Irishry

When I moved to San Pedro one of the welcome signs was learning that an established family of iron workers with my name lived here. The rumor was that one of its younger members hung at Walker's Café out on Point Fermin and had my exact name. My mother, a devoted gene-tracer, never mentioned a strain of our family that thrived in these parts. So I was very curious. And … [Read more...]

Neal Cassady Birthday Bash

Denver's 5th Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash!Friday, Feburary 7th, 2014, 8pm Mercury Cafe / 2199 California Street / Denver, COFeaturing: Cathy, Jami and John Allen Cassady presenting a tribute to their mother, the late Carolyn CassadyThe David Amram QuartetJohn Sinclair and the Blues ScholarsChris ShugrueTickets available at the door ($25), or in … [Read more...]

For Beat’s Sake: An Interview with Carolyn Cassady

We all live inside history, and Carolyn Cassady has seen her share. Ms. Cassady was gracious and open when she sat for an interview at her home in Monte Sereno, not far from Los Gatos.Carolyn Cassady, best known for her relationships with husband Neal Cassady and novelist Jack Kerouac, is an attractive woman with an easy laugh. The fifth child of a Nashville biochemistry … [Read more...]

Celebrating Allen Ginsberg’s birthday with a few videos

In honor of Allen Ginsberg's birthday (June 3, 1926), we've gathered a few videos together. We've got some poetry for you, a chant, and an interview or two.What are your favorite Ginsberg recordings? Please leave a comment below!Allen Ginsberg leads a chant in Chicago, 1968 ahead of the Democratic National ConventionHey, you smokers! Listen to what Allen … [Read more...]

The Great Consciousness of Life

Reaching in, pulling out. The great divide is conquered; and there lies an ever-evolving mission to extract meaning from chaos. This, then, is where it resides, the theater of the soul and the heart.In rewriting my biography of Jack Kerouac, I found that the only way to revisit that book once again was to take all of Jack Kerouac's epic letters to Neal Cassady, all of … [Read more...]

Who was Neal Cassady?

Neal Cassady: a brief biographical sketch Born on February 8, 1926, Neal Cassady grew up in Denver, Colorado. He was the son of a barber who moved the family from cheap hotel to cheap hotel. As a young man, Neal was usually a truant, hanging out in pool halls, hitchhiking, stealing cars, and, finally, landing in reform school, where he read his way through the library's … [Read more...]

Neal & Carolyn Cassady’s house at 29 Russell St., San Francisco

It’s been about ten years now since I saw Beat legends Neal and Carolyn Cassady’s house. It was such a thrill for me; I can remember it perfectly. My old friends Kirstin and Colin, from Alaska had just moved down to San Francisco the year before in 1998, and had told me about it. “Yeah,” Kirstin told me, “it’s just up the street from our apartment.” Jack Kerouac lived with them … [Read more...]