It turns out that you never really know what’s gonna happen until it happens. At least, that’s how it usually goes for us. Next show, what’s gonna happen? There are always surprises along the way. Last night we performed at the Cake & Whiskey Club’s “The Peat Goes On,” at the Ugly Mug Cafe, hosted by the Actor, Director, Producer, all around impresario and “Wunderkind” Carlo Lorenzo Garcia. It was a night dedicated to fine whiskey, tasty cake and “1960’s beatnik stuff.” There was a healthy smattering of perfectly out-fitted beatniks in the audience. How to describe the audience? Beautiful, cool, artistic, sexy & swanky.
What is 60’s beatnik music? We wrestled with that one. If you do a Google search you will find all kinds of jokey, hokey 60’s tunes. Seems by the early-mid sixties, the beatnik thing was basically a fad of coolness. The mainstream culture didn’t take it very seriously. It was right up there with hula hoops, Slinkys, and Silly Putty. Think Maynard G. Krebs. Berets. Striped shirts. Bongos. Sort of a daffy, goofy coolness. No threat. A sort of “down-market” fashion statement.
We weren’t really up for learning “Bongos, Bongos, Bongos,” so our idea was to go back to the original beats. Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti. These were the voices, a sort of beat counter-culture before the big sixties counter-culture. The beats were kind of “dirty,” they talked about sex & drugs, and spontaneity, and living in the moment, and risking it all for a poem, or a glimpse of some kind of transcendence. Street life & Eastern mysticism mashed up with crazy, mad, emotion and the daily muck of life. Real stuff. An alternate vision of life in America. A mad, schizoid narrative – overflowing with life, and joy, and pain.
So Carla and I picked a handful of poems including “Footnote to Howl,” and “Mexico City Blues,” and then improvised some jazzy-type jams with the band. It was all sort of off the cuff and spontaneous, and it pretty much worked, it worked better than we thought it would work. The audience was loud and doing their own thing while we played, it was like we were in some mad ecstatic dance with the crowd, but afterwards, we found that some people really did listen, that some of the words really did penetrate. And detonate. It was cool. We gave the beats new life. For a night. It was mad and fun. Surprising. You never know what’s gonna happen… until it happens… – Jammer
Footnote To Howl By Allen Ginsberg
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy! Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is eternity! Everyman’s an angel!