Sunday, June 22, 2008

jack kerouac

neal cassady and jack kerouac.

Merry Prankster bus driver, Neal Leon Cassady is infamous not only as Jack Kerouac's friend and muse, Dean Moriarty, but also looms large - in spirit if not word count - in Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", and Hunter S. Thompson's "Hell's Angels"

Perhaps not altogether fairly, he is celebrated as he "who did" to Kerouac's "he who merely wrote".

I have no idea exactly what year this reading dates from, but I'm guessing very early 1960s ; If any Beat Generation die-hard out there is certain of its provenance by all means leave a comment and I'll correct the dating label on the post.

JACK KEROUAC: VISIONS OF NEAL: NEAL & THE THREE STOOGES, PART ONE from "The Jack Kerouac Collection" 3 x CD (Rhino/Wea) 1990 (US)



Your driver said...

My job's San Francisco yard is in the neighborhood he is talking about. I work a long split shift and I am off and afoot in that neighborhood. Not only would Kerouac not recognize it, I don't recognize it. So many things have changed that I have to look at street signs to figure our where I am. Then, in the midst of utmost confusion, I will spot the third street bridge- The Lefty O'doul Bridge- built in 1906 and looking completely out of place surrounded by buildings that were built last year. I've actually been reading a bit about the history of that neighborhood. It's been fought over by real estate developers since the end of world war II. Every building new or old tells the story of a battle that was fought between the people of the neighborhoods and various money boys.

ib said...

Hey, Jon. I had just typed the words 'bus driver' when i stopped and thought of you. Pretty amazing that you actually work that yard. It's like that here - the realty in-fighti ng over land ; they've left one old tenement as a monument to the old Gorbals just yards from I live, and that too as the last high rise standing is its own small piece of living history. The flats which were demolished a couple of weeks ago are just so much rubble. An unbroken section of roof here, an upturned bathtub there. The other week I noticed a family of foxes have decided to den up in what's left. At dusk when the clearing crews have ended their day shift, people can be seen scurrying up and down the concrete drifts scavenging for scrap metal. The prices have rocketed as resources dwindle. There's good money to be made.

Your driver said...

It must be beatnik Sunday. A nice Marxist appreciation of the beats was just posted at Lenin's Tomb:

My old friend, Bob, has just returned from China where he tells me neighborhoods disappear over night.

ib said...

Thanks fer the link, Jon. I need to look into this - I've heard quite a bit about the post Mau regeneration projects and the damming up of entire regions now below water level - but the fuckers have capped my connection speed, and it's a bit like squinting in the dark.