck (above) clued me in to the secrets of Bob Dylan — The Day I Heard The Tambourine Man

Here’s a whole bunch of wild YouTube and other clips from the history of madness.

Here’s the working website from the massive Reunion in 2009 that brought people together from 3 continents and 25 different cities around the world.  


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

 Brian Hassett                        

Tags: ····

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bruce Owen // Feb 21, 2008 at 9:33 PM

    We went to high school together in Winnipeg. At our grad in 1979 Brian was in charge of the taped music. When the band took a break Brian put on Neil Young’s Don’t De Denied. Then he started dancing with his date on the empty dance floor.
    It was trippy, man.

  • 2 Brian // Feb 21, 2008 at 9:49 PM

    hey man!
    that’s funny. so, is this Bruce?

    I’ve probably still got those cassettes. gawd i just pulled them out — Steve Forbert, White Rabbit, Smoke on The Water!!!, School’s Out, It’s Only R&R, Born To Run, Whatever Gets U Thru The Night, Shattered, Mama Let Him Play !!!!!, Sex, Drugs & Rock N Roll, You Got To Lose ?? (what’s that?) Proud Mary, Casey Jones, Don’t Cha Stop!!, Brown Sugar, Homegrown!!! :-), Thank God I’m a Country Boy — as i remember it that was sort of the peak, and we were all whoopin’ and crazy, and then the band came out and people booed when they turned the song off! 🙂 and half the room vacated and went back out to the parking lot. that was so funny. great night.

  • 3 Bruce Owen // Feb 21, 2008 at 10:32 PM

    Yup, it’s me.

    I still have my cassettes and most of my vinyl from high school. Best part is some nights my kids and I dance to it in our basement, the stereo turned up to 11 and my wife obviously out at a meeting or shopping or something….

    Got your site bookmarked now…

    all the best..,Bruce

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *