THE LAST GATHERING OF BEATS POETS & ARTISTS, CITY LIGHTS BOOKSLawrence Ferlinghetti wanted to document the 1965 Beat scene in San Francisco in the spirit of the early 20th century classic photographs of the Bohemian artists & writers in Paris.
North Beach, San Francisco 1965
The Beats, front row L to R: Robert LaVigne, Shig Murao, Larry Fagin, Leland Meyezove (lying down), Lew Welch, Peter Orlovsky.
Second row: David Meltzer, Michael McClure, Allen Ginsberg, Daniel Langton, Steve (friend of Ginsberg), Richard Brautigan, Gary Goodrow, Nemi Frost.
Back row: Stella Levy, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Because this is a vertical image about half of the Beats attending are not shown.
GINSBERG, McCLURE & CONNER CHANTING AT GINSBERG'S APARTMENTAfter meeting Ginsberg for the first time, I was not in Allen's Fell St. apartment long before he rolled up the rug, sat down, and chanted mantras for around an hour. During that time Peter Orlovsky, Michael McClure, Bruce Conner and I joined in. Then the chant changed to "fuck death" probably by McClure. The irony for me was that while we were doing the new chant, my dad the friendly mortician was supporting me. He was putting me through art school and paid for my photo supplies. With this photograph, I wanted the viewer to have the feeling of what it was like to sit down and join in the chanting with the Beats.
San Francisco 1965