Larry Keenan - Beat Generation & Counterculture Photos - Photographs Gallery
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Beat Generation Gallery

NEAL CASSADY / SHAVING AT GINSBERG'S

NEAL CASSADY / SHAVING AT GINSBERG'S
San Francisco 1965

Allen Ginsberg did not have a bathroom in his apartment so Neal Cassady is shaving in Ginsberg's kitchen in this photograph. Cassady had a hard time trying to get some lather from the old bar soap. His face had gotten cut. When Cassady was introduced to people, he was always introduced with, "meet Neal Cassady who is Dean Moriarty from Kerouac's On the Road." I had been looking for a way to illustrate this dual role. While he was shaving, I suddenly realized, there they both were. The hair on the back of my neck stood straight out.
CASSADY HANGING OUT AT GINSBERG'S

CASSADY HANGING OUT AT GINSBERG'S
San Francisco 1965

Every time I visited Ginsberg, someone amazing would be visiting him. Neal Cassady happened to be visiting on this occasion. I was surprised how much he did not like Kerouac. He told me that Kerouac was just a good trophy winning speed typist.
GINSBERG / BREAKFAST IN HIS APARTMENT

GINSBERG / BREAKFAST IN HIS APARTMENT
San Francisco 1965

Once when I was visiting Allen in his apartment he asked me if I would like some coffee. Having said "Yes," he presented me with a metal bowl with coffee in it. The bowl seemed strange (like a dog dish) and I nursed the coffee to cool it down. Soon he started asking "Are you finished with that, man?" I would say "No, not yet" and after awhile I started to feel uncomfortable because the bowl seemed important to him. When I finally said "Yes," he grabbed the bowl away -- threw the remaining coffee in the sink and sat down with the bowl for his breakfast cereal. I was using his only bowl.
ANGELHEAD

ANGELHEAD
San Francisco 1965-97

Allen Ginsberg Memorial. This photograph was always printed in a dome or tombstone shape. When Allen died, I was inspired to release him from that format. This photograph was used on the cover of the program at the Ginsberg Memorial in San Francisco.
GINSBERG CHANTING      GINSBERG CHANTING

GINSBERG CHANTING AT HIS APARTMENT
San Francisco 1965

After 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. The photo on the right was used on Wes Wilson's Ginsberg poster, Who Be Kind To.

Once, while discussing my Beat photographs with Allen, I mentioned that "I was only there for the last 10 minutes." He said, "You got there just in time."

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