Stoned Immaculate (Day 43)

bob_dylan_subterranean homesick blues da pennebaker

Picked up where I left off yesterday, ploughing through the tail-end of a key Ginsberg research book. Was watching telly last night and saw an ad (on Channel 4) for The Greatest Hits of Bob Dylan, made up largely of archive film clips, and I noticed, for the first time, Ginsberg in the background of that famous clip for Subterranean Homesick Blues (which was the promo film for DA Pennebaker’s 1967 documentary Don’t Look Back). I’ll go pay homage to the spot behind The Savoy Hotel, London next time I’m in that area.

Took the Enfants Terribles out for lunch down the street to mark their half-term, which was fun.

Then rounded the day off with a trip down to Gospel Oak (I love that place name) to do my first interview of a contemporary exponent of openness and generosity in the realm of creativity, namely Carole Stone.  Carole is a former journalist at the BBC and has latterly been working with YouGov. Over the years she has built up and nurtured a huge network of interesting people, old and young, successful and starting out, all bound together by her charm, warmth and genuine love of helping people get stuff done, worthwhile stuff of all kinds. Carole gave me a frank and insightful interview in her cozy front room, with languid cats and equally charming husband Richard in attendance, on how she operates and why, which I’ll weave into the Ginsberg chapter, as he was also renowned as a great networker of the authentic variety.

Here’s a brief extract from my draft Ginsberg chapter on this theme:

Ginsberg was proactive in his connecting to and of people. He was referred to by one friend as “the central casting office of the underground”. He was habitually seen carrying a purple bag and in it was an address book in which he wrote the details of people he encountered who were kindred spirits or of potential help moving the world in the right direction. He took delight in connecting people he thought might spark off each other, regardless of whether they were underground or establishment. The purple bag contained in effect a global network of the like-minded.

bob_dylan_subterranean homesick blues da pennebaker

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3 comments so far

  1. catalanbrian on

    I had the good fortune to meet Ginsberg a few years back after a poetry reading he gave at St James’ in Piccadilly. The reading consisted mainly of poems by Ginsberg (obviously!) but he also read a number of poems by Blake including a fabulous rendition of Tyger Tyger (Blake had been baptised at St James’). A great evening and crowned by a short chat with the man himself, mainly on Buddhism, I seem to recall, at the end.

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  2. ArkAngel on

    Lucky you! I understand he usually read other people’s poems alongside his own, often fellow Beat writers of the slightly lesser-known variety

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  3. […] Subterranean Homesick Blues promo (shot in 1965) on an ad on Channel 4 the other night (Day 43), and being just a couple of streets away, I decided to seek out the location. And very atmospheric […]

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