I was fortunate enough to see Allen Ginsberg perform at NYU before he passed away.
I was a Beat-freak teen and I took the train into the Big Apple back in the 90s; mind you, this was during the Dinkins administration, when the city was alive with vibrancy and a mild menace, before Bloomberg turned Manhattan into a Disney-fied playground for billionaires and drove all the interesting people out to Secaucus. (Shakes fist and looks at sky) Bloooombergg!!!
But I digress.
The show, of course, was sold out, and everyone there was like me: young, awestruck, and mildly buzzed, because in a pre-Guiliani New York, the bodegas would gleefully serve any 12 year olds with a fake SUNY drivers license. (Shakes fist and looks heavenward) Guiliani!!
Allen was spry, spunky, and vim-filled. He also performed with a guitarist and sang some of his tunes, including one about how nicotine has killed 3,000,000 people, but marijuana has killed zero. [Well, maybe two: one dude giggled themselves to death; the other munchie'd themselves to death.]
But now Allen Ginsberg is dead and I’m not sure what, exactly, is the next best thing to seeing him live.
But I know what one of the next best things is, and it’s going to be poetry night with Philip Glass @ the HMML on August 31st.
Yes, Philip Glass will be performing live on our stage, accompanying an army of poets who’ll be reciting some Ginsberg classics (he and Philip were pals.)
I mean, do you realize how cool this is?