Brautigan > A-Z Index
People, entities, and events mentioned in American Dust are categorized alphabetically in this index. Links from this index lead to further information within the website, and sometimes to outside resources. Use the links below to learn more about topics of interest.
Friend of Brautigan, and author of Downstream from Trout Fishing in America, a memoir of Brautigan. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Abbott.
Brautigan, as "a tall blond man with a full beard and a droopy moustache," makes an anonymous cameo appearance in Abbott's novel Rhino Ritz (Blue Wind Press, 1979. Hardbound. 50 signed copies.) when Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald move into Brautigan's apartment at 314 Union Street.
"The tall blond man stood to one side holding a garishly-painted papier-mâché bird and fly-fishing rod as a filing cabinet was wheeled by him.
"The phone rang.—That must be yours, the tall blond man said,—mine was disconnected yesterday. He started down the stairs with the papier-mâché bird.—That step ladder's going too, he said, nodding toward a short step-ladder with red velvet fringe on top. There was a snow shovel leaning against it (114).
"Ernest busied himself with the positioning of the desk, then followed the tall blond man down the stairs, as he carried the step ladder and the snow shovel outside and put them into a chalky green 1953 Chevy pickup.
"As the man put the gear in back, Ernest noticed that the packing crates in back were all marked RB/5-7-1-806 Hiroo, shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150 Japan.
"—Are you going to Japan? Ernest asked the driver, a moustached fellow in a derby hat who vaguely reminded him of Teddy Roosevelt.
"—I'm not, the driver said.—He is, nodding toward the tall blond man beside him" (114-115).
The papier-mâché bird refers to Willard, of Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery. The step ladder was a gift to Brautigan from artist Bruce Conner. It is now owned, allegedly, by Dennis Hopper. The moving man is a cameo appearance by Abbott in his own novel.
Alder, Virginia Dionne
(1935 - )
Brautigan's first wife. Nickname Ginny, or Ginger. She and Brautigan first met in the Fall of 1956. See Chronology 1950s
Helped Brautigan self-publish his first book of poetry Return of the Rivers in 1957.
Helped Brautigan self-publish his third book of poetry Lay the Marble Tea in 1959.
Helped Brautigan self-publish his fourth book of poetry The Octopus Frontier in 1960.
Alder and Brautigan separated 24 December 1962 and were divorced 27 July 1970 in San Francisco. The cause of the separation was, apparently, an affair between Alder and Anthony (Tony) Frederic Aste precipitated by Brautigan's frequent late night drinking with friends. See Chronology 1960s. See also Biography > Family.
Allen, Donald Merriam
An editor whose work with Grove Press and Four Seasons Foundation significantly enlarged the contemporary American poetry canon. He edited The New American Poetry: 1945-1960 (Grove Press, 1960), an anthology that introduced the Beat, Black Mountain, and New York poets to a wider audience. He also edited Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues and the "San Francisco scene" issue of Evergreen Review (no. 2, 1957; edited with Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr. (1922-2012), published in New York, New York, 1957-1973) that contained the first separate printing of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl," one of the two, along with Kerouac's novel On the Road, defining works of the Beat Generation. Allen also published work by Gary Snyder and Lew Welch.
According to Michael McClure,
"Editor Donald M. Allen "discovered" Richard—put his faith in Richard, publishing Trout Fishing, then In Watermelon Sugar and The Pill. It was Don who brought together the San Francisco Issue of Evergreen Review in 1957, linking up [Allen] Ginsberg, [Jack] Kerouac, [Robert] Duncan, [Jack] Spicer, [James] Broughton, [William] Everson [Brother Antoninus], [Philip] Lamantia, and me for the literary public eye. And it was Don who edited the major poetry-world shaker, The New American Poetry, in 1960" (Michael McClure 42; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > McClure).
As editor of The Evergreen Review (with Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr.; numbers 1-6 only) and West Coast representative of Grove Press, Allen was the driving force behind Brautigan's early work. He convinced Rosset at Grove Press in New York, New York, to purchase option rights to Brautigan's first three novels, Trout Fishing in America, A Confederate General from Big Sur, and In Watermelon Sugar. After purchase, Grove rejected all but A Confederate General from Big Sur, publishing that novel in 1964. Allen eventually published Trout Fishing in America in 1967 and In Watermelon Sugar in 1968 under the imprint of his own nonprofit press, Four Seasons Foundation. He published Brautigan's major poetry collection, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, in 1968.
Photographer Erik Weber and Brautigan convinced Allen to use a different photograph for the front cover of Trout Fishing in America. See the "Publication" menu tab of the Trout Fishing in America node.
Allen's comments were included in the essay "Brautigan's Wake," by Peter Manso and Michael McClure, published in Vanity Fair in May 1985, the year after Brautigan's death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Manso.
In addition to Brautigan, Allen worked with many of the important Beat and contemporary poets and writers of the 1960s. His unpublished anthology of the San Francisco Renaissance, circa 1965, other manuscripts, and correspondence with Brautigan as well as other writers and editors, is collected at Stanford University Library, Stanford University, Stanford, California. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Allen.
Allen's own poetry was included in the November 1959 issue of Jack Spicer's literary magazine, J, along with the first appearance of Brautigan's poems "The Pumpkin Tide," "The Sidney Greenstreet Blues," and "Surprise."
Don Allen's death leaves a very large hole, although one knew it had to come, as obviously it does for all. But for my company and for me he was the one who managed the defining connection again and again, as with Charles Olson, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Douglas Woolf, Richard Brautigan, and a far wider loop of writers than these few can even begin to suggest. For example, he is the crucial editor at Grove Press for John Rechy's City of Night (1963) and it's also Don who publishes in his own "Writing" series Pamela Millward's Mother: A Novel of the Revolution (San Francisco. 1970) and Dale Herd's Early Morning Wind (Bolinas, 1972). I cannot think of another editor of that now past century who so located and prepared the publication of so much one recognizes as bedrock, Frank O'Hara, Federico Garcia Lorca, and on and on and on.
He was, as all who knew him as friend will testify, a wonderfully droll and perceptive ally, a suavely hip and securing host, who in all manner of situation was never seemingly at a loss. I remember going with him into a typical standup cowboy bar late one night as we were driving from Vancouver back to Albuquerque and Don's asking the bartender, when finally we got his attention, what kind of vermouth he used in his martinis. Likewise, thinking of martinis, I remember Don's suggesting we stop as we were again driving together up to see Bill Eastlake in Cuba, NM by way of a back road through Jemez Springs. It was late spring and there was a fresh fall of snow under the pines, some of which Don then scooped up for the martinis he poured for us from his fabulous silver flask.
His style was always a dear and abiding pleasure. It was certainly there the first time we met in the early fifties, when I'd come begging to New Directions where he was an editor, hoping for some sort of job. There wasn't any but as I was leaving, Don said something like, But you should at least have a book, and reaching his hand behind him, be it said, without looking, he got and handed me Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales.
Thanks to his generous invitation, I worked with him in the editing of several anthologies of those years, New American Story (Grove, 1965) and The New Writing in the USA (Penguin, 1967). The last is one of my own favorites, just that it gave us chance to use a variety of so-called genre, not just one at a time. The first has a notable absence for which I was responsible and which still makes me wince. Don had suggested we include something from Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, but for whatever reason, I was feeling depressed and very serious, and so didn't get it. When I did it was just too late.
Most recently I heard of Don from dear mutual friends Ellen Tallman and Robin Blaser, both of whom had known him since proverbial school days. His pleasantly teasing and provocative charms did not in the least lessen with age. In fact, he grew if anything more wry and engaging than ever. I know that his "editorial" intelligence never flagged as witness his edition with Ben Friedlander of Olson's Collected Prose (University of California Press, 1997). Finally, it's Don's New American Poetry, which brings us all into the world, and that work is still in print after very nearly fifty years. Some things—like Don Allen—are forever.
— Robert Creeley
Providence, Rhode Island
September 19, 2004
Don Allen's obituary at The Empty Mirror website.
"Donald Allen, 92, Book Editor of Bold New Voices in Poetry, Dies"
The New York Times, 9 Sep. 2004.
Donald Merriam Allen, a poetry editor whose 1960 anthology of the era's contemporary and avant-garde poets remains a milestone in American letters, died on Aug. 29 in San Francisco. He was 92.
His death was announced by his friend and executor, Michael Williams.
Mr. Allen started compiling his landmark collection in 1958 as an editor at Grove Press. In "The New American Poetry: 1945-1960" he presented a new generation. It offered a sampler of 44 young voices arranged in five overlapping groupings, and was one of the first countercultural collections of American verse. The difference between the older traditional voices and the new was described by Robert Lowell as the difference between the "cooked" and the "raw."
There were the Black Mountain poets like Charles Olson, Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley; the San Francsico renaissance voices of James Broughton, Madeline Gleason and Lawrence Ferlinghetti; the beat generation of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Gregory Corso; the New York poets like John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara; and a fifth group of younger names without geographical definition, including Philip Whalen and Stuart Z. Perkoff.
Mr. Allen's handiwork caused a literary stir and upset the poetry establishment in particular. It spotlighted some large new talents culled from small magazines and lent a degree of respectability even to fringe lyricists from San Francisco and its environs.
What united them, Harvey Shapiro noted in his review in The New York Times in 1960, was their disdain for traditional great English and American poetry and poets. More disapprovingly, the critic John Simon wrote, "Mr. Allen's anthology divides all gall into five parts."
But the work endured and was reissued most recently by the University of California Press, where it remains in print. In 1975 Mr. Allen edited, with Warren Tallman, an updated companion volume to the 1960 anthology, "The Poetics of the New American Poetry" (Grove).
Donald Allen was born in Muscatine, Iowa, the son of a doctor. He graduated in 1934 from the University of Iowa, from which he also received an M.A. in English literature a year later. After postgraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley, he moved to New York. He was an editor at Grove from 1950 to 1970, both in New York and later on the West Coast, where he was co-editor of Grove's Evergreen Review.
He translated four plays by Eugene Ionesco (Grove, 1958), and his versions of "The Bald Soprano" and "The Lesson" continue to be staged. He edited selections of writings by O'Hara, Olson, Kerouac, Mr. Creeley, Edward Dorn, Jack Spicer and others.
To promote his favorite writers he founded and managed two literary presses, Grey Fox and Four Seasons Foundation, which published the new poetry along with books on philosophy and Buddhism and gay and lesbian literature.
Mr. Allen is survived by a sister, Kathryn Payne of Charlottesville, Va.
"Donald M. Allen, Poetry Editor, Dies at 92"
The Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2004, p. B07.
Donald M. Allen, 92, a poetry editor who celebrated the Beat writers, edited Jack Kerouac and published an acclaimed anthology of American poetry, died Aug. 29 in San Francisco after suffering from pneumonia.
Mr. Allen, a native of Cherokee, Iowa, had a lifelong interest in literature. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from the University of Iowa and taught English for many years.
He first made a name for himself as an editor at Grove Press in New York, where he published the acclaimed anthology "The New American Poetry 1945-1960." The collection introduced writers from the Beat Generation and the New York and Black Mountain schools.
"I think Donald was the best editor for poetry of the last few decades. He put certain poets on the map and put a more experimental, avant-garde poetry on the map," said Marjorie Perloff, author and professor emeritus at Stanford University, where some of Mr. Allen's manuscripts and correspondence are housed.
Mr. Allen edited Kerouac's "Mexico City Blues" and "the "San Francisco scene" issue of Evergreen Review (issue 2, 1957; edited with Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr. (1922-2012), published in New York, New York, 1957-1973) which contained the first separate printing of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl."
He also founded two influential literary presses, Grey Fox Press and Four Seasons Foundation, which published Kerouac, Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Frank O'Hara, Robert Duncan, Philip Whalen, Philip Lamantia, Lew Welch and Joanne Kyger.
The presses also published works on philosophy and Buddhism and seminal gay titles. Mr. Allen also edited novelist and poet Richard Brautigan's first four books.
Survivors include a sister.
Founder, along with Claude Hayward, of the Communication Company, a member of the Undergroud Press Syndicate (UPS), in early January 1967 as a fluid newspaper for the people in the Haight-Ashbury District, the center for San Francisco's psychedelic culture.
The Communication Company printed broadsides, flyers, and handbills for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, the Human Be-In, the The Invisible Circus, the Diggers, and other organizations, individuals, and events. Anderson often added his own perspective and comments to Communications Company publications, forming a running commentary on the evolving Haight-Ashbury scene.
In his mid-thirties, Anderson, a novelist and poet, was attracted to San Francisco's Beat literary scene and then to its emerging psychedelic culture. Looking for a way to get involved, Anderson decided to start a printing business. A fan of Marshall McLuhan, Anderson decided his business should be instantaneous, current, and immediately disposable.
Abe Peck describes the history of the Communication Company in his book Uncovering the Sixties: The Life & Times of the Underground Press. Peck says Anderson had written for the Oracle, an underground newspaper centered in Haight-Ashbury, but felt it too elitist. He founded the Communication Company to function as a daily Oracle and add "perspective to the [San Francisco] Chronicle's fantasies" (Peck 46-47).
Co-founder Claude Hayward provides some interesting commentary about the Communication Company and its relationship with Brautigan.
By May 1967, Anderson had grown less enchanted with the Diggers and the psychedelic scene. The Diggers demanded use of the Communication Company Gestetner machines for their own purposes. When the Communication Company offices moved to 742 Arguello Street in the Richmond District without any public announcement, business dropped by half and Anderson was effectively removed as the head of the company. By June he was completely barred from the company and its printing machines. Anderson left San Francisco and traveled to New York and Florida looking for other opportunities.
On 15 August 1967, Anderson published a six-page article in the underground press titled "Hippie Siamese Twins Split" in which he announced the final split between himself and the Diggers. Anderson also outlined plans for a new Communication Company which he planned to start when he returned to San Francisco (Perry 230).
Anderson never succeeded in starting another Communication Company and turned to editing Paul William's rock magazine Crawdaddy—the first U. S. rock magazine, founded in 1966—for some months. Williams, an editor and writer, was the literary executor of the Philip K. Dick estate and was largely responsible for the commercially successful posthumous publication of Dick's science fiction work. The Diggers put Anderson's original Gestetner machines at the service of Free City Publications which used them in very innovative ways to turn out publications that impressed even the Gestetner Company.
Charles Perry says Anderson retired to Mendocino and Sonoma counties in Northern California where he worked occassionaly as a typographer (Perry 296). He died in April 1991 in Homer, Georgia, where he lived with relatives.
Anderson led the organizational efforts for Bedrock One, a "rockdance-environment happening."
Anderson was also a science fiction novelist. His works include:
Ten Years to Doomsday
Pyramid Books, 1964. Front cover illustration by Ed Emsh
The Butterfly Kid
Pyramid Books, 1967. Bright psychedelic front cover illustration by Gary Morrow with the teaser, "The hippies had a new kick—from Outer Space!"; back cover photograph of Anderson
A comic, surrealistic science fiction novel set in New York City's Greenwich Village; Anderson and his "sidekick" Michael Kurland save the world from blue Crustacea whose plan of conquest involves using a pill that actualizes the fantasies of the people of Greenwich Village. This novel was the first of a trilogy written with other authors, each of whom appears in the other's book.
The Unicorn Girl
with Michael Kurland. Pyramid Books, 1969
A woman wanders into Haight-Ashbury looking for someone to help her find her missing unicorn.
The Probability Pad
with Tim A. Waters. Pyramid Books, 1970
Enlists the aid of Anderson and Kurland in the investigation of strange happenings in a Manhattan apartment building and they find themselves being transported through time and fiction.
Fox and Hare: The Story of A Friday Night
Glen Ellen, CA: Entwhistle, 1980), illustrated by Charles Stevenson
About a group of hippies and their escapades with drugs and sex during a single night in New York City's East Village in the 1960s.
A novel about the Haight-Ashbury district.
Anderson also published works under the pseudonym, John Valentine.
The Chester Anderson Papers (ca. 1963-1980) are archived in the Bancroft Library Manuscript Collection at the University of California at Berkeley, California. Includes records of the Communication Company (January-September 1967), broadsides, flyers, and handbills printed for the Diggers, the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, San Francicso Mime Troupe, the Human Be-In, the Invisible Circus, as well as items printed for other organizations, individuals, and events. Includes a copy of a letter, dated 9 February 1967, written by Anderson to his friend, Thurlonius Benjamin Weed in Florida, discussing his move to San Francisco, his work, and his involvement in the Haight-Ashbury community. Also, includes edited typescripts of Puppies (Entwhistle Books, 1979) and Fox & Hare (Entwhistle Books, 1980).
Artists' Liberation Front (ALF)
A radical group of San Francisco Bay Area artists who worked to promote art exhibitions, street fairs, plays, films, concerts, puppet shows, and other participatory events in opposition to official government-sponsored art presentations. Organized in May 1966 by Ronnie G. Davis to encourage recognizing community-based artists and people of color who were being ignored. Davis, founder of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, was personally opposed to foundational support for the arts. Members included Mime Troupers and other progressive artists who worked in a broad range of social issues.
Information about "The Artists' Liberation Front and the Formation of the Sixties Counterculture" at The Diggers Archives website
The Beats, short for Beatniks, rejected middle class American values in favor of more radical politics, bebop jazz, and experimental literature during the mid-1950s. Writers, artists, musicians, intellectuals, they centered themselves in New York and San Francisco. In San Francisco, the Beats made the North Beach area their headquarters. They gathered in coffee shops and bars, reading their defiant poetry, talking, and listening to black jazz musicians. Many critics argue the San Francisco contingent did more to define the Beat Movement, especially with regards to literature. It was in San Francisco, on October 13, 1955, at the Six Gallery on Fillmore Street that six San Francisco poets, Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Phillip Walen, Philip Lamantia, and Michael McClure (then just a teenager), read their poetry and, according to Jack Kerouac, the Beat generation novelist, started the San Francisco poetry renaissance. Most of the credit went to Ginsberg, whose epic poem "Howl" is one of two defining works of the Beat Generation. The other is Kerouac's novel On the Road. Another central writer was William S. Burroughs.
The term "Beat" originated in a autumn 1948 conversation between Jack Kerouac (author, later, in 1957, of On the Road) and John Clellan Holmes, where they tried to characterize themselves and others like them: individuals driven by a skeptical wariness, a furious urgency, and a voracious appetite. Kerouac used the phrase beat generation, a slang term meaning beaten-down or exhausted.
Holmes used the term in his novel, Go (Scribner's, 1952), as a label for his life and that of some of his friends like Kerouac, Neal Cassady (model for Kerouac's character Dean Moriarity), and Allen Ginsberg.
Gilbert Millstein, who reviewed the novel in The New York Times, commissioned Holmes to write an article for the New York Times Magazine about the distinctive features of the generation Holmes described in his novel. Holme's article "This Is the Beat Generation" (New York Times Magazine Nov. 16, 1952, pp. 10, 19, 20, 22), which attracted more attention than the novel, credited Kerouac with coining the term and then provided a definition.
"More than mere weariness, it implies the feeling of having been used, of being raw. It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and, ultimately, of soul; a feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness. In short, it means being undramatically pushed up against the wall of oneself. (10) . . . Beneath the excess and conformity, there is something other than detachment. There are the stirrings of a quest. What the hipster is looking for in his "coolness" (withdrawal) or 'flipness' (ectasy) is, after all, a feeling of somewhereness, not just another diversion" (22).
Despite later claims by Kerouac that "Beat" could also carry connotations of and in fact came from "beatitude," the Beats' alienation from society led the media to conflate "Beat" with "outlaw" and produce the "Beat hipster" image. In late June 1958, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen combined the term "Beat" with the name of the new Russian satellite orbiting the Earth, Sputnik, and came up with "beatnik" to signify the "far out" lifestyle of these young, rebellious people who wore scruffy, generally all black jeans and turtleneck shirts and affected indifference to the values and traditions held by "normal" people (Barry Silesky 80-81). Barney Hoskyns, however, says the term "beatniks" was orignally coined by black jazz musicians as a pejorative term for the white hangers-on around the jazz music scene (Barney Hoskyns 37).
Anonymous;. The Beat Generation Map of America. Aaron Blake Publishers, 1987.
A 27" x 20" fold-out color map printed on card stock showing Beat locations on the West Coast and New York, with carictures of numerous Beat writers and artists. Brautigan is not illustrated, but is listed with "other Beat poets, novelists, and saints."
A San Francisco literary magazine, published 1959-1987 but suspended 1961-1969, cooperatively edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bob Kaufman, John Kelly, William Margolis, and Allen Ginsberg. The idea of the magazine was to "convey the sense of radical openness and free exchange they felt was at the heart of literary San Francisco" (Barry Silesky 101). The first issue, published 9 May 1959, promised an alternative to the mass culture diet. The title, Beatitude, came from the blessings by Christ at the Sermon on the Mount and, as claimed by Jack Kerouac, the root of the term "Beat." The editors announced the magazine would be mimeographed, nothing fancy, easily accessible. It would be
"A weekly miscellany of poetry and other jazz designed to extol beauty and promote the beatific life among the various mendicants, neo-existentialists, christs, poets, painters, musicians, and other inhabitants and observers of North Beach, San Francisco, California, United States of America [edited on a] kick or miss basis by a few hardy types who sneak out of alleys near Grant Avenue" (Barry Silesky 101).
Begun in May 1959, by Ginsberg, Kaufman, and Kelly at Cassandra's Coffee House, the first issues were published at The Bread and Wine Mission, 510 Greenwich Street, at the corner of Grant Avenue and Greenwich Street, the coffeehouse mission of Pierre Delattre. See "Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes" > Memoirs > Delattre.
City Lights Books took over the publication beginning with issue #17, the only issue edited by Ferlinghetti and the one in which Brautigan's "Night," "Dive Bombing the Lower Emotions," and "Nine Crows: Two Out of Sequence" were first published under the heading Some Montana Poems/1973.
In his book, Ginsberg: A Biography (HarperPerennial, 1989), Barry Miles says Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky were on the "bored of directors" of Beatitude (262).
Brautigan's poem "The Whorehouse at the Top of Mount Rainer" (See Poetry > Uncollected > Whorehouse) was first published in Beatitude (no. 1) and reprinted in Beatitude Anthology.
Four Brautigan poems first published in Beatitude (no. 4) and reprinted in Beatitude Anthology: "The American Submarine," "A Postcard from the Bridge," "That Girl," and "The Sink." See Poetry > Uncollected > and these titles.
Brautigan's poem "Swandragons" (See Poetry > Uncollected > Swandragons) was first published in Beatitude (no. 9) and reprinted in Beatitude Anthology.
Warren French gives special attention to Beatitude in his book, The San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, 1955-1960.
"A rockdance-environment happening benefit for the Communication Company in honor of the c. i. a." The happening was held 5 March 1967 at California Hall, 425 Polk Street, San Francisco, a large building owned by the German-American Association.
The event poster (50 x 35 cm) featured a psychedelic illustration, with the text in whorls forming part of the background. Printed in shades of purple on beige poster paper.
Anderson challenged the uniqueness and evolution of other, similiar events and saying,
"[W]e are going to prove that the rock dance can & ought to be a genuine Art Form. . . .
"We [the event organizers, led by Chester Anderson, co-founder of the Communication Company] intend to evolve the art of the rock dance to the point that we can get any audience HIGH, any kind of high we choose, without the aid of narcotics or other chemical copouts. We feel that a rock dance should change your life, & we intend to see that it does.
"To this end we are embarked upon an evolutionary process. We have, so far, three dances planned: Bedrock One, Bedrock Two and Bedrock Three. (We are nothing if not orderly.) The first will be better than sex, the second will be better than the first, and we expect to have to flee the city after the third."
Handbills—7" x 10"; printed both sides in black ink on brown paper—advertising Bedrock One were also produced by the Communication Company. They featured a photograph of interracial hands grasping a naked female torso on the front and a listing of events and performers on the back. Poetry was provided by "Richard Brautigan & The Caped Crusaders."
A poster—19.5" x 13.5"—also printed by the Communication Company, featured an illustration by Robert Crumb of a boy in overalls with a light bulb screwed into the top of his head. Printings in black ink on green paper and purple ink on white paper are reported. Other variants no doubt exist. Claude Hayward, co-founder of the Communication Company, verifies Crumb's creation of this poster.
Bedrock One was produced for the Communication Company by the Experimental Theatre Co-Op, L.A.M.F. and was directed by Anderson. Music was provided by the Steve Miller Blues Band, Dino Valente, and The Orkus'tra, "Each damned good, each the best of its kind, each able to provide light shows for the blind."
Lights were provided by the Lysergic Power and Light Company, "An experimental company with wild ideas & tons of equipment."
Opening and Closing Ceremonies were provided by The Radha Krishna Temple, "To, among other things, tune the audience & make it receptive to whats [sic] about to happen, make it spiritually ready for love, and then, at the close, to prepare it for the outside world again. Any rock dance that isn't a religious event is a stone drag."
Floor Happenings were provided by the S. F. Mime Troupe, The Committee, Alan Dienstag and the Pack, The S.F. League for Sexual Freedom, and the Diggers, although their name was marked out on this announcement. "Staging theatrical productions on the dance floor, not just among the audience, but involving the audience. These groovy people will happen to you."
Poets included Richard Brautigan & The Caped Crusaders, "Providing words to match the rest of the entertainment (if that's the word for it)."
Hosts were Warren Hinkle III, editor of Ramparts, and Mark Comfort, "noted Oakland Black Power hero, veteran of a million illegal & unconstitutional busts, who knows where it's at, & where we're at, & habitually tells it like it is."
Brautigan, Bernard Frederick, Jr.
Born: 29 July 1908, Winlock, Washington; Died: 27 May 1994, Tacoma, Washington, age 85. Father of Richard Brautigan. See Biography > Family.
While most accounts agree that Mary Lou and Bernard separated prior to Richard Brautigan's birth, there is less agreement regarding who knew she was pregnant and when. See Chronology 1930s-1940s.
Allegedly Bernard met his son, Richard, only twice. See Chronology 1930s-1940s.
Denied any knowledge of his son, Richard Brautigan in a UPI news feed following Brautigan's death. Also includes information about Bernard's relationship with other members of the Brautigan family. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes Obituaries > Bernard Brautigan.
"Brautigan's Suicide Rekindles Bad Feelings," an article by Mark Barabak in the San Francisco Chronicle. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes Obituaries > Barabak.
"Bernard Brautigan," an article in the Detroit Free Press. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Obituaries > Bernard Brautigan.
Brautigan, Ianthe Elizabeth
25 March 1960-present. Daughter of Richard Brautigan and Virgina Alder. Born in San Francisco, California. Married Paul Swensen, a film director, 5 September 1981 in Santa Rosa, California. Her name comes from Greek ion for "violet" and anthos for "flower." Brautigan dedicated his novel A Confederate General from Big Sur to Ianthe. See Biography > Family.
Author of You Can't Catch Death, a memoir of the life and death of her father. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Can't Catch Death.
See reviews of her book in conjunction with Brautigan's An Unfortunate Woman.
Recounted various stories and observations about her father: Brautigan's parents separated before his birth, Brautigan said he met his father only twice, Brautigan's early life in Tacoma, Washington, Brautigan's story of being abandoned in Great Falls, Montana, and Brautigan's childhood in Eugene, Oregon. See Chronology 1930s-1940s.
Brautigan's abuse as a child, Brautigan remarks concerning his mother, Brautigan learning his true surname prior to graduation from high school, Brautigan remembered by his classmates, Brautigan writing in high school, Brautigan's work after graduating from high school, Brautigan broke a window in the Eugene, Oregon Police Station, Dec. 1955, Brautigan receiving electric shock treatments while confined in the Oregon State Hospital, different family impressions of Brautigan's stay in the State Hospital and Brautigan's remark about his release, the "lost" manuscript for Brautigan's novel, God of the Martians, the start of Brautigan's life in San Francisco in 1956, and her parent's apartment after their marriage. See Chronology 1950s.
Her parent's separation, and Brautigan's Geary Street apartment in San Francisco. See Chronology 1960s.
Ianthe recorded a version of Brautigan's "Love Poem" for inclusion on his record album, Listening to Richard Brautigan. See Recordings > Listening to > Love Poem.
Appeared on the front cover of Brautigan's first collected works, with Brautigan and Michaela Blake-Grand. See Collections > Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar.
Adopted name for William Everson, a San Francisco Bay-area poet, printer, and small-press operator. Everson, with Kermit Sheets and Adrian Wilson, all conscientious objectors in a camp in Waldport, Oregon, during World War II, published poetry books as Untide Press, a reaction against the camp's newspaper, The Tide. After their release in 1947, all three moved to San Francisco and pursued individual interests. Everson printed programs and posters for The Interplayers, a theater group, and established The Equinox Press in Berkeley, California. In 1958, he moved to Oakland, California, renamed his press Albertus Magnus, and himself Brother Antoninus. Kermit Sheets founded Centaur Press in San Francisco in 1949. He commissioned Adrian Wilson to print Glen Coffield's The Night is Where you Fly, illustrated by Lee Mullican (Alastair Johnston 6).
Reprinted in David Meltzer's Golden Gate: Interviews with 5 San Francisco Poets, 1976.
Reprinted in David Meltzer's San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets, 2001.
Broughton, James R.
(1913-1999). Film-maker and poet, known for his film The Bed that featured celebrities on a bed. Broughton filmed Brautigan but did not use the sequence in the final version of the film.
Contributed a poem, "I Heard in the Shell," to Poetry Folio: 1964, a collection of poetry printed as broadsides, 1964. Nine other poets, including Brautigan, also contributed work. Brautigan's was a reprint of September California.
Work included, along with Brautigan's "Psalm," in Spring 1959 issue of San Francisco Review. See "Uncollected" menu tab of the Poetry node.
(1931-1995) Novelist and friend of Brautigan. He was deeply troubled by Brautigan's suicide in 1984 and took his own life in a similar manner eleven years later, 28 July 1995, in the face of mounting medical problems. Carpenter and Brautigan were good, long-time friends. Brautigan dedicated Revenge of the Lawn to Carpenter.
Reviewed Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America. See Trout Fishing in America > Reviews > Carpenter.
Reviewed Brautigan's Tokyo-Montana Express. See Tokyo-Montana Express > Reviews > Carpenter.
Brautigan wrote promotional blurbs for Carpenter's novels The Class of '49 and Getting Off. See Non-Fiction > Blurbs > Carpenter.
Carpenter's comments were included in the essay "Brautigan's Wake," by Peter Manso and Michael McClure, published in Vanity Fair in May 1985, the year after Brautigan's death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Carpenter.
Quoted in several obituaries following Brautigan's death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Obituaries and Memoirs.
Carpenter's own death prompted writers to connect him with Brautigan. For example, Robert Thomas, Jr. wrote, "[By committing suicide on July 27, 1995, novelist Don Carpenter] was replaying one of the most troubling chapters of his life, the 1984 suicide of his closest friend, the writer Richard Brautigan. . . . Mr. Carpenter's friend and Marin County neighbor, Anne LaMott [noted] that Mr. Brautigan's body had not been found for weeks [and] said Mr. Carpenter had been haunted 'by the chilling specter' of Mr. Brautigan's final isolation from his friends." ("Don Carpenter, 64, A Novelist Who Wrote about Bleak Lives." The New York Times, 30 July 1995, p. 36.)
Don Carpenter website maintained by Chris Cefalu.
Baker, Jeff. "Don Carpenter: Portland's Great Forgotten Writer Is Found Again." The Oregonian 26 July 2015, A&E section, pp. 1, 6-7.
City Lights Books
City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, located at 261 Columbus Avenue at Broadway in San Francisco, was the country's first all paperback book store. Founded as City Lights Pocket Books in June 1953 by Peter D. Martin, son of assassinated Italian anarchist Carlo Tresca and sociology instructor at San Francisco State University, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a former English instructor at San Francisco State College. Each contributed $500.00 to the venture. It was Martin's idea to open an all-paperback bookstore. This was just prior to publishers producing inexpensive paperback books. The only ones available at the time were the Pocket and Avon series sold in drugstores and the British Penguin series. Martin hoped to finance his pop-culture magazine, City Lights, through the sale of paperback books, magazines, and newspapers. His magazine editorial offices were located on the second floor. Both the magazine and the bookstore were named for the 1931 Charles Chaplin film which portrayed the little, subjective man against the world. City Lights lasted only five issues, but notably published the first film criticism by Pauline Kael.
Martin departed for New York within a year of founding City Lights Books and Shigeyoshi (Shig) Murau became manager. In January 1955 Ferlinghetti purchased the bookstore from Martin. He wanted to use the bookstore to finance publishing avant-garde literature and poetry. Inspired by the livres de poche, pocket books, he had seen in France, Ferlinghetti decided to call his venture "Pocket Poets" (Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Nancy Peters 163 [See References > Literary > Ferlinghetti] and Barry Silesky 57-59).
The article "And the Beat Goes On/City Lights and the Counterculture: 1961-1974" (Heidi Benson, Jane Ganahl, Jesse Hamlin, and James Sullivan. San Francisco Chronicle, 9 June 2003, pp. D1, D4-D7) is Chapter Two of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of City Lights Books. Features testimonials from several people regarding their association with or relationship to the bookstore. One, author Herb Gold, says,
"Richard Brautigan used to be here a lot. He used to describe himself as the 'Gestetner Rabbi' because he was producing his poetry on the Gestetner mimeograph machine. He would come into City Lights and sell to people who were presumably there to buy City Lights books. I used to see Brautigan curtsy. It was very odd. When people would ask him to sign a book, or when he met a young woman he liked, instead of bowing, he would curtsy. It was a funny gesture, to see this tall 'Confederate General' curtsy." (D5)
Brautigan's daughter, Ianthe Brautigan, says, of her relationship with City Lights Books,
"When I was a little girl, 3 or 4, we'd go in to City Lights and my father would check to see if any of his poetry pamphlets had sold. It'd be a little bit of cash, and then we could go do something else. When I think about going to other bookstores then, I think about 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull.' My dad, I remember him leafing through that and saying 'I don't understand. Why are people buying this?'" (D5)
City Lights Books formed the backdrop for the famous photograph "The Last Gathering of the Beats" by Larry Keenan. See Chronology 1960s.
See the "Papers" menu tab of the Non-Fiction node for information about City Lights Books records, correspondence, and more.
And the Beat Goes On/City Lights and the Counterculture: 1961-1974 at the San Francisco Chronicle website.
City Lights Books website.
(1941-29 April 2004). Noted San Francisco poet and founder and editer of the legendary The San Francisco Oracle, a psychedelic-hued underground newspaper published in Haight-Ashbury throughout the late 1960s.
The San Francisco Oracle was printed by the Howard Quinn Co., at 298 Alabama Street, along with the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Black Panther paper, the Berkeley Barb, and other underground and alternative newspapers of the era.
With its graphics and experimental multiple color printing, especially on its front covers, The San Francisco Oracle created a revolution in newspaper printing. In its first issue, The Oracle called itself "a Living Journal, reflective of our involvement in our environment." Part of this reflection would come through the merging of the word "with photography and illustration in an organic form of graphic communication" (The San Francisco Oracle Sep. 9, 1966, p. 2).
The San Francisco Oracle, though Cohen's leadership, also created a revolution in thinking about current culture and the war in Vietnam.
Cohen, Allen, editor. The San Francisco Oracle Facsimile Edition. Regent Press, 1991.
Facsimile reproduction, including original colors, of the entire run of the psychedelic newspaper of the Haight-Ashbury district from 3 September 1966-February 1968. Includes the pre-Oracle P.O. Frisco and Issues 1-12 of The Oracle.
Cohen helped originate the Human Be-In.
Cohen wrote a tribute titled "Richard Brautigan—A Rememberance." See the "Tributes" menu tab of the Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes node. This tribute also available in the Allen Cohen Poetry portion of the S.F. Heart website.
Allen Cohen and the S.F. Oracle remembered at the Rockument website.
Cohon (Coyote), Peter
Founding member (along with Peter Berg and Emmett Grogan) of the Diggers, a group of civic anarchists active in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district 1966-1968 who tried to achieve social change through street theater, leaderless events, and services to the needy (Keith Abbott 35; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Abbott). Named after a seventeenth-century English communist religious sect, the Diggers evolved from a desire to combine theater and politics.
Cohon moved to San Francisco in August 1964 to pursue a graduate degree in creative writing at San Francisco State College. He quickly became involved with the Actors Workshop, founded by Herb Blau and Jules Irving, who left San Francisco soon after Cohon's arrival to start the Lincoln Center in New York, New York. Seeking more involvement and recognition, he joined The San Francisco Mime Troupe.
In 1966, Cohon, Berg, Grogan, and other members of the Mime Troupe formed the Diggers. In 1967, they started calling themselves the Free City Collective (Charles Perry 216). Later that year and early the next both the Diggers and the Free City Collective disintegrated from internal political dissent and pressure from established political structures within San Francisco.
Cohon changed his last name to Coyote and became a film actor. He is known for his character Keys, the sympathetic scientist in the movie E. T. In 1976 Governor Brown appointed Coyote and poet Gary Snyder to the California Arts Commission (Perry 296).
Coyote, Peter. Sleeping Where I Fall: A Chronicle. Counterpoint, 1998.
A memoir of Coyote's [Peter Cohon] journey through the heart of the counterculture in San Francisco. Provides portraits of the countercultural stars as well as those who left no marks. Good information on the Mime Troupe, the Diggers, and Haight-Ashbury.
Work included, with Brautigan and others, in The Digger Papers, 1967.
Led a commune called Olema from 1968-1970.
Criticized Time magazine for, in their coining of the word hippie, trivializing those seeking alternatives to Time's official reality.
Commented on Brautigan's activities during The Invisible Circus, "linking participants in a prototypical World Wide Web."
Coyote's comments were included in the essay "Brautigan's Wake," by Peter Manso and Michael McClure, published in Vanity Fair in May 1985, the year after Brautigan's death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Manso.
The Official Peter Coyote Web Site
Features a biography, a bibliography, a filography, and archives of information related to Peter Coyote.
An interview at The Diggers Archive website.
Peter Coyote & The Statutes of Freedom
Coyote talks about his connection with and provides good background information about the Diggers. At the Peter Coyote web site.
A publishing company started by Chester Anderson and Claude Hayward in early January 1967 as a fluid newspaper for the people in the Haight-Ashbury District, the center for San Francisco's psychedelic culture.
Hayward was an advertising manager for the Sunday Rampart, a tabloid newspaper published by the San Francisco-based Ramparts magazine. Anderson, a novelist and poet, was attracted to San Francisco's Beat literary scene and then to its emerging psychedelic culture. Looking for a way to get involved, Anderson decided to start a newspaper. A fan of Marshall McLuhan, Anderson decided his newspaper should be instantaneous, current, and immediately disposable.
A letter from Anderson explains some of the details of founding the Communication Company.
406 Duboce Avenue
San Francisco, Calif.
February 9, 1967
I did move to San Francisco, 1/7/67. Moved in at this address with Claude & Helene Hayward.
In San Francisco what's happening is a drug-oriented social revolution centered in a neighborhood called Haight/Ashbury (those being the main intersecting streets thereof). A psychedelic community has sprung into existence, based essentially on pot & LSD. (Note: the pill inclosed with this letter is 1000 micrograms of LSD—hereinafter & henceforth called Acid. Divide it in half & share it with thine frau.) The operating principles of this community—more than 20,000 people—are Love & Freedom.
And it's a lovely place. Everyone wears long hair and odd clothes & strange jewelry. I myself have grown a beard, given up cutting my hair, returned to boots, taken to wearing things & beads around my neck, & look generally quite picturesque, but fairly drab within my environment.
Naturally, I leapt into this community with the joy of an otter in water. With the 2nd BUTTERFLY check I made downpayment on a Gestetner silk-screen stencil duplicator & Gestefax electronic stencil cutter, with which Claude & I have set ourselves up as The Communication Company. The piece of paper headed thus explains what we're doing.
Most of my writing lately has been for the company, and is enclosed. I'm also at work on a novel: THE LOVE FREAK, set in & playing with this community. This is the one I expect to be a best seller.
Anyhow, I'm now a community leader and, since it's a revolutionary community, a political/revolutionary/ultraradical leader as well. It's all enormous fun, & I wish you would come out here & join me. You'd have no trouble supporting wife & Kind here. In fact, within six weeks the company will probably be able to afford to hire you. We're beginning to make money.
Claude is advertising manager for the Sunday Ramparts—the newspaper published by Ramparts magazine. He & I have interested the magazine in the hip community (whose members, including us, are called hippies). So the magazine is using me, at $2.00 an hour, as a researcher, investigating the community & pulling stories out of it. What this means is that I'm being paid to do what I'd be doing anyhow, a very dolce arrangement.
Why have you not written? Did you get THE BUTTERFLY KID? Shortly I'll send you a copy of FOX & HARE similarly duplicated. But why have you not written?
The Communication Company (a member of the Underground Press Syndicate) is about to publish:
High Tea (with notes)
A Handbook for Unicorns
Poems Good & Bad (i.e., every poem of mine I can still stand)
The Changes, a magazine of basically literary pretensions
The Underhound, a satire mag I used to run in my North Beach days
all of which, along with everything else we put out that's appropriate, you'll get for enjoyment & archives.
I am exceedingly happy. Money is no longer a problem. I'm high most of the time & about to get high the rest of the time. I'm busy, creative, engaged, involved, having a ball. Why haven't you written?
I'm also writing a regular column on Total Art for the San Francisco ORACLE, a subscription to which I have entered in your name.
All the stuff in this mailing I wrote.
Love & joy,
As Anderson noted in his letter, he and Hayward shared an apartment at 406 Duboce Avenune. With royalty checks from Anderson's novel and Hayward's Ramparts connections, they bought a Gestetner 366 silk-screen stencil duplicator (a mimeograph machine) and a Gestefax justified electronic stencil cutter. These machines facilitated the electronic production of stencils which could then be run through a mimeograph machine, producing any number of copies. Art, photographs, and other graphics could be easily and cheaply reproduced making it possible to produce stunning documents. With paper, colored ink, and an IBM typewriter borrowed from Ramparts, Anderson and Hayward were in business.
Anderson and Hayward introduced themselves as the Communication Company at The Human Be-In, held 14 January 1967, with a printed sheet outlining their policy ("Love is communication."), their plans and hopes ("to provide a quick & inexpensive printing service for the hip community" and "to print anything the Diggers want printed," among others). They also planned to print community news, "to function as a Haight-Ashbury propaganda ministry," and to publish literature originating in the community. They asked for reporters and advertising. Within three days the Communication Company was swamped with both (Keith Abbott 35; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Abbott and Charles Perry 129).
The Communication Company published everything they promised in their inaugural publication, as well as most of the Diggers' public communications about their philosophy and activities.
According to Abe Peck, "A Com/Co leaflet could be a poem by Richard Brautigan, a notice that four hundred pounds of fresh perch would be available at 4:00 P.M. on the corner of Oak and Ashbury, or a Jerimand [defending or attacking the vision of a new social order that was the center of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury hippie district.]" (Peck 47).
Peck describes the history of the Communication Company in his book Uncovering the Sixties: The Life & Times of the Underground Press. Peck says Anderson had written for the Oracle, an underground newspaper centered in Haight-Ashbury, but felt it too elitist. He founded the Communication Company to function as a daily Oracle and add "perspective to the [San Francisco] Chronicle's fantasies" (Peck 46-47).
Photojournalist Gene Anthony provides a slightly different story. He says, "The Communications [sic] Company was the work of several writers including Richard Brautigan, Michael McClure, Lenore Kandel, Emmett Grogan, Peter Berg, and others. Communications were mimeographed on 8" x 11" sheets alerting hippies to events and free services" (Anthony 29).
In either case, the Communication Company printed broadsides, flyers, and handbills for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, the Human Be-In, the The Invisible Circus, the Diggers, and other organizations, individuals, and events. Anderson often added his own perspective and comments to Communications Company publications, forming a running commentary on the evolving Haight-Ashbury scene.
Printed promotional poster for Digger poetry reading, featuring Brautigan, for the Spring Mobilization Against the War, April 1967. See Chronology 1960s.
For these reasons, the Communication Company was well-connected to the events and people of the Haight-Ashbury district, including Richard Brautigan. Hayward says,
"Comm/Co [helped] to create the sense of community. CommCo was the hottest medium on the street, in the McLuhanesque sense, in that the message of the medium was that it was handed to you by someone like you; it was immediate and personal and demanded that you act. People trusted it, because it looked like it came from the people. Richard was one of the heavy-weights of those who posted on that blog. The nice thing was that to post, you had to show up, so we got to visit with a lot of people all the time. My image of Richard [Brautigan] in that context has him in his pea coat and that broad-brimmed hat, bleached out in color with that straw-yellow hair and mustache, tall boots, hovering and watching the ebb and flow of the community through our pad. He and H'lane [Resnikoff; Hayward's partner] are out in the kitchen gabbing and I'm processing paper, he's drinking tea, I seem to remember he didn't do coffee, while H['lane] did." (Claude Hayward. Email to John F. Barber, 17 Dec. 2003.)
By June 1967 the Communications Company offices were moved to 742 Arguello Street in the Richmond District without any public announcement, business dropped by half, and the company was effectively taken over by the Diggers who changed their name to Free City Collective and used the original Gestetner machines to publish Free City News.
In addition to broadsides, newsletters, manifestos, and comic books alerting people to free events and services, the Communication Company also published literary works which were distributed freely on the streets of San Francisco. Five of Brautigan's poems were first published by the Communication Company. They included: "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," "The Beautiful Poem," "Flowers for Those You Love," "Love Poem," and "Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4," all collected first in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace and later in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.
A notable project printed by the Communications Company, not related to Brautigan, was The Life and Loves of Cleopatra, a 24-page comic book featuring explicit sex scenes believed to be written by Maurice Lacy and illustrated by Harry Driggs, but their names and credits have been confused and conflated since first publication in 1967. In an interview with Kristine McKenna, Claude Hayward said
"There were some [printing projects] that really turned me on to do, and one of them was The Life and Loves of Cleopatra, which we did for an artist named Maurice Lacey who was a blind, albino, negro hipster. We were scared to death doing it because it included what was considered hard-core porn at the time. (Notes From A Revolution: Com/co, the Diggers & the Haight. Foggy Notion Books, 2012, p. 45.)
Vaughn Marlow, a bookstore owner in Venice, California, during the mid-1960s, remembers Lacey as both artist and writer. Marlow introduced Lacy to Hayward. According to Marlowe,
"I was introduced to Maurice by James Ryan Morris in the summer of 1960. They were running buddies and denizens of Venice Beach, often seen together on the promenade with the likes of fellow poets and painters Tony Scibella, Frankie Rios, and Stuart Perkoff. Maurice commonly wore a derby and sunglasses because he was an albino, albeit an African American, Maurice was extremely sensitive to the sun, and was in fact classified as legally blind. He was a jovial sort despite this difficulty, and although he could get peevish when he felt he was being slighted by friends, I found him amiable and of an optimistic nature.
"For a few years during the early 60s he was a frequent visitor and customer of my bookstore, [next to the Venice West Café often accompanied by one or both of his two small daughters, towards whom he was always kindly and doting. I don't remember their names, or his wife's, but they were one of Venice's interracial families, common enough in Venice but unusual in most of the rest of America, I suppose. Books were an important part of Maurice's life and he was the first person I knew who was enrolled in the Talking Books program for the blind. Further, in every apartment or house where Maurice lived there was a hook-up for high-intensity lights, especially over and around his large professional drawing table. In obvious defiance of the gods of darkness Maurice was determined to be a visual artist. When I asked him why he no longer wrote poetry, Maurice replied that he would do that "later." implying, I believe, that he was going to use his sight as long as it lasted.
"Maurice was a childhood friend of Janis Joplin and Chet Helms, all three from Port Arthur, Texas. They probably became acquainted through the Port Arthur bohemian scene, whatever that was like, and became friends later in San Francisco. Janis was especially fond of Maurice and often sought out his company. She owned a number of Maurice's drawings, and I know for certain that she had an autographed copy of "The Lives and Loves of Cleopatra," [TLALOC] because the day he took it to her he came back to his apartment, where I was temporarily "crashing" (I did a lot of that in the late 60s) with a buzz on; he and Janis shared a liking for Southern Comfort, an appallingly sweet liquor favored by alcoholic southern housewives.
"Before Maurice wrote and drew TLALOC he did a number of "comics." One I recall was a super hero called "Bluesman," a blues singer who doubled as a crusading ghetto hero. Another was a gay super hero called "The Silver Swish," although the latter probably never got off the drawing board because I can't recall actually seeing it. I prevailed upon Claude Hayward of the Communications Company, a Gestetner-powered publishing venture that became known, willy-nilly, as the Digger Press, to print Lacy's Cleopatra epic. They were then neighbors but it was my privilege to introduce them to each other, although I had known both of them separately in Venice West.
"Maurice later moved, I heard, to the Big Sur area of California, but I don't know what became of him; I lost track decades ago. But he was definitely the author of that small Cleopatra masterpiece.
"I wish I still had my copy." (Vaughn Marlow. Email to John F. Barber, 10 Nov. 2004.)
On the other hand, other sources attribute The Life and Loves of Cleopatra to Harry Driggs, who is credited as both artist and author. The following information comes from the Comic Art website.
"Originally drawn in 1967 during the Summer of Love in San Francisco by Diggs/Driggs [R. Diggs (Harry Driggs)] who was then an advertising agency employee. Driggs was inspired by the Elizabeth Taylor - Richard Burton Cleopatra movie. In his Cleopatra Driggs covered many aspects of Cleopatra which were left out of the 1962 movie epic. Some of these historical episodes are actually referred to in works by classical authors. Driggs has perhaps taken a bit more license in that respect then was taken in the Caligula movie which, surprisingly, pretty much used the classical authors works as storyboards. At any rate, The Life and Loves of Cleopatra is considered to be the first pornographic underground comic (comix) book. Driggs initially had not planned to publish the work but a photo copy of the pages somehow leaked out and was duplicated. The art of this first version is relatively sketchy and minimalistic, and was distributed at The Diggers Store, a counter culture "free store" located at the corners of Cole & Carl in San Francisco. In 1969 Driggs was urged to redraw the entire story and a second edition of Cleopatra with color covers was published by Don Donahue (Apex Novelties) who was also printing works by Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, and others in revolutionary titles such as Snatch and Jiz. There was a nearly identical limited third edition of Cleopatra published by Driggs himself which was followed by a 1991 fourth edition published by Rip Off Press in a standard comic book sized format. That edition also contained several back up stories featuring Easy Lickens a sort of hard core Little Annie Fannie type. Those stories were also by Diggs/Driggs. The work of R. Diggs (Harry Driggs) also appeared in Good Times (a San Francisco underground paper), the Berkeley Barb, National Guardian (1960's), Corporate Crime #1 (1977) and #2 (1979), Energy Comics #1 (1980), Food Comix #1 (1980), Great Diggs #1 (1977) and #2 (1979), Rip Off Comix #2-7 (1977-1980), and Cascade Comix #22. Many of his works are political in nature and he has certainly made a mark as a political cartoonist as well as an Underground Comix artist. In Cleopatra his clean professional artwork and attention to historical detail put his work a cut above that of his predecessors the Tijuna bible artists. Cleopatra is important because of the timing of it's origin and region of it's production. It was produced just a few blocks from Haight Ashbury during the Summer of Love, and by preceding Snatch represents the first underground smut comix." (Comic Art website, http://bit.ly/11lNud7)
The following information comes from the underground comixjoint website and concerns the second printing. Note that Harry Driggs is credited as both artist and writer.
"The Life and Loves of Cleopatra
2nd Printing / November, 1969 / 36 pages / Apex Novelties
First Printing 1967
"Before Zap Comix launched the underground revolution in February of 1968, there were many precursors that hinted of what was to come. A number of fanzines and college humor magazines paved the historical road, and underground newspapers like the East Village Other provided a birthplace for many underground artists. One of the precursors that showed up in San Francisco was The Life and Loves of Cleopatra, a scandalous comic book from Harry Driggs that parodied the life and times of Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt from 34 to 30 BC, mistress to Julius Caesar, and wife of Marc Antony.
"Originally an oversize (about 14 x 8.5 inches) 28-page book, The Life and Loves of Cleopatra depicts bawdy sex scenes from two millenia ago, including those involving children, which may have been relatively common during that long-ago era but certainly considered obscene by the 20th century. The book, published in the midst of the Summer of Love in 1967, was a free giveaway at Digger's Free Store in San Francisco. After Zap launched the underground comix era, Don Donahue printed a second, much smaller edition (about 6.5 x 4.75 inches) in November 1969. The second edition was reprinted in 1976 and Rip Off Press published a fourth printing in 1992, though much of the more risqué content was censored in that final edition.
"Driggs, who was well into his thirties when The Life and Loves of Cleopatra was published, went on to create much tamer underground comics through the 1970s, including the contemporary parody series Great Diggs. Driggs worked as a graphic designer and art director for several non-profit publications in San Francisco and fashioned a second career as a fine art painter and sculptor, specializing in portraits, nudes and figurative ceramics.
"The Life and Loves of Cleopatra was a significantly groundbreaking work, as nothing that came before it (outside of the Tijuana Bibles) depicted such explicit scenes of sex in comic book form. It is unlikely that Robert Crumb saw the book before setting out to draw Zap, given Cleopatra's limited distribution and the fact that he was already drawing Zap #0 and Zap #1 in the summer and autumn of 1967. Those two issues of Zap have nothing in them that is remotely as sexually charged as Cleopatra. In fact, if Cleopatra came out today, it would almost certainly be busted for obscenity and child porn.
There are four printings of this comic book. The 1st printing is 13.875 x 8.5 inches and 28 pages, self-published by Harry Driggs (as the "Communications Company") in 1967. It was a comic book given away for free at Digger's Free Store, one of a small chain of stores set up by the San Francisco Diggers, a non-profit group that provided free food, medical care, transportation and temporary housing to local San Franciscans. The Diggers, co-founded by actor Peter Coyote, also organized free music concerts and street theater events, such as the Death of Money Parade and the Invisible Circus. They once drove a truck of semi-naked belly dancers through the financial district in San Francisco, inviting brokers to climb on board and forget their work (several did).
"An image of the 1st printing of the comic book is provided below. I don't have a copy of the first printing myself, so there is no other link associated with that image.
"Three printings of The Life and Loves of Cleopatra followed the first. The 2nd printing was published by Apex Novelties and is 6.625 x 4.75 inches and 36 pages. The interior pages are all newsprint. The 3rd printing was published by Dave Gibson and Harry Driggs, who utilized left over newsprint pages from the 2nd printing and combined them with newly printed pages on off-white paper stock to produce a new edition. None of the first three printings included a cover price. I'm not sure what the typical retail price of the 2nd and 3rd printings were.
"The 4th printing was produced by Rip Off Press in 1992. Rip Off was the publisher who printed most of Harry Driggs underground comics in the '70s. The 4th printing censored much of the most scandalous aspects of the book. I don't have a copy, so I'm not sure exactly what they censored, or what is the size or the number of pages in the book, but the cover price was $2.50." (underground comixjoint website http://comixjoint.com/lifelovescleopatra-2nd.html)
Harland, Cisco. The Hippie Papers—A History of the Communication Company. Water Row Books, 1992.
Harland lived in Haight-Ashbury from "about March of 1966 to June of 1968" and delivered daily flyers and other publications printed by the Communication Company. He saved copies of the materials he delivered and presents them here as a wonderful bibliographic history of the Communication Company and Haight-Ashbury.
Free City News (Sets #1, #2) at The Digger Archives website.
Communication Company Bibliography at The Digger Archives website.
The Communication Company at The Digger Archives website.
Artist and filmmaker; friend of Brautigan. Conner ran for San Francisco City Supervisor in 1967. Brautigan arranged an event in support which involved printed material by The Communication Company (see above).
Conner's work included, along with Brautigan's Banners of My Own Choosing, in Now Now (no. 2, 1965).
Recorded a version of Brautigan's "Love Poem" for inclusion on his record album, Listening to Richard Brautigan.
His work included, along with three chapters of Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, in the first issue of City Lights Journal (1963).
Associated with the poem The Birth of Digger Batman.
Reportedly worked with Brautigan on a screenplay. The project was never completed.
See Non-Fiction > Letters > Conner.
(1926-2005). Writer, poet, and long-time friend of Brautigan. Creeley taught at the State University of New York, Buffalo, where he was associated with the Electronic Poetry Center.
Part of a rich mix of poets, artists, and writers flourishing in the San Francisco area when Brautigan first located there. See Chronology 1950s.
Contacted by Barry Miles regarding a planned Apple Records spoken word recording project that eventually became Listening to Richard Brautigan, Brautigan's one record album. See tRecordings > Listening to and Non-Fiction > Papers > Miles.
Edited, with Donald Merriam Allen (1912-2004), The New Writing in the USA, which included first publication of the chapter "The Cleveland Wrecking Yard" from Brautigan's novel Trout Fishing in America. See the "Publication" menu tab of the Trout Fishing in America node.
Wrote an obituary for Donald Allen following his death in 2004.
Introduced Brautigan and read his own work at a poetry reading in New York, New York. See Chronology 1980s.
Described some details of Brautigan's childhood in "The Gentle on the Mind Number", a tribute written for Brautigan. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes Tributes > Creeley.
Wrote a promotional blurb for the Touchstone edition of Brautigan's Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.
His work included, with six poems by Brautigan, We Are In A Kitchen, January
4 3, A Penny Smooth As A Star, Fuck Me Like Fried Potatoes, Seconds, and Autobiography (When the Moon Shines Like a Dead Garage), in CoEvolution Quarterly (Winter 1975).
Brautigan refers to Creeley in his poem Sit Comma and Creeley Comma, first published in The Octopus Frontier and then collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.
Correspondence included in the James Koller Papers. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Koller.
Associated with poet David Bromige. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Bromige.
Robert Creeley at the Electronic Poetry Center website.
(1943 - ). Illustrator of Zap Comix; creator of the characters Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, and The Keep on Truckin' Guy, now all recognized as cultural icons. Crumb moved to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district in 1966. "His apartment was furnished from the street and contained some nice vintage radios" (Charles Plymell 293; See References Literary > Plymell).
Crumb quickly established himself as a cartoonist. Claude Haywood, co-founder of the Communication Company, says, "Crumb came to me at the Communication Company pad on DuBoce. He had some rather strange comics he wanted published, or printed so he could try to sell them. I dearly wanted to help him, but, in all honesty I had to tell him that I just couldn't produce the correct format for a comic with our equipment. Of course I would have died to be able to put his stuff out, but the Digger mentality was pretty strong upon me at the time and I would have had to give the stuff away. Crumb was destined for greater things. He did do some things with us, including the poster for our benefit concert [Bedrock One] on March 5th, 1967. (Claude Hayward. Email to John F. Barber, 16 Dec. 2003.)
Charles Plymell said Crumb and Don Donahue, an underground comic entrepreneur, came to his apartment for help printing Crumb's sketches. Plymell printed the first issues of Zap using an old Multilith press in his bedroom. The method he devised for printing multiple colors became "the standard for many comics to follow" (Plymell 293; See References Literary > Plymell). The first issues sold for twenty-five cents. Plymell's name was listed on the back cover as the printer.
Crumb's graphic sexual and violent depictions of uptight, middle class America were popular among the hippies gathering in the Haight, and his Zap Comix series was both financially successful and highly influential.
Crumb illustrated the front cover of Cheap Thrills, a record released in 1968 by Big Brother and the Holding Company, a San Francisco band featuring female vocalist Janis Joplin. This was his first exposure to a national audience.
Zap #1 was published in early 1968. Printed by Plymell (print run of 5,000 copies stated but probably, more realistically, only 1,500 were printed), the issue quickly sold out. A second edition followed within weeks. Within months, Crumb released Zap #2, which included his own work as well as work by S. Clay Wilson, and poster artists Rick Griffin and Victor Moscosco, each working in their own style.
In Zap #1, Crumb introduced a big-footed character with his foot out saying "Keep On Truckin.'" The "Keep on Truckin' Guy" became a popular image of the hippie counter-culture. Crumb never registered a copyright for this character and in 1977 a federal judge ruled that Crumb had let the image fall into the public domain, making it impossible for Crumb to collect any further royalty payments. This setback, and a large back taxes bill from the Internal Revenue Service prompted Crumb to leave the United States. He lived in Paris until he paid his tax bill. In the mid-1980s he was recognized as a cult hero. His work was shown in New York galleries and museums and Crumb was featured in magazine articles. In the late-1980s he moved permanently to France.
Included, along with Brautigan, in a group of "63 strange people" who tell what they read in CoEvolution Quarterly (21 Mar. 1979). Brautigan's poem as Farewell to the First Grade and Hello to the National Enquirer.
Illustrated the front cover of Earth (Jan. 1971) which featured the first publication of Brautigan's Homage to Rudi Gernreich/1965.
A 1995 documentary film created by Terry Zwigoff.
Crumb Biography at the Comic Art and Graffix Gallery website.
Examples of Robert Crumb's artwork at the The Crumb Museum website.
Crumb's legacy also endures through his string band music group, R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders.
(Born: 1932, Salinas, California; Died: 10 January 2010, Roseville, California). A San Francisco painter working in the surrealistic mode, often with overtones of satire, Davis has devoted his career to painting his interpretations of the American obsessions, passions and foibles peculiar to his own time and place. Davis met Brautigan,
"in late 1956 or March, April, or May of 1957. I had transferred to the San Francisco Art Institute from San Francisco City College. I had had possibly two one-man shows by that time. I was living in North Beach. One day an artist friend by the name of Mike Nathan called and said, 'Hey, I have a new studio.' It was a storefront of Green Street, in North Beach. I got there about ten in the morning. Mike was there talking to a man and a woman. The man was tall, lanky, blond, and acted very aloof. The woman was his girlfriend. Mike introduced us. The man was Richard Brautigan. He recognized my name from a painting of mine he had seen somewhere. We started talking about painters and writers and realized we had a lot in common. We spent the rest of the day together, drinking wine and talking, and agreed to meet again the next." (Davis, Kenn. Telephone interview. 16 and 17 Apr. 2002.)
Davis introduced Brautigan to The Cleveland Wrecking Yard in San Francisco and that experience became a chapter in Trout Fishing in America.
"As for fishing stories, the first time Dick and I went trout fishing, in the Sierras, we caught our limit early in the morning, ate the fish, buried the bones deep, then caught our limit again, which we ate for dinner. We did this for several days, often having to eat trout when we didn't particularly feel hungry. I was never the fisherman that Dick was; he was one of the best I ever saw or met."
Davis created, at Brautigan's invitation, the cover art for The Galilee Hitch-Hiker and Lay the Marble Tea. Davis also helped Brautigan design the interior of Lay the Marble Tea. (Davis, Kenn. Letter to John F. Barber. 9 June 2004.)
Of his work on the front cover of The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Davis said,
"Dick called and said 'Ron Loewinsohn wants to put out a chapbook of my poetry' and asked me to work on the cover. Dick wanted something funky. I suggested a photograph but he said no. So I read the contents and some of the poems sparked an interest with their mention of a ferris wheel and a carnival. I drew a quick sketch of a carnival and ferris wheel. Dick liked it. So did Ron. I wanted to clean it up, make it better but they both said no, they liked the rough look." (Davis, Kenn. Telephone interview. 16 and 17 April 2002.)
"After that Dick preferred to use photography for his covers, starting with The Octopus Frontier. At that time I admit I was a bit disappointed, not [to] say hurt, but it was his choice. We often discussed the cost of doing covers in color, with me painting an original, but the expense in those days always stopped us." (Davis, Kenn. Letter to John F. Barber. 9 June 2004.)
Davis painted an original portrait of Brautigan (32" X 20", oil on linen) in the fall of 1958. The portrait, typical of Davis' surreal style, exhibited in several San Francisco Art Galleries during the 1960s, shows a young, clean-shaven Brautigan.
Additionally, Davis created a number of pen and ink sketches of Brautigan. Some of these sketches are included in the Kenn Davis Memorial Blog.
Outside his friendship with Brautigan, Davis was the Edgar Award winning author of the Carver Bascomb detective series published by Fawcett (Random House) from 1970 to 1990. His novels included
The Dark Side (Avon 1976, ISBN B000CDYBSC, with John Stanley)
The Forza Trap (Avon 1979, ISBN 0871255820)
Bogart '48 (Dell 1980, ISBN 0440108535, with John Stanley)
Dead to Rights (Avon 1981, ISBN 0380782952)
Words Can Kill (Gold Medal 1984, ISBN 0449126676)
Melting Point (Gold Medal 1986, ISBN 0449129012)
Njinsky Is Dead (Gold Medal 1987, ISBN 0449130967)
As October Dies (Fawcett/Gold Medal 1987, ISBN 0449130975)
Acts of Homicide (Fawcett/Gold Medal 1989, ISBN 0449133516)
The Blood of Poets (Fawcett/Goldl Medal 1990, ISBN 0449133524)
His novel, The Dark Side won the 1976 Edgar Award for Best Paperback. Davis won an Edgar Award again, in 1984, again for Best Paperback, with Words Can Kill. He created the cover art for Robert Bloch's book Lost in Time and Space with Lefty Feep (Robert Bloch, John Stanley, Kenn Davis, 1987, ISBN 0940064022) and three of John Stanley's Creature Feature books. For twenty years he worked as an artist for The San Francisco Chronicle.
Delattre, Pierre Henri
A nondenominational street priest who ran an experimental coffeehouse mission called on upper Grant Avenue, at the corner of Grant and Greenwich Street, in San Francisco's North Beach area, during the late 1950s and early 1960s. A graduate of the Chicago Divinity School, Delattre served coffee, spaghetti, bread, and wine nightly to around three hundred people who came to the mission to listen to music, participate in poetry readings, and talk. He said some of his beatnik friends "jokingly (and I think lovingly)" called his mission "The Bread and Wine Mission" and the name stuck. Delattre reveled in his mission among the beats. "My 'mission' at best meant encouraging the growth of a loving community through nightly drumming, chanting, dancing, feasting." (Delattre 36; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Delattre)
Delattre's mission was a center for discussion of and participation in the evolving literary scene during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Brautigan read his poetry at these meetings, along with Joanne Kyger, Gary Snyder, and Ebbe Borregaard ( Ellingham and Killian 144-145; See References > Ellingham).
Articles in Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times brought Delattre notoriety as "The Beatnik Priest" (Delattre 59; ; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Delattre).
Brautigan and the Dharma Committee, a group of writers and poets, met at Delattre's mission. See Chronology 1960s.
Described the inspiration for Trout Fishing in America, Brautigan's first successful novel.
Delattre included a vignettte of Brautigan, his fishing abilities, his thoughts about writing, and his inspiration to write Trout Fishing in America from immediate experience rather than memory of the past in his memoir, Episodes. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Delattre.
Delattre was also an editor of Beatitude, a San Francisco magazine (published 1959-1987 but suspended 1961-1969) which published many of the early Beat poems, as well as some by Brautigan. Because of his close connections with the North Beach Beat community, collecting poetry for the magazine was easy: "I had only to walk down the street and gather poems in my shirt" (Delattre 36; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Delattre).
A group of civic anarchists active in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district 1966-1968 who tried to achieve social change through street theater, leaderless events, and services to the needy (Keith Abbott 35; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Abbott). Named after a seventeenth-century English communist religous sect, the Diggers evolved from a desire to combine theater and politics.
Peter Cohon (Coyote), Peter Berg, Emmett Grogan, and other members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe formed the Diggers in 1966. In 1967, they started calling themselves the Free City Collective (Charles Perry 216). By late 1967-early 1968, both the Diggers and the Free City Collective disintegrated from internal political dissent and pressure from established political structures within San Francisco.
Charles Perry, Haight-Ashbury historian, says the Diggers formed when members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Emmett Grogan, Peter Berg, Peter Cohon (Coyote), Lenore Kandel, William (Bill) Fritsch (aka Sweet Willie Tumbleweed), Judy Goldhaft, and others, argued for throwing all the Troupes' energies into the Haight-Ashbury District. It was there, they felt, where they would find the best revolutionary potential (Perry 82).
Photographer Lisa Law said the Diggers formed from people within the Anonymous Artists of America, a group of "disparate people" who discussed and organized resources and events for the artist community (Law 51).
The Diggers' idealogy was bohemian consensus united with new left politics seen through pyschedelic eyes and put into action with an aggressive manner inherited from their Mime Troupe roots. For the Diggers, theater was revolution (Perry 259) and they became famous for such theatrical events as giving away food and providing lodging to people in the Haight-Ashbury district.
The Communication Company printed many items for the Diggers and the Free City Collective. Chester Anderson, co-founder, along with Claude Hayward, of the Communication Company grew less enchanted with the Diggers and was eventually forced to step down. Eventually, the Diggers took over control of the Communication Company.
Brautigan first got involved with the Diggers in October 1966. He admired the services they provided to the needy, like free housing and food. See Chronology 1960s.
Website maintained by Reg E. (Reggae) Williams features photographs of a "Digger Feed" free food event.
Brautigan participated in "The 1st San Francisco Poet's Benefit for the Diggers," January 1967. See Chronology 1960s.
Jennifer Egan provides a fictional account in her novel The Invisible Circus (Nan Talese (Doubleday), 1995, pp. 182-183) in which she includes a brief mention of Brautigan and his efforts to immediately publish accounts of the events.
Brautigan, with other poets, participated in the Digger poetry reading for Spring Mobilization Against the War, April 1967. See Chronology 1960s.
Brautigan's poem, Boo, Forever, was first published by the Diggers in the October 1967 issue of their Free City News.
Charles Perry writes about the Diggers in his book, The Haight-Ashbury: A History.
Perry includes photographs of Diggers in his book, San Franciscio in the Sixties.
Both the Diggers and Free City/Family disintegrated in late 1967-early 1968 from internal political dissent and pressure from established political structures within San Francisco.
Several of the Diggers' publications were collected and published in August 1968 as a 24-page pamphlet called The Digger Papers by Paul Krassner, the editor of The Realist.
The Digger Papers included work by Antonin Artaud, Richard, Avedon, Billy Batman [Billy Jahrmarkt], Peter Berg, Wallace Berman, Richard Brautigan, Bryden, William Burroughs, Martin Carey, Neil Cassady, Fidel Castro, Don Cochran, Peter Cohon (Coyote), Gregory Corso, Dangerfield, Kirby Doyle, William (Bill) Fritsch (aka Sweet Willie Tumbleweed), Allen Ginsberg, Emmett Grogan, Dave Hazelwood, George Hermes, Linn House, Lenore Kandel, Billy Landout, Norman Mailer, Don Martin, Michael McClure, George Metesky, George Montana, Malcolm X, Natural Suzanne, Huey Newton, Pam Parker, Rose-a-Lee, David Simpson, Gary Snyder, Ron Thelin, Rip Torn, Time Inc., Lew Welch, Thomas Weir, Gerard Winstanley, and Anonymous. All contributions were printed anonymously.
The Digger Papers were issued in two versions, each with a different cover. Other than the front cover, all content in the two versions was identical.
The Free version distributed by the Diggers. 40,000 copies printed were in 1967.
The Realist version (issue #81, published Aug. 1968). A 24-page pamphlet published in 1967 by Paul Krassner, the editor of The Realist. This version was sold.
The Digger Papers at The Diggers Archive website.
The Digger Papers [Free and Realist editions] at The Diggers Archive website.
Dixon, Elizabeth (Bessie) Cordelia Ashlock Keho(e)
(Born: 30 September 1881, St. Louis (Woodville?), Illinois; Died 19 April 1950, Portland, Oregon). Brautigan's maternal grandmother. Known as Bessie, Bess, and Moonshine Bess. Married Michael Joseph Kehoe and had two children: Eveline Elaine Kehoe Fjetland and Lulu Mary Kehoe, known as Mary Lou, Brautigan's mother.
Bessie remarried, to Jesse George Dixon (born in Kentucky), a photographer, with whom she had two sons: Jesse Woodrow Dixon and Edward Martin Dixon. Jesse was a photographer; Edward a civilian engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Following birth of son, Edward, in 1916, she moved to Tacoma, Washington, with her family and her mother, Madora Lenora Ashlock (see the "Family" menu tab of the "Biography" node), where they lived at 813 East 65th Street. Allegedly, she made and sold whiskey during Prohibition, the period from 1920-1933 when laws forbidding the manufacture, transportation, sale, and possession of alcholic beverages were in effect in the United States. A nice connection to her activities is found in the Brautigan story Revenge of the Lawn.
After Prohibition ended, she worked as a cook in Tacoma, before moving to St. Helens, Oregon, where she worked at a restaurant on Strand Street along the Columbia River until 1949, the year before she died. She sent money home to the children each month. (Ianthe Brautigan 160, 192; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes Memoirs > Ianthe. See also Biography > Family.
Dixon, Edward Martin
(Born: 29 September 1916, St. Louis, Missouri; Died: 11 August 1942, Sitka, Alaska). Stepbrother of Lulu Mary Kehoe, known as Mary Lou, Brautigan's mother, and uncle to Brautigan. Alone and pregnant, Mary Lou went to Edward after leaving Bernard Brautigan, Richard's father (Ianthe Brautigan 195; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Ianthe). Edward served as a civilian with Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He suffered a shrapnel injury to his head during the Japanese attack on Midway Island, 7 December 1941.
The Midway Islands, an island group located in the North Pacific Ocean roughly midway between the Hawaiian Islands and Japan, comprised a land area of two square miles and had no indigenous population. They had been held by the United States since 1867. Construction of a military base was begun there in March 1940 and was completed on 1 August 1941. It included an airstrip and harbor facility. During their attack, the Japanese were unable to capture Midway Island. They lost a major sea battle near Midway in June 1942.
Edward recovered in Hawaii and then spent two weeks in San Francisco before joining the Army engineers working on an airbase in Sitka, Alaska. He died there, 11 August 1942, from a head injury suffered in a construction accident. He was twenty six. Brautigan wrote about attending his Uncle Edward's funeral in Tacoma, Washington in the poem "1942." He also wrote about his uncle in the introduction to the novel June 30th, June 30th, "Farewell, Uncle Edward, and All the Uncle Edwards." See Biography > Family.
(12 April 1929 - 10 December 1999). Poet, writer, editor, and friend of Brautigan. Often grouped with the Black Mountain poets, even though his poetry was rooted in working-class politics and wild west myth. Noteable works include Hands Up!, Idaho Out, High West Rendezvous, Abhorrences: A Chronicle of the Eighties, and his most well know, Gunslinger.
Taught creative writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder. About Brautigan, wrote "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan" (See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Dorn). With his wife, Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, edited Rolling Stock in which, after Brautigan's death, was published a tribute titled "Richard Brautigan Remembered" (pages 4-6) featuring writing by Robert Creeley, Brad Donovan, Greg Keeler, and Anne Waldman. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Dorn.
Lived near Brautigan's Geary Street apartment in San Francisco (Alastair Johnston). See References > Literary > Johnston.
Hosted Brautigan at his home in Boulder, Colorado, during Summer 1980. See Chronology 1960s.
Started Wild Dog literary magazine in April 1963. Contributing Editor of July 1965 issue, in which Brautigan's review, "At Sea," of Michael McClure's Ghost Tantras, as well as Brautigan's poems "The Buses" and "Period Piece" appeared. See Non-Fiction > Essays > Wild Dog.
Brautigan wrote a promotional blurb for Dorn's Gunslinger. See Non-Fiction > Blurbs > Dorn.
Wrote "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan," a eulogy for Brautigan. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Dorn.
Wrote, "There's only one natural death, and even that's Bedcide: For the post-mortem amusement of Richard Brautigan," a poem written for Brautigan and collected in Abhorrences: A Chronicle of the Eighties. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Tributes > Dorn.
Letters from Dorn included in the James Koller Papers. See Non-Fiction > Papers > James Koller.
Contacted by Barry Miles regarding a planned Apple Records spoken word recording project that eventually became Listening to Richard Brautigan, Brautigan's one record album. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Barry Miles.
Edward Dorn obituary at The Guardian website.
Moved to North Beach 1 September 1967, following separation from husband, Robert Morill. Estes and Morill had lived on Russian Hill after returning to San Francisco following three years traveling in Eastern and Western Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. They divorced later, in the spring of 1969.
Estes lived at 1427 (now 1429) Kearny Street (apartment #1). Philip Lamantia, Nancy Peters (of City Lights Books), and several other North Beach notables also lived there. The building is included in The Beat Generation in San Francisco: A Literary Tour by Bill Morgan (City Lights Books, 2003, page 16). According to Estes, Morgan's statement that Brautigan painted trout on the toilet seat in her apartment is not accurate.
"Richard never painted on the seat there. That was at [his apartment on] Geary Street. However, he did repair everything with green plastic tape. Handyman skills were not his strength." (Valerie Estes. Email to John Barber, 23 April 2006.)
The Kearny Street apartment building was managed by V. Vale (originally Vale Hamanaka) the former organ player for the first iteration of Blue Cheer, a San Francisco rock band of the era. Rock music legend notes that Hamanaka and Blue Cheer parted company when, after seeing Jimi Hendrix perform at the Monterey Pop Festival, band members Leigh Stephens, Dickie Peterson, and his brother, Jerry, decided to move the band toward a heavy power blues sound. Vale founded the magazine Search & Destroy in 1977 with a $200.00 donation from Allen Ginsburg to document the then current punk music subculture. In 1980 he founded RE/Search Publications which has published a variety of magazines and books focusing on modern primatives and other underground topics. Vale currently works as editor and publisher for his RE/Search imprint and frequently contributes to other publications.
V. Vale recounted Estes as his neighbor, and her meeting Brautigan. See Chronology 1960s > Vale.
After settling in North Beach, Estes worked with the Peace and Freedom Party, of which Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a founding member.
Estes met Brautigan in the summer of 1968 when she called him, on the suggestion of poet Bob Dawson, about reading for a North Beach Neighborhood Arts Fair. They became involved and occasionally lived together at the Kearny Street apartment until 1970. Estes and Brautigan remained friends, often meeting for dinner at Enrico's Cafe, 504 Broadway. Enrico's was created by Enrico Banducci, owner of the nearby hungry i club. The cafe was a longtime favorite of Brautigan, who used to sit at a table on the patio all day. Allegedly, Brautigan said Enrico's and the Geary Street bus were his two favority places to think (Morgan, Bill. The Beat Generation in San Francisco: A Literary Tour. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2003. 82.)
Estes recounts a story involving Brautigan and cats during the Fall of 1968. See Chronology 1960s > Estes.
Estes met Donald Allen in the fall of 1969 at a party at his Russian Hill flat on Jones Street. The party was in honor of poet Kay Boyle. Soon after she began working for Allen as a part-time assistant while pursuing graduate studies at University California-Berkeley. Estes worked for Allen on a part-time basis until 1984 when she finished her Ph. D. in Anthropology at University of California Berkeley and began full time academic work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her degree was based on three years of fieldwork in La Paz. Bolivia, on women and work.
Brautigan wrote and dedicated the poem All Girls Should Have a Poem for Estes.
Barry Miles hired Valerie Estes as his assistant during the recording of Brautigan's record album, Listening to Richard Brautigan. Miles and Estes soon started an affair which they tried to keep secret from Brautigan. Miles provides an account in his memoir, In the Sixties (Jonathon Cape, 2002, p. 263). See Recordings > Listening to > "Production Work."
Estes read Brautigan's poem "Love Poem" for Brautigan's record album, Listening to Richard Brautigan.
Listed as "Valerie Morill" and credited as reading Love Poem on a slightly different version of Brautigan's record album released by Apple Records.
Estes delivered the official papers when Brautigan sought divorce from his first wife, Virginia Alder.
From 1984-1990, Estes worked at several academic jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area, including California State Hayward, two "semester abroad" programs she invented and directed for a consortium of schools in the Upper Midwest (primarily Minnesota), "Women and Work" and "Third-World America" (first of their kind in the US); and last as Research Faculty at University of California Berkeley focusing on minorities and education in the Bay Area.
In 1991, Estes returned to Bolivia to collect data for the book that was never written. She also had short-term contract on gender and development with USAID (Agency for International Development, the part of the State Department that works with poor countries). Her "team leader" was a retired diplomat named David Lazar, who helped negotiate the 1977 Panama Canal Treaty. Lazar was among a small group, including Paul Clayton, that helped folksinger Pete Seeger write new lyrics to the tune later recorded as "Gotta Travel On." The song begins
"I've laid around and played around this old town too long
Summers almost gone, yes, winter's coming on
I've laid around and played around this old town too long
And I feel like I've gotta travel on."
Estes returned to Washington with Lazar and continued working with USAID-related companies. By 1996, she was in charge of Gender Issues and Anti-Trafficking for USAID in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Her job was cancelled in 2002 by the Bush Administration, for whom gender issues were not a high priority.
Lazar died in 2002. Estes moved to San Francisco and contemplates writing memoirs.
See Brother Antoninus.
(24 March 1919 - ). Poet, novelist, painter, publisher, owner of City Lights Books. Ferlinghetti was associated with the leading post World War II writers and became a spokesman for a new literary sensibility, as well as a touchstone for literary and political movements in San Francisco.
Met and befriended Brautigan, late 1950s. See Chronology 1950s.
Part of a rich mix of poets, artists, and writers flourishing in the San Francisco area when Brautigan first located there. See Chronology 1950s.
Considered Brautigan a naif, an immature writer. See Chronology 1950s.
Work included, with Brautigan's poem, "Psalm," in San Francisco Review, Spring 1959. See Poetry > Uncollected > Psalm.
Work included, with four Brautigan poems: "The American Submarine," "A Postcard from the Bridge," "That Girl," and "The Sink" in Beatitude, May 1959. See Poetry > Uncollected > The American Submarine and other titles.
Edited issue number 17 of Beatitude.
Edited first issue of City Lights Journal, 1963, in which the first three chapters of Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America were first published.
Arranged photograph titled "The Last Gathering of Beat Poets & Artists, City Lights Books," by Larry Keenan, March 1965. See Chronology 1960s.
Contacted by Barry Miles regarding a planned Apple Records spoken word recording project that eventually became Listening to Richard Brautigan, Brautigan's one record album. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Barry Miles.
Barry Miles recounted traveling to San Francisco to record Ferlinghetti for Zapple Records in 1969. See Recordings > Listening to > "Production Work."
Included, with Brautigan and others, in The San Francisco Poets, edited by David Meltzer, 1971. Reprinted 1976 in Golden Gate: Interviews with 5 San Francisco Poets. Reprinted 2001 in San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. See References > Studies > Meltzer
Proposed renaming San Francisco streets for well-known authors, including Brautigan.
Edited City Lights Anthology, issue # 17, in which Brautigan's "Night," "Dive Bombing the Lower Emotions," and "Nine Crows: Two Out of Sequence" were first published under the heading Some Montana Poems/1973.
Quoted extensively in an obituary titled "Ferlinghetti," a UPI news feed in November 1984, one month after Brautigan's death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Obituaries > Ferlinghetti.
Ferlinghetti's comments were included in the essay "Brautigan's Wake," by Peter Manso and Michael McClure, published in Vanity Fair in May 1985, the year after Brautigan's death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Manso.
Wrote the introduction for Poor Richard: A Poem about the Life and Death of Richard Brautigan, 1935-1984, a letter/poem from Brautigan fan Craig Standish. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Tributes > Standish.
Papers collected at The Bancroft Library. See Nonfiction > Papers > City Lights.
Book, with Nancy Peters, Literary San Francisco: A Pictorial History from its Beginnings to the Present Day, includes Brautigan photographs and information. See References > Literary > Ferlinghetti.
Mentioned in biography of American poet Elizabeth Bishop, Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It. See Chronology 1960s.
Ferlinghetti—The Artist In His Time, published 1990. A biography.
The Poet's Eye: A Tribute to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Books published 1997 as part of a meeting at The Bancroft Library titled "Ferlinghetti, City Lights Books, and the Beats in San Francisco: From the Margins to the Mainstream." Included two Brautigan poems: "Poem for Michael McClure" (See Poetry > Uncollected > McClure) and "Rainy Gary Snyder Poetry Reading Night" (See Poetry > Uncollected > Snyder).
(16 February 1935- ). A creative writing instructor at San Francisco State College (1964-1966), Gaskin founded the Monday Night Classes, large group discussions of politics, religion, sex, and psychedelic experiences (1967-1970). These "tripping classes" attracted up to 1,000 people per week and were held in a ballroom in Haight-Ashbury.
Gaskin's book, Haight Ashbury Flashbacks, detailed his personal experiences with drugs during his time in Haight-Ashbury.
Speaks of a "strange mythology" in Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar. See Watermelon Sugar > Background > Gaskin.
In 1971 Gaskin and 320 other hippies left San Francisco and founded "The Farm" in Summertown, Tennessee as an experiment in sustainable, developmentally progressive human habitat. This communal and spritual community became famous and grew to over 1,000 members.
Glide Memorial United Methodist Church
330 Ellis Street at Taylor, San Francisco, California. Begun by Methodist philanthropist Lizzie Glide who purchased the parcel of land at the corner of Ellis and Taylor Streets. Construction was completed two years later and the church opened its doors to the community. During the 1960s, under the leadership of Reverend Cecil Williams, the Glide Church offered a safe haven for diverse ethnic, political, and cultural groups, was active in demonstrations for ethnic studies and affirmative action, and sought to promote social and spiritual change. A meals program was launched and served one free dinner a week to all comers. In the 1970s, the Glide Church became the counterculture rallying point for San Francisco. This focus on social and political activism continues today with a focus on socially progressive issues and providing comfort for the disenfranchised.
"Sometime in the late 60's, using an endowment from a wealthy woman whose only request was to use it in a way to best serve society, the Glide Church, under the leadership of the Reverend Laird Sutton and Reverend Ted McIlvenna formed the National Drug and Sex Forum. They had looked around San Francisco and determined these to be the biggest social issues being ignored by the government. When the national government did finally wise up and begin addressing the drum issue, the organization became the National Sex Forum.
"This was a time when pornography and explicit material was not available and the National Sex Forum took on the task of filming all sorts of sexual activities. "A Ripple in Time" features an aging couple, "Free" featured a black couple making love in the woods. "Going Down to Bambini" showed an attractive young couple getting it on onboard a yacht, "Together" featured a lesbian couple . . . and there was more . . . a gay couple, a couple in which the man was wheelchair bound . . . and more.
"Those of us who became certified sex therapists were required to spend two days watching such films in a program the Forum developed call the SAR or Sexual Attitude Reassessment workshop.
"Long story short . . . the Glide Church (affiliated with the Methodist Church) disapproved and Laird and Ted were defrocked. Ted (born in 1932) is still living and still associated with the San Francisco based Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.
"The Glide Church, under the loving guidance of Laid and Ted had ministered to SF's prostitutes and the large gay and lesbian community and accepted everyone, regardless of color, orientation, station in life, or political or artistic persuasions, and I can understand why the Artists Liberation Front found open arms at the church doors. (Bob Birch, retired psychologist/Certified Sex Therapist. Email to John F. Barber, 1 September 2006.)
(1924-11 June 1996). Founder, arranger, composer, and bass player of The Limelighters folk group and owner/manager of Morning Star Ranch, the thirty one-acre farm and commune located near Point Reyes, California. Grew vegetables for the Diggers.
The impresario who brought the evolving music and art scene of San Francisco in the late 1960s to the attention of the world. Graham began his entertainment career as an aspiring actor with The San Francisco Mime Troupe. When it was suggested that he might be better at promotion than acting, Graham switched career paths with enthusiasm. His first productions were a series of "Appeals" to help members of The Mime Troupe arrested for performing in public parks without a permit. Each appeal featured music, entertainment, and refreshments.
Following The Trips Festival, held 21-23 January 1966, 8:00-12:00 PM, in the Longshoremen's Hall, 400 North Point, near Fisherman's Wharf, which he helped produce, Graham began offering nightly concerts featuring rock musicians and light shows in his dance hall, the Fillmore.
Beyond new music and light show artists, Graham also introduced a new art form, the psychedelic poster, to the world. These posters combined straight-forward communication with vivid design, lettering, and colors. They promoted a music scene and underground art movement, both far reaching in their influence.
Graham's Fillmore posters discussed in Gayle Lemke's The Art of the Fillmore: The Poster Series 1966-1971.
Grogan, Eugene Leo Michael Emmett
( -1 April 1978). Founding member (along with Peter Berg and Peter Cohon (Coyote)) of the Diggers, a group of civic anarchists active in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district 1966-1968 who tried to achieve social change through street theater, leaderless events, and services to the needy (Keith Abbott 35; See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Abbott). Organized in September 1966 from members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and named after a seventeenth-century English communist religous sect, the Diggers evolved from a desire to combine theater and politics.
In 1967, Grogan, Berg, Cohon and other core members of the Diggers started calling themselves the Free City Collective (Charles Perry 216). In his autobiography, Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps (Boston, Little, Brown, 1972; reprinted Rebel, 1999), Grogan notes the exact date, 5 July 1967, and says the change occurred when Billy "Batman" Jahrmarkt named his newborn son "Digger."
"The baby is born, in the kitchen, with a crowd standing around to watch and offer encouragement. 'Somebody . . . asks Billy the baby's name.'
"'Digger!' Billy answers back with a voice loud with a single word as its own rising song.
"At the instant Billy Batman called his child by their name, the Diggers knew it was given away and they never used it to refer to themselves again. Of course, it was a slow process to hip the San Francisco community to the fact that they were no longer to be known as the Diggers, but rather the Free City Collective or Commune or whatever. Within a few months, however, no one in the Haight-Ashbury, except the press, used the word that is now simply the name of a burly, blond-haired boy who's already demonstrated that he's got the strength and the vision to go with his birth tag" (416).
Digger's birth was celebrated in a poem titled "The Birth of Digger Batman" by poet and novelist Kirby Doyle.
"The Birth of Digger Batman" at The Digger Archives website.
Following Digger's birth the original Mime Troupe portion of the Diggers stopped using the name "Diggers." Instead, they called themselves the "Free City Collective" (Charles Perry 216), or "Free Family" (Peter Coyote 95). The group published the Free City Newsletter, the first issue of which, published 29 September 1967, included instructions on how to build a firebomb (Perry 242).
Late in 1967 and early in 1968 both the Diggers and the Free City Collective disintegrated from internal political dissent and pressure from established political structures within San Francisco. Grogan returned to New York where he published his autobiography Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps (Boston, Little, Brown, 1972; reprinted Rebel, 1999). Despite its novelistic and grandiose style, Grogan's autobiography is good for evoking the mood and thinking of the time, and for its anecdotal mentions of Brautigan.
Brautigan helped the Diggers feed hundreds of people a day. See Chronology 1960s.
Brautigan helped in the planning and then participated in the Diggers "Invisible Circus" event.
In 1976 Grogan published a thriller titled Final Score. He died 1 April 1978 in a New York subway of a heroin overdose (Perry 296).
Brautigan wrote the poem Death Is a Beautiful Car Parked Only for Grogan who included the poem in his autobiography. Grogan wrote, "Richard Brautigan didn't have to mention it in the poem he wrote about how Emmett Grogan left his habit there" (Grogan 468) meaning the ranch near Point Reyes, California, called "Olema," a commune dedicated to revitalizing and reinventing culture, economy, and family, and "led" from 1968-1970 by Peter Coyote. Olema was well-known to those looking for alternative life choices, including withdrawal from drug addictions. Grogan started using heroin in the summer of 1967. Once free of his addiction, Grogan decided to document the accomplishments of the Free City Collective he helped establish. The result was The Digger Papers, information and news mostly in the form of poetry (Brautigan's "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" was included). The central component was a prose piece written by Grogan providing instructions for those wishing to organize and maintain a Free City with services
"that provide a base of freedom for autonomous groups to carry out their programs without having to hassle for food, printing facilities, transportation, mechanics, money, housing, working space, clothes, machinery, trucks, etc." (Grogan 469-470)
A San Francisco neighborhood district that from 1965 until 1970 was a mecca for young people who openly declared ambitions counter to the prevailing middle-class American values and the then current Vietnam war. This counterculture evolved from the earlier Beat movement and was based on experimentation with psychedelic drugs, electrified music, and changing social values. The name of this district, the countercultural movement, and the people associated with it, hippies all became synonymous. It was also known as "The Hashbury" or simply, "The Haight." Charles Perry provides a comprehensive history.
The Haight-Ashbury district was the geographical center of San Francisco. Roughly sixteen square city blocks in size bounded on the north by Fulton Street; on the south by a neighborhood district variously named Buena Vista, Ashbury Heights, or Upper Terrace; on the east by Divisadero Street; and on the west by Golden Gate Park. About half the terrain was level, the other half hilly. Its name came from the intersection of the two most prominent streets: Haight and Ashbury. Haight Street begins at Market Street, just beyond the downtown section and ends at the pedestrian entrance to Golden Gate Park. The last five blocks were neighborhood shops and stores. In the mid-1960s, it was a quiet neighborhood, home to blue and white collar workers, blacks moving out of the Fillmore district just a few blocks to the south, beatniks seeking escape from the North Beach area, immigrants, and students from the nearby San Francisco State College, a hotbed of early 1960s counterculture. All favored the inexpensive housing available in turn-of-the-century Victorian houses of the neighborhood and its location near Golden Gate Park and its extension, The Panhandle, a one-block wide by eight-blocks long park.
Into this multicultural mix was stirred an evolving electronic rock music, coming from folk and mediated by newly invented light shows, Beat poetics, campus politics, street theater happenings, and the then legal pyschedelic drug LSD. Stephen Gaskin provides a personalized account of experiments with drugs in Haight-Ashbury. See also Hunter S. Thompson's account of Haight-Ashbury, a community built around drugs.
The result was a unique sense of community, centered around a new form of music (acid rock) and evolving cultural values counter to those promoted in the rest of the country. The countercultural movement begun here spread throughout the country and around the world. What happened here, according to Barney Hoskyns was "a grand experiment in quasi-communal living, an attempt to break away from mainstream America—from conformity to capitalist consumerism, from the rigidity of sexual roles, from the violence of the Vietnam War—and create a new tribe of "beautiful dropouts." Hallucinogenics simply served as the gateway to a new paradise in which the world could be apprehended mystically as a cosmic web rather than as an atomistic rat race" (Hoskyns 17-18).
Hoskyns' book, Beneath The Diamond Sky: Haight-Ashbury 1965-1970, focuses primarily on the bands, music, and musicians of the time, but provides an interesting account of the cultural context of Haight-Ashbury.
The height of Haight-Ashbury's notoriety ran from roughly November 1965 to mid-January 1967. During this time thousands of young people from around the world poured into the district seeking to be part of what was happening there, especially during the summer of 1967, the Summer of Love. An end date for the Haight-Ashbury phenomena is often cited as the 6 December 1969 stabbing death of Meredith Hunter, killed by members of the San Francisco and Oakland Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, hired to provide security for the rock group The Rolling Stones during a concert at the Altamont speedway stadium east of San Francisco.
Ralph "Sonny" Barger, founder of the Oakland chapter and long time leader of the Hell's Angels, provides an interesting first hand account of the Altamont incident and places it within an alternative context: "All that shit about Altamont being the end of an era was a bunch of intellectual crap. . . . Altamont might have been some big catastrophe to the hippies, but it was just another Hell's Angel event to me" (Barger 168-169).
Beggs, Larry. Huckleberry's for Runaways. Ballantine, 1969.
Memoir by an activist priest who sheltered runaways during the heyday of Haight-Ashbury.
Brilliant, Ashleigh. Haight-Ashbury Song Book. Songs of Love and Haight. Second edition. H-B Productions, 1967.
Parodies of popular songs, exalting and satirizing the hippie scene of Haight-Ashbury.
Concise Bibliography of Haight-Ashbury
Compiled by the staff of the Museum of the City of San Francisco, this bibliography provides references to a lot of obscure and escoteric information about this six-block area of San Francisco.
Gaskin, Stephen. Haight Ashbury Flashbacks. Second edition. Ronin Publishing, 1990.
First edition published as Amazing Dope Tales. The Book Publishing Company, 1980.
A personal, anecdotal account of Stephen Gaskin's experiments with drugs during San Francisco's Summer of Love.
Hoskyns, Barney. Beneath The Diamond Sky: Haight-Ashbury 1965-1970. Simon & Schuster, 1997.
224 pages; ISBN 0-684-84180-0; First printing Dec. 1997
Contends that the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was the center of a psychedelic countercultural era that evolved from the aesthetics provided by the earlier San Francisco Beat period. Traces the history, customs, and social life of this mecca for the countercultural scene from its beginning to the 6 December 1969 stabbing death of Meredith Hunter, killed by members of the San Francisco and Oakland Hells Angels Motorcycle Club hired to provide security for the rock group The Rolling Stones during a concert at the Altamont speedway stadium east of San Francisco. Primarily focused on the musicians, bands, and music of Haight-Ashbury and San Francisco.
Perry, Charles. The Haight-Ashbury: A History. Random House, 1984.
A comprehensive history of the 1965-1967 movement centered in a run-down Victorian neighborhood that culminated in San Francisco's Summer of Love. Provides fine coverage of the poets, writers, musicians, activists, and otherwise anonymous people who were involved in the intensity and euphoria of the times and the movement.
Simon, John. The Sign of the Fool. Memoirs from the Haight-Ashbury, 1965-68. Ace, 1971.
A memoir written by a member of a motorcycle gang.
Thompson, Hunter S. "The 'Hashbury' is the Capital of the Hippies." New York Times Magazine May 14, 1967, pp. 29, 120-124.
Dwells on the drugs used by people in Haight-Ashbury and the community built around them. Written prior to Thompson's first novel and his trademark "gonzo" style of journalism.
Founder, along with Chester Anderson, of the Communication Company, a member of the Undergroud Press Syndicate (UPS), in early January 1967 as a fluid newspaper for the people in the Haight-Ashbury District, the center for San Francisco's psychedelic culture.
The Communication Company printed broadsides, flyers, and handbills for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, the Human Be-In, the The Invisible Circus, the Diggers, and other organizations, individuals, and events.
Hayward was an advertising manager for the Sunday Rampart, a tabloid newspaper published by the San Francisco-based Ramparts magazine. Anderson, a novelist and poet, was attracted to San Francisco's Beat literary scene and then to its emerging psychedelic culture. Looking for a way to get involved, Anderson and Hayward decided to start a newspaper. A fan of Marshall McLuhan, they decided their newspaper should be instantaneous, current, and immediately disposable.
Anderson and Hayward shared an apartment at 406 Duboce. With royalty checks from Anderson's novel and Hayward's Ramparts connections, they bought mimeograph equipment and were in business as Communication Company.
The Communication Company, based on DuBoce Street, was well-connected to the events and people of the Haight-Ashbury district, including Richard Brautigan. Hayward says, "Comm/Co [helped] to create the sense of community. CommCo was the hottest medium on the street, in the McLuhanesque sense, in that the message of the medium was that it was handed to you by someone like you; it was immediate and personal and demanded that you act. People trusted it, because it looked like it came from the people. Richard was one of the heavy-weights of those who posted on that blog. The nice thing was that to post, you had to show up, so we got to visit with a lot of people all the time. My image of Richard [Brautigan] in that context has him in his pea coat and that broad-brimmed hat, bleached out in color with that straw-yellow hair and mustache, tall boots, hovering and watching the ebb and flow of the community through our pad. He and H'lane [Resnikoff; Hayward's partner] are out in the kitchen gabbing and I'm processing paper, he's drinking tea, I seem to remember he didn't do coffee, while H['lane] did" (Claude Hayward. Email to John F. Barber, 17 December 2003).
Hayward recounts the formation of The Communicaton Company with Chester Anderson, printing early broadside poems for Brautigan, as well as All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, and Brautigan's role in the Invisible Circus. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Hayward.
States Brautigan's fifth book of poetry, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace was printed by the Communication Company, and not equipment at the San Francisco Chronicle as is often believed. See All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace > Background > Hayward.
Provides an explanation for the two variant printings of Brautigan's broadside poem, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.
Provides a first-hand account of role he played, along with Brautigan, at The Invisible Circus.
Discusses background details associated with the printing by the Communication Company in 1968 of 666—The Hymn to Lucifer by Hell's Angel Frank Reynolds.
Instrumental in the publication of The Life and Loves of Cleopatra by artist and author Maurice Lacy. LEARN more.
A motorcycle club with chapters in Oakland and San Francisco, California, during Brautigan's time there.
Auger, Michael. The Biker Who Shot Me: Recollections of a Crime Reporter. McClelland and Stewart, 2002.
A story by a Montreal newspaperman who was contracted to be killed by the bikers in Montreal after his expose on their activities in the city. He survived after being shot six times. Subsequent police actions against biker groups in Montreal, including hells angels, ended an ongoing bloody biker feud.
Barger, Ralph "Sonny." Ridin' High, Livin' Free. William Morrow and Company, 2002.
Follow up to Hell's Angel (see below). Features true-life stories about Barger's experiences with the hells angels Motorcycle Club and the men and women he met along the way.
Barger, Sonny. Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. HarperCollins, 2001.
Ralph "Sonny" Barger, founder of the Oakland chapter and long time leader of the Hells Angels, recounts his life and his role in founding and leading the Oakland chapter of the hells angels Motorcycle Club. Of note are his accounts of the roles of Hells Angels during the 1960s in San Francisco and the December 6, 1969 stabbing death of Meredith Hunter at the Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont speedway stadium, an event often cited as the end of the Summer of Love. Said Barger: "All that shit about Altamont being the end of an era was a bunch of intellectual crap. . . . Altamont might have been some big catastrophe to the hippies, but it was just another Hell's Angel event to me" (Barger 168-169).
Murray, William. "Hells Angels." Saturday Evening Post 20 Nov. 1965, pp. 32-39.
Hardly the "Searching Report on What's Behind The Strange Cult of Motorcycle Clubs" the cover promises, but still an interesting overview of some of the more visible aspects of the motorcycle club in general. Of note is the glance backward at early reports, later proved inaccurate, that set the public image of Hells Angels as outaws.
Penn, Irving. "The Incredibles." LOOK 9 Jan. 1968. **?**
Noted photographer Irving Penn traveled to San Francisco to photograph "some of the people who both outrage and lure us by being what they are." The result was a five-page photographic essay featuring the rock music groups The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company and Hells Angels and their motorcycles.
Reynolds, Frank. Freewheelin Frank, Secretary of the Angels As Told to Michael McClure. Grove Press, 1967.
Frank Reynolds was Secretary for the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, where he was known as "Freewheelin' Frank." Poet Michael McClure typed Reynolds' dictated autobiography.
Thompson, Hunter S. Hells Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. Ballantine Books, 1967.
A combination of spirited ethnography, humorous fantasizing, and artsy reporting pioneered by Thompson, who spent more than a year closely associated with the Oakland and San Francisco Hells Angels Motorcycle Clubs. Provides interesting observations on three events closely associated with the Hells Angel's history: the Monterey rape, the Bass Lake Labor Day Weekend Run, and the first LSD parties with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters at Kesey's La Honda, California, home.
Sonny Barger—An American Legend website.
Invisible Circus, The
"A 72-hour environmental community happening" (a series of events) planned by the Diggers with the Artists' Liberation Front in reaction to the earlier 14 January Human Be-In. One thousand copies of this tri-colored poster were printed.
Grogan said "poets Richard Brautigan and Lenore Kandel" and others who could organize a meaningful event were invited. The planning session was held in the basement of the Glide Memorial Church (281-282).
"Several Diggers were still members of the S.F. Mime Troupe and they also belonged to the radical Artists Liberation Front [ALF], an organization comprised of Bay Area artist who sought to make viable the latent and often evil stupidity inherent in the American government's handling of our city, state and country's affairs. They would attempt to accomplish this through the sponsorship of art exhibitions, films, plays, concerts, or any event which had an educational theme geared toward heightening people's awareness of what was being done by politicians in their name.
"Emmett, [Peter] Coyote, and the Hun frequently talked about the wealth of talent represented in ALF and discussed various ideas for getting them all to work together as artists on one giant project, on one colossal 'liberating' event. The only real difficulty in organizing such a collaboration was finding a suitable location where the entire ALF membership could freely convene to perform en masse. They mentioned this one afternoon during a conference with two Methodist ministers who were also officers of the Glide Methodist Church. The parish of Glide Church is in the Tenderloin or the Times Square district of San Francisco, making it one of the few churches in the world with a congregation composed largely of prostitutes and homosexuals of either sex. Because of this, Glide Church naturally placed much importance and effort on working to relieve social problems and to insure the welfare of its parishioners, as well as on maintaining a foundation which studied their sexual habits and did statistical research in conjunction with the Kinsey Institute.
"When the two ministers pressed the topic further, they were told that the Artists Liberation Front simply needed a place to hold "a carnival of the performing arts" or a "happening." The ministers conferred for a moment, then gladly donated the use of any space or facility in their building, including the church itself with its cathedral-like interior. They did this without actually knowing what they were committing themselves and their church to, and Emmett and the others made a point of not telling them more of their plans than they thought was wise.
"Later in the day, they telephoned around and arranged for the people they felt could organize a meaningful ALF event, to meet that night in the basement of Glide Church. By 9 P.M. everyone who had been asked to come had arrived and the planning session got started. There were poets Richard Brautigan and Lenore Kandel . . .," Peter Coyote, Claude Hayward and Chester Anderson of the Communication Company, Emmet Grogan, and other Diggers and ALF members.
"The talk began with everyone asking each other what sort of improbabilities they would like to see happen in the different rooms, and it didn't take long for the suggestions to become bizarre. After a while, the separate offices and rooms of the Glide Church building, the interior of the house of worship itself, and the outside area and adjacent parking lot were marked off and designated to different groups of persons at the meeting. These individuals were to use the space or spaces they were assigned, and their various talents to design and create an assortment of permissive settings or scenes in which they themselves and others would be able to act out their own fantasies. They named the event "The Invisible Circus" and decided that in order for it to be effective it had to run for an entire weekend or a full three-day period. They also resolved to limit publicity to word of mouth with the exception of one thousand tricolor poster-handbills of a sketched circus-wagon announcing The Invisible Circus as a seventy-two hour environmental community happening sponsored by the Diggers, the Artists Liberation Front, and Glide Church, with the time, place and date. Emmett was enthusiastic and worked hard on the event, whenever he could get away from the Free Frame of Reference and the Free Food for a while. Like the others involved, he wanted to show up the feebleness of most public gatherings, like the Human Be-In, by themselves as active participants in the happening, not passive stargazers" (281-282).
Members of the art community claimed rooms in the church and prepared them for happenings. Rooms were designated for confrontation, peace, quiet, and love making. Other rooms were dedicated to tie-dying, sewing, hand-painting t-shirts, and writing poetry. Food was available in the church cafeteria.
Charles Perry provides a complimentary account in his book San Francisco in the Sixties (London: Pavilion Books, 2001). Perry writes that, as part of his community outreach program, Cecil Williams, the flamboyant minister, agreed that The Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, 330 Ellis Street at Taylor in San Francisco would host the event on 24 February 1967 (Charles Perry 145).
By all accounts, the impact of The Invisible Circus was tremendous in that it allowed attendees to plan and participate in their own events, many of which were far out of character for a church, even one as liberal as the Glide Memorial Church. Nudity, lovemaking, pornographic films, bands, balloons, rooms filled with plastic, or mattresses: they all were part of the performance and participatory events. Grogan provides a lengthy and detailed account in his autobiography Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps. He says, in part, the church basement was turned into a "R and R center, with a huge punch bowl on one of the tables filled with Tang and spiked with salutary doses of acid. Upstairs, a row of a dozen separate offices had been redecorated as "love-making salons" with candles, incense, floor-mattresses covered with colorful spreads made in India, bottles of oils, perfumes and lubricants, doors with locks on their insides and all the light bulbs removed" (283).
Jennifer Egan's novel The Invisible Circus (Nan Talese (Doubleday), 1995, pp. 182-183) provides a fictionalized account drawn accurately from authentic events and activities. Egan described the event as having "no publicity, no media, just the night itself with the right people there." She includes a brief mention of Brautigan and his efforts to immediately publish accounts of the events. The Diggers, she wrote,
"fixed the place up like a funhouse, all these trippy rooms and colored lights, shredded plastic on the floor, punch bowls full of Kool-Aid acid. The usual thing, in a way, except it wasn't usual yet, and besides, this was a church, pews, altar, the whole bit. The idea was for everyone to live out their craziest fantasies at once. Meanwhile, these "reporters" were taking notes on everything that happened, then Richard Brautigan—no joke, Brautigan himself—would type up the notes into "news bulletins" and mimeograph hundreds of copies that got passed around instantly, so not only were people doing all this crazy shit, but a lot of times they were reading about themselves doing it before they'd even finished." (182-183)
Chester Anderson's papers, collected at the Bancroft Library, University of California-Berkeley, contain materials related to the Invisible Circus.
The Invisible Circus at The Diggers Archives website.
Jahrmarkt, William (Billy / "Batman")
(22 January 1926-30 January 1972). William (Billy / "Batman") Joseph Jahrmarkt , his wife Joan, and children, Jade, Hassan, Digger, and Caledonia (featured on the cover of Brautigan's Please Plant This Book) were referred to as the Bat People. The nickname "Batman" came from Jahrmarkt's deep interest in Batman comics.
On 5 July 1967 the home birth of Digger, son of Billy "Batman" and Joan Jahrmarkt, was celebrated in a poem titled "The Birth of Digger Batman" by poet and novelist Kirby Doyle, author of Happiness Bastard, the first free novel published by the Communication Company. His poem about Digger Jahrmarkt was first distributed as a broadside printed by the Communication Company. The poem was reprinted in The Digger Papers (Edited by Paul Krassner. New York August 1968, pp. 10-11) and later in Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps (Emmett Grogan. Little, Brown, 1972, pp. 414-416), the autobiography of Emmett Grogan, one of the founders of the Diggers
The Birth of Digger Batman at The Digger Archives website.
Feedback from Elizabeth Glass
"My father (Harvey Glass) is Billy Jahrmarkt's first cousin. I just did a Google search and found your website. It is very interesting. When I was 12 I made a family tree and I was always intrigued by Billy's kid's names."
— Elizabeth Glass. Email to John F. Barber, 20 August 2002.
Jahrmarkt opened the Batman Gallery (Michael McClure suggested Jahrmarkt name his gallery after his comic hero, Batman) in a defunct dress shop at 2222 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on 3 November 1960 with financial help from his father. The first exhibition was of work by Bruce Conner who painted the walls of the gallery black. A reading of poetry by Kirby Doyle was also featured.
Jahrmarkt championed other young artists like Joan Brown, George Herms, Dean Fleming, George Abend, and Bernice Bin. He was also involved with the Diggers. Because of his involvement with narcotics, Jahrmarkt did not keep his gallery open for regular business hours. Sales were low, and fourteen months after it opened, in February 1962, Jahrmarkt sold the Batman Gallery to San Francisco pyschiatrist Michael Agron, who ran it until 1965.
In the early 1970s the Jahrmarkt family moved to Afghanistan where narcotic drugs were freely available. Jahrmarkt died in Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 January 1972, the day after he dropped his gun and accidently shot himself.
Of Jahrmarkt's death, Ira Cohen, in his poem "From The Moroccan Journal—1987," wrote
"And Billy Batman, who made the best hash in the world,
he dropped a loaded pistol in Kabul, shot himself in the balls,
took some heroin and lay down to die."
Cohen's poem, as it appeared in "From The Moroccan Journal—1987" at the Poet's brains prove to be useful! 6 poems by Ira Cohen website
Jarmarkt's grave at the British Cemetary (Sherpur Cantonment Cemetary), in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Use the "back" and "forward" buttons to view additional images.
(19 January 1943-4 October 1970). Singer for the rock group Big Brother and the Holding Company whose shrieking, stomping, urgent delivery redefined the concept of a female vocalist. A native of Port Arthur, Texas, Joplin arrived in Haight-Ashbury in 1966, brought there by fellow Texan Chet Helms, head of Family Dog, an organization formed in the summer of 1966 to work with San Francisco musicians and promote rock dances and concerts. Helms knew Joplin, knew her singing style, and thought both would be good for Big Brother. Joplin and Big Brother received international attention at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Albert Grossman, manager for Bob Dylan, put them under contract and sent them on tour. Joplin's unique voice and singing style and her hard-drinking lifestyle were soon known around the country. The record album "Cheap Thrills" featured a cover illustration by Robert Crumb, then a little known illustrator living in Haight-Ashbury. His work for Big Brother brought Crumb exposure to a national audience for the first time. After the release of "Cheap Thrills," Joplin left Big Brother, and started her own band, Kozmic Blues Band, later replaced by The Full Tilt Boogie Band. She died 4 October 1970 from a heroin overdose in a Los Angeles motel room. She was cremated 7 October and her ashes were scattered at sea off Stinson Beach in Marin County, north of San Francisco on 13 October. There was no ceremony ("Janis Cremated, Ashes in Pacific." Rolling Stone Nov. 12, 1970, p. 19).
According to Keith Abbott, Brautigan, in early 1968, inspired by the apparent collaboration between his poet friend Michael McClure and Joplin on the song "Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz," gave Joplin a copy of "The Horse That Had Flat Tire" and "She Sleeps This Very Evening in Greenbrook Castle" hoping she would use it as the basis for a song (Abbott 71). See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Abbott.
Joplin's song "Mercedes Benz," although drawing from McClure's line "Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz," was actually written in collaboration with Bob Neuwirth, road manager for Bob Dylan during the English tour filmed in "Don't Look Back," and was included on Joplin's album "Pearl," released in 1971, posthumously, following her death in 1970. Michael McClure collaborated with Bobby Womack to write the song "Trust Me," included on the same album.
Furnishings in Brautigan's Geary Street apartment included a piece of gold lame given him by Joplin. See Chronology 1960s.
Claude Hayward notes Joplin as a friend of author and artist Maurice Lacy.
Included in Joel Selvin's Summer of Love, a narrative history of the early careers of San Francisco rock bands.
Author of The Love Book (1966) which gained immense popularity when it was declared obscene and without redeeming social value by a jury on 28 May 1967 following a five-week trial. Warren French says, the case began 17 November 1966 when clerks at the Psychedelic Shop in Haight-Ashbury and City Lights Books were arrested for "pandering to obscenity" by selling copies of the book which consisted "almost entirely of repetitions of the word fuck arranged in various patterns on the pages. Kandel testified that the book was 'the culmination of a 23-year search for an apropriate way to worship the divinity of man and express her belief that sexual acts between loving persons are religious acts'" (French 66).
Two days after the verdict, Kandel announced she would donate one percent of the profits from her book to the Police Retirement Association as a way of thanking the police for bringing the book to public attention. Sales of her book soared (Charles Perry 195). Despite this surge in interest, and the overturning of the verdict on appeal, Kandel made little attempt to capitalize on the publicity and published only one more collection of poems (Word Alchemy, 1967) before dropping out of sight (French 66).
Kandel was involved with poet, longshoreman, and Hells Angel, William Fritsch (aka Sweet William, Sweet William Tumbleweed).
Work included in Oct.-Nov. 1963 issue of Evergreen, along with first four chapters of Brautigan's Trout Fishing in American. See Trout Fishing in America.
Contributed a poem, along with Brautigan's September California, and others, to Poetry Folio: 1964, a collection of poetry printed as broadsides, 1964.
Participated with Brautigan and others in "The 1st San Francisco Poet's Benefit for the Diggers," January 1967. See Chronology 1960s.
Featured on the program of The Human Be-In, January 1967. Name noted on posters advertising the event.
Noted in the press release concerning the upcoming Human Be-In.
Participated with Brautigan and others in a poetry reading for the Spring Mobilization Against the War, 6 April 1967. See Chronology 1960s.
Participated with Brautigan and others in the Joyful Alternative Peace Poet's Dance, 13 April 1967, part of the Spring Mobilization. See Chronology 1960s.
Delivered a poetry reading at the University of California-Davis English Graduate Students' Club, May 1967. Brautigan and others also participated. See Chronology 1960s.
Work included in The Digger Papers, with Brautigan and others, 1967.
Photojournalist Gene Anthony said the Communication Company was started by Kandel and others.
Credited as one of the original founders of the Diggers by Charles Perry, Haight-Ashbury historian. LEARN more.
Biography at the Literary Kicks website.
Kehoe, Lula Mary
Born: 7 April 1911, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: 24 September 2005, Eugene, Oregon
Lulu Mary Kehoe (Brautigan)(Titland)(Porterfield)(Folston) was Brautigan's mother. The final "e" in Kehoe was often dropped in various documents and she was known as Mary Lou. Her grandparents ran a poorhouse in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. Daughter of Michael Joseph Kehoe and Bessie Cordelia Ashlock Kehoe Dixon.
Married(1): Bernard Frederick Brautigan
18 July 1927, Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington
Divorced(1): 17 January 1940, Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington
Married(2): Arthur Martin Titland
Married(3): Robert Geoffrey "Tex" Porterfield
20 January 1943
Divorced(3): 12 July 1950, Eugene, Oregon
Married(4) William Folston, Jr.
12 June 1950, Reno, Nevada
See Biography > Family > Parents
Allegedly participated in one of the two meetings Brautigan acknowledged having with his father, Bernard. Chronology 1939s-1940s.
Allegedly frequently left Brautigan with others while she worked. See Chronology 1939s-1940s.
Alleged abuse of Brautigan by stepfather, Folston. Chronology 1939s-1940s
Mary Lou and other family members remarked about Brautigan's stay in State Hospital. Said she and husband, Folston, visited weekly. Remarked about Brautigan leaving and never seeing her again. See Chronology 1950s
"Brautigan's Suicide Rekindles Bad Feelings," an article by Mark Barabak in the San Francisco Chronicle. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Obituaries > Barabak.
(1952-1996). Daughter of Beat novelist Jack Kerouac. Author of Baby Driver: A Novel about Myself (1981) and Trainsong (Henry Holt and Company, 1988, pp. 154-157). Her involvement with drugs as a teenager led to time in a mental institution. After her release, Kerouac traveled in Mexico. Her travels were the subject of Trainsong. Includes a description of meeting Brautigan at the One World Poetry Festival in Amsterdam in 1983. See Teaching > Conferences > One World Poetry Festival.
(1934 - ). A leading figure in the San Francisco poetry circles during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, especially those formed around senior poet Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder. Moved to San Francisco in 1957 and was soon associated with the Beat writers and poets there. Her first book of poetry, The Tapestry and the Web, was published in 1965. She is noted as one of only a few women writers to gain respect on their own terms, both with readers and fellow writers. She married Gary Snyder (1930 - ) who had moved to San Francisco five years earlier to study oriental language at the University of California Berkeley. He left for Japan in 1956 and Kyger spent some time with him there as well as traveling about Asia with Ginsberg. Snyder's interest in Asia and the natural world influenced the Beats.
Kyger lives today in Marin County, California, where she continues to be active as a writer, and an editor for a weekly local newspaper, the Bolinas Hearsay News. For an interesting interview with Kyger, see Steve Heilig's "Hiding Out with Joanne Kyger, Poet of West Marin" (Marin County Pacific Sun 25 Dec. 2002, pp. 13-15).
Work included in the first and only issue of Brautigan's literary magazine, Change, 1963. See Chronology 1960s.
Contributed a poem, along with Brautigan's September California, to Poetry Folio: 1964, a collection of poetry printed as broadsides, 1964.
Edited Wild Dog, issue 18, July 1965, which included Brautigan's "At Sea," a review of Michael McClure's Ghost Tantras (See Non-Fiction > Essays > At Sea), as well as two poems "The Buses," and "Period Piece." See Poetry > Uncollected for information about both poems.
Work included, with Brautigan's A Study in California Wildflowers in issue 5/6 of Coyote's Journal, 1966.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in "The 1st San Francisco Poet's Benefit for the Diggers," January 1967. Chronology 1960s.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in "San Francisco Poetry," June 1968. Chronology 1960s.
Comments included in the essay "Brautigan's Wake," by Peter Manso and Michael McClure, published in Vanity Fair in May 1985, the year after Brautigan's death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Manso.
Correspondence included in the James Koller Papers. See Non-Fiction > Papers > James Koller.
Featured in Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. See References > Literary > Kyger
Mentioned in Michal Rumaker's memoir Robert Duncan in San Francisco. See References > General > Rumaker.
Kyger commented on Brautigan's dedication, his work, and his rise to fame. See In Watermelon Sugar.
Brautigan's publisher at Delacorte Press in New York, New York. Published the following books by Brautigan
A Confederate General from Big Sur
Dreaming of Babylon
June 30th, June 30th
Revenge of the Lawn
Rommel Drives On, Deep into Egypt
So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away
The Hawkline Monster
The Tokyo-Montana Express
Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Spring Hill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar
Involved in efforts to rescind a ban against Brautigan's books at a California high school.
Papers collected at University of Mississippi. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Seymour Lawrence.
Obituary for Seymour (Sam) Lawrence
Anonymous. "Seymour Lawrence." Publishers Weekly, vol. 241, no. 2, 10 Jan. 1994, p. 16.
Lawrence, who took his independent imprint with its steller list of fiction writers in turn to Dell/Delacorte, Dutton and Houghton Mifflin, died January 4 in Florida of a heart attack after a series of illnesses in recent months. He was 67.
Lawrence, a cheerful, nattily dressed man who lived for his authors, and who had a room dedicated to him and them at the University of Mississippi last April, always said he cared more about the lasting quality of his writers than their instant fame, though he had many bestsellers over the years, from the likes of Kurt Vonnegut, Robert B. Parker, Katherine Anne Porter, Richard Brautigan, Jayne Ann Phillips, Tim O'Brien and William Kotzwinkle [see below]" (16).
Swanson, Elliott. "The Game of Thirty." Booklist, vol. 90, no. 17, 1 May 1994, p. 1585.
Reviews The Game of Thirty by William Kotzwinkle (Houghton Mifflin, 1994). The full text of this review reads, "Like Richard Brautigan's Dreaming of Babylon (1977), Kotzwinkle's venture into crime fiction is first rate, a delight to read and a successful attempt to expand the horizons of the genre" (1585).
McDowell, Edwin. "Book Notes." The New York Times, 7 Nov. 1990, Sec. C, p. 20.
An article about Seymour Lawrence. Says he started his independent imprint in 1965 with only one book on his list, The Ginger Man, by J. P. Donleavy. But before long he published Ship of Fools, by Katherine Anne Porter, Selected Poems, by Jorge Luis Borges, Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, Trout Fishing in America, by Richard Brautigan, Going After Cacciato, by Tim O'Brien, Little Big Man, by Thomas Berger and Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda.
Loewinsohn, Ron William
(1937- ). Poet, contemporary, and friend of Brautigan. Associated with San Francisco poetry since 1953. Taught at San Francisco State College in early 1960s. Co-edited and published, with Brautigan, a magazine called Change.
Guide to the Ron Loewinsohn Papers, 1953-1976, Stanford University Special Collections.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, also known as "acid"), discovered accidentally in 1943 by Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman of Sandoz A. G. Hoffman was trying to create a derivative of ergot, a fungus that infects various cereal plants. He noted sensations of vertigo and restlessness, fantastic patterns, plasticity, fantastic pictures and color patterns over a two hour period after ingesting his synthesized ergot. LSD was declared illegal on 6 October 1966.
Increased interest on LSD helped Brautigan realize dream of becoming a writer. See Chronology 1960s.
The Trips Festival, January 1966, focused on sensory nature of LSD.
Hunter S. Thompson wrote of Haight-Ashbury, a community built around LSD and other drugs.
Thompson wrote about how Ken Kesey introduced the Hells Angels to LSD in Hells Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.
Barney Hoskins wrote of a new music, acid rock, that evolved from the use of LSD and changing cultural values.
Dr. Timothy Leary urged people to use LSD, and to "turn on, tune in, and drop out."
Summer of Love by Joel Selvin provided, according to its subtitle, "The Inside Story of LSD, Rock & Roll, Free Love and High Times in the Wild West."
Printer and head of the White Rabbit Press from 1962-1968. Mackintosh met Jack Spicer in 1954 and corresponded with him while completing a tour of duty in the U. S. Marines. Following his discharge, Mackintosh studied with Spicer at the University of California, Berkeley, until his graduation in 1961. He took over responsibility for White Rabbit Press from Joe Dunn in 1962. His work there included printing Brautigan's "Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting To Rain" and Please Plant This Book.
Mackintosh included Please Plant This Book as one of seven of "special interest" in a show titled "Fifty Years of Printing by Graham Mackintosh" held at the San Francisco Public Library during August 1968 (Alastair Johnston 57-59).
Noted Please Plant This Book as one of the two most imaginative books he printed. See Please Plant This Book > Background > Mackintosh
Printed Edward Dorn's "There's only one natural death, and even that's Bedcide: For the post-mortem amusement of Richard Brautigan," a poem full of puns about the varieties of death. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Tributes > Dorn.
(1932 - ). Moved to San Francisco from Marysville, Kansas in 1954 to study at the California School of Fine Arts but ended up in Robert Duncan's poetry class at San Francisco State College. It was McClure who asked Allen Ginsberg to organize the 7 October 1955 reading at 6 Gallery, 3119 Filmore Street (founded by Jack Spicer), featuring Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, McClure, and Ginsberg, whose epic poem "Howl," read publicly for the first time that night, almost immediately became one of the two, along with Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, defining works of the Beat Generation.
McClure acquired his own fame in the 1960s with his play The Beard, a story of actress Jean Harlow and outlaw Billy the Kid locked together in a room for eternity. The play ended with a simulated sexual act and productions were routinely raided by the police on obscenity charges. He has performed with Ray Manzarek, former keyboardist for the influential rock group The Doors. Following the death of lead singer Jim Morrison in 1971, Manzarek produced four albums for the punk rock band X and recorded several solo albums. He wrote the confessional memoir, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors. See McClure-Manzarek for more information about their collaboration.
Commented on the richness of people and ideas Brautigan must have found in San Francisco in the late 1950s. See Chronology 1950s.
Noted the first appearance of Brautigan's fish drawing in Lay the Marble Tea, 1959.
Brautigan dedicated the poem Mike to McClure. The poem was first published in The Octopus Frontier, 1960.
Work included in City Lights Journal, 1963, along with first three chapters of Brautigan's Trout Fishing in American.
Made a poster for Brautigan's first reading of Trout Fishing in America. See Chronology 1960s.
Included in the photograph "The Last Gathering of Beat Poets & Artists, City Lights Books" by Larry Keenan, 1965. See Chronology 1950s.
Ghost Tantras reviewed by Brautigan in an essay titled "At Sea," 1965. Brautigan's poems "The Buses" and "Period Piece" also appeared in this issue. See Non-Fiction > Essays > At Sea.
Featured in The Human Be-In, January 1967. Name noted on posters advertising the event.
Noted in the press release concerning the upcoming Human Be-In.
Commented about Brautigan's clothing style.
Freewheelin Frank, Secretary of the Angels As Told to Michael McClure (Grove Press, 1967)
Typed dictated autobiogaphy of Freewheelin' Frank Reynolds, Secretary for the San Francisco chapter of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club.
Led, with Freewheelin' Frank Reynolds, and Brautigan, a protest march to a Police Station following the arrest of Hells Angel Hairy Harry Kot and Chocolate George during the Diggers "Death of Money" march, December 1967. See Chronology 1960s.
Work included in Digger Papers, 1967.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in the Rolling Renaissance: San Francisco Underground Art Celebration: 1945-1968, June 1968.
Brautigan dedicated A Candlelion Poem to McClure.
McClure's success with songwriting inspired Brautigan to give two poems to singer Janis Joplin, hoping she would turn them into songs. These poems were The Horse That Had A Flat Tire and She Sleeps This Very Evening in Greenbrook Castle.
Contacted by Barry Miles regarding a planned Apple Records spoken word recording project that eventually became Listening to Richard Brautigan. Brautigan's one record album. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Miles.
Recorded a spoken version of Brautigan's Love Poem for the record album Listening to Richard Brautigan, 1970.
Included, with Brautigan and others, in David Meltzer's The San Francisco Poets, 1971.
Reprinted in Meltzer's Golden Gate: Interviews with 5 San Francisco Poets, 1976.
Reprinted in Meltzer's San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets, 2001.
Of McClure's novel, The Adept, (Delacorte Press, 1971) Brautigan wrote, "The Adept is a beautifully written philosophical thriller."
McClure's novel, The Adept, reviewed by and compared to Brautigan's The Abortion. See The Abortion > Reviews > George Kimball.
Coauthored, with Peter Manso, "Brautigan's Wake," May 1985 issue of Vanity Fair. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Manso.
"Ninety-One Things about Richard Brautigan." Lighting the Corners: On Art, Nature, and the Visionary. University of New Mexico Press, 1993, pp. 36-68.
Notes for his article "Brautigan's Wake." They were not included in the article and were first published here. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > McClure.
Noted Brautigan's fascination with the Colt Navy .36 handgun. See Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt > Background > Dedication.
Recounted backround of Brautigan's poem, "A Correction." See Poetry > Uncollected > A Correction.
Brautigan's "Poem for Michael McClure," dated 14 March 1967, included in The Poet's Eye: A Tribute to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Books. See Poetry > Uncollected > Poem for Michael McClure.
Subject of a textual reference in Brautigan's poem, Abalone Curry.
Speculated on the significance of iDEATH in Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar. See In Watermelon Sugar > Background > McClure
Novel, In Watermelon Sugar, dedicated to Donald Allen, Joanne Kyger, and McClure, who said, "his dedication . . . is lovely. Especially so since it is his most perfect book." See In Watermelon Sugar Background > Dedication
Commented on the importance of Donald Merriam Allen (1912-2004) to the San Francisco literary scene.
Correspondence included in the James Koller Papers. See Non-Fiction > Papers > James Koller.
(1937 - ). Poet and editor who moved to San Francisco in 1957.
Best known for his anthology The San Francisco Poets (Ballantine Books, 1971) which featured interviews with and poetry by William Everson (Brother Antoninus), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Kenneth Rexroth, Lew Welch, and Richard Brautigan.
Work included in Beatitude, issue 9, 1959, with Brautigan's poem "Swandragons." See Poetry > Uncollected > Swandragons.
Contributed a poem, along with Brautigan and others, to Poetry Folio: 1964, a collection of poetry printed as broadsides, 1964. Brautigan's poem was September California.
Included in the photograph The Last Gathering of Beat Poets & Artists, City Lights Books by Larry Keenan, 1965.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in The 1st San Francisco Poet's Benefit for the Diggers, January 1967.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in the Joyful Alternative Peace Poet's Dance, April 1967.
Organized Rolling Renaissance: San Francisco Underground Art Celebration: 1945-1968, June 1968. Said that although he was invited, Brautigan did not read any of this work.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in the Spring Renaissance Faire.
Provided extensive comments regarding Brautigan and his writing in an interview with John Barber, 2005. READ a transcript of this interview.
Papers collected as
David Meltzer Papers 1955-1971
Washington University Libraries
St. Louis, MO
This collection archives Meltzer's correspondence, manuscripts, editorial material, and taped interviews relating to The San Francisco Poets as well as materials associated with other projects. Contains no correspondence or other materials from or to Brautigan, although a note from Helen Brann, The Sterling Lord Agency, Brautigan's literary agent, offers to clear the rights for use of Brautigan poems in Meltzer's book but needs "to know exactly which poems Richard plans to use in his self-interview for you before I can either grant permission or refer you to the publisher who may or may not control anthology rights to the poetry." Instead of being formally interviewed, Brautigan was allowed to write his own "self-interview" in which he described his relationship with poetry. See above.
Murao, Shigeyoshi (Shig)
(1926-1999). Manager of City Lights Books for twenty-two years, 1953-1975. Arrested 3 June 1957, jailed, and later tried, along with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, for selling Allan Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems.
From Montreal, Canada. Friend of Brautigan. Daughter of Charles Edward (Ned) Pacaud (8 December 1908-2006) and Nancy Butters, both of Montreal. Her father, Charles, was a successful insurance broker, running Century Insurance at 276 St. James Street West, in Montreal.
Her Grandfather, George Washington Pacaud (1879-1937) married Henriette Oswald, also of Montreal, and started the successful insurance firm.
He also dabbled with issues of money as a minor playwright, writing three known plays: a two-act play entitled Mr. Sommerville's Secret (1918), a three-act comedy entitled Social Idolatry in 1920, and another three-act comedy entitled Noveaux Riches in 1931.
Marcia Pacaud was last reported living in India.
Front cover photograph by Edmund Shea for The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster featured Pacaud. The book itself was dedicated to Pacaud, as were these poems collected in the book,
I've Never Had It Done So Gently Before
Your Necklace is Leaking
I Live in the Twentieth Century
Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain
The Garlic Meat Lady from
I Lie Here in a Strange Girl's Apartment
Secretary for the San Francisco chapter of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club, where he was known as "Freewheelin' Frank." His biography, Freewheelin Frank, Secretary of the Angels As Told to Michael McClure (New York: Grove Press, 1967) was dictated to McClure. Reynolds tells why he is a Hell's Angel, how he came to be one, the significance of the Angel Code, and much more.
A tribute/memorial to Freewheelin' Frank is maintained by Michael McClure at the McClure-Ray Manzarek website.
Another publication by Reynolds was 666—The Hymn to Lucifer (Communication Company, 1968). It consisted of twelve sheets of unbound poems and prose by Reynolds, each in his own calligraphy and printed on one side in color. The folding cover featured a photograph on the back of Reynolds by Larry Keenan, Jr.
Allegedly Brautigan paid for or facilitated the printing of this publication but Communication Company founding partner Claude Hayward says,
"The truth is, nobody ever paid for anything. I can not remember there ever being a cash transaction, per se. There was never a price list. We made people bring us stuff we needed, like paper or ink. I made payments on the machines while I was still working for Ramparts, and somehow there was the rent money. Richard promoted Freewheelin's work, but I remember that as having been in the context of the courting of the [Hell's] Angels by Peter [Coyote] and Emmett [Grogan]. Sweet William [Fritsch, aka Sweet William Tumbleweed] was part of that energy as well. It may also have been after I left the scene. The machines went out of my control after I did the flyer about the Loving Spoonful's Zal Yasinski and his finking on Bill Love (Loughborough). H'lane [Resnikoff] and I went down to LA to leaflet the Hollywood Bowl concert of the Spoonful, and when we returned, discovered that Chester [Anderson] had grabbed them and hidden out. At some point, I have learned, Emmett seized them back and they became the Free City Press and so on" (Claude Hayward. Email to John F. Barber, 17 December 2003).
Rosset, Barnet Lee "Barney
(1922-2012). Editor for Grove Press, New York. Edited, along with Donald Merriam Allen, West Coast Representative for Grove Press, the first six issues of Evergreen Review, published in New York, New York, 1957-1973, in which first appeared several poems by Brautigan. Allen convinced Rosset to purchase option rights to Brautigan's first three novels, Trout Fishing in America, A Confederate General from Big Sur, and In Watermelon Sugar. After purchase, Grove rejected all but A Confederate General from Big Sur, publishing that novel in 1964. Allen eventually published Trout Fishing in America in 1967 and In Watermelon Sugar in 1968 under the imprint of his own nonprofit press, Four Seasons Foundation. He published Brautigan's major poetry collection, The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, in 1968.
Gleason, Ralph J. The Jefferson Airplane and the San Francisco Sound. Ballantine, 1968.
One of the earliest attempts to tell the history of the Haight-Ashbury district.
Gold, Herbert. Bohemia: Where Art, Angst, Love, and Strong Coffee Meet. Simon & Schuster, 1993, p. 201.
Recounts his experiences with bohemian lifestyles and individuals. Calls Bolinas, California, "a Bohemian field command post" and says Brautigan lived and "shot himself" there.
Madrigal, Alex. "On the Espresso Train." The San Francisco Chronicle 18 April 1993, Sunday Review Section, p. 1.
"[A celebration of] la vie boheme, [which is] part discourse on the artistic life and part charming and chatty memoir of the artists and wastrels Gold has met along the way in the cafes and coffeehouses they have frequented" (1).
Lemke, Gayle. The Art of the Fillmore: The Poster Series 1966-1971. Acid Test Productions, 1997.
A comprehensive examination of the promotional posters created for music and light shows held at Bill Graham's Fillmore ballroom in San Francisco. These posters combined straightforward communication with vivid design, lettering, and colors. They promoted a music scene and underground art movement, both far reaching in their influence.
Perry, George, editor. San Francisco in the Sixties. Pavilion Books, 2001.
Reprinted: Pavilion, 2003; 128 pages; ISBN 1-862-05616-1; First printing August 2003
A collection of photographs mostly documenting hippie activities in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. Features photographs of the The Human Be-In, the Diggers and Emmett Grogan, and Richard Brautigan. Several of these photographs were taken by Gene Anthony and Lisa Law.
San Francisco Literature
Beat Scene and Satori Books
THE magazine about the Beat Generation. Started in 1988 and published in the United Kingdom, each issue is devoted to providing information about Beat writers, musicians, and others. Editor Kevin Ring is also behind Satori Books, the specialist Beat Generation bookseller in the United Kingdom. Provides a very extensive catalog of books by and about Beats.
Davidson, Michael. The San Francisco Renaissance: Poetics and Community at Mid-Century. Cambridge University Press, 1989.
The Donald Allen Collection 1935—1983
Donald Merriam Allen (1912-2004) was an editor whose work with Grove Press and Four Seasons Foundation made the most important contribution to enlarging the contemporary American poetry canon. In addition to editing Richard Brautigan's first five books, Allen worked with many of the important Beat and contemporary poets and writers. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Don Allen. See also Allen's unpublished manuscript, Anthology of the San Francisco Renaissance. Non-Fiction > Papers > Allen (Anthology of the San Francisco Renaissance.
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence and Nancy J. Peters. Literary San Francisco: A Pictorial History from its Beginnings to the Present Day. City Lights Books, 1980.
French, Warren. The San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, 1955-1960. Twayne Publishers, 1991.
A "preliminary history" of the people, events, and publications associated with this literary period. Special attention is given the journal Beatitude, a San Francisco beatnik magazine (published 1959-1987 but suspended 1961-1969), which is seen here as the central transmission of the so-called Beat Movement.
Holt, Patricia. "Golden Statements on California." The San Francisco Chronicle 29 Oct. 1989, Sunday Review Section, p. 2.
"It's probably inevitable that readers of North Point's fascinating literary anthology, "West of the West" [reviewed separately on page 1], will wonder at some point why many Bay Area writers are not represented in this thick volume. [Among the rejects is Brautigan.]"
Johnston, Alastair. Bibliography of White Rabbit Press.
Poltroon Press, 1985.
An annotated bibliography of the sixty-three books and ten broadsides published by White Rabbit Press in San Francisco between 1957 and 1981.
Poltroon Press was established in 1975 by Frances Butler and Alastair Johnston "to print and publish original works of literature and poetry, illustrated books, and scholarly works in the field of graphic design, typography, architecture, and bibliography."
Feedback from Alastair Johnston
I just cruised through your site and found it interesting [and] highly informative. As a bibliographer I was pleased to see you had tracked down more information about Please Plant This Book, and made a couple of good connections about its genesis.
— Alastair Johnston. Email to John F. Barber, 27 February 2003.
Literary Kicks website
A website "devoted to a few experimental literary movements that tried to uncover some deeper truths about life. In studying the life stories of the writers as well as their works, there are sometimes even more interesting truths to be revealed than are found in the works themselves." Look for the "Beat Generation," "Summer of Love," and "Richard Brautigan" portions of this website.
Meltzer, David, editor. San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. City Lights Books, 2001.
364 pages; ISBN 0-872-86379-4; First printing May 2001
Silesky, Barry. Ferlinghetti—The Artist In His Time. Warner Books, 1990.
Biography of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Tovey, Eloyde. A Guide To Sources For A History of The New American Poetry: San Francisco Bay Scene 1918-1960. San Francisco, 1985.
A self-published history and survey of poetry produced in the San Francisco Bay region since 1918 with special emphasis on the New American Poetry. Provides a guide to published critical works on various aspects of and movements in Twentieth Century American poetry as well as some of the major poets. Chapters include West Coast Publications , City Lights Books, The Conjunction Of East and West , Fighting The World. Also provides appendices of little magazines, selected anthologies, and bibliographical references.
Welch, Lew. I Remain: The Letters of Lew Welch & The Correspondence of His Friends. Editor Donald Allen. Grey Fox Press, 1980.
This collection of letters to and from Lew Welch offers unique insight into the San Francisco literary scene. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Welch.
San Francisco Mime Troupe
A satirical theater group devoted to avant-gardism and radical politics. "The Mime Troupe," or simply "The Troupe," as they were known, was founded by Ronnie G. Davis who was inspired by the burlesque and satiric elements of the Italian Renaissance theater form known as commedia dell'arte. Other influences included satirical comics like Lenny Bruce and improvisational theater troupes like Second City in Chicago and The Committee in San Francisco, both of which had been popular since the late 1950s for their lampooning of political figures and conventional beliefs. The Mime Troupe was also inspired by the theatrical traditions of Antonin Artaud's (1896-1948) Theater of Cruelty and Bertolt Brecht's (1898-1956) social didacticism. The result was a vision of uniting all arts into performance, of confronting the audience with the squalor of life, of establishing a kind of spiritual communion with this life through primitive ritual, of using performance to change the audience, all in outdoor venues (Charles Perry 251-252).
Drawing from this background and the Beat interest in Zen spontaneity and primitive ritual, The Mime Troupe brought a new type of theater to San Francisco late in 1965. Rather than traditonal plays, their productions were called "events" or "happenings" and sought to encourage audience participation through music, dance, lights, images, and poetry readings. In addition to spending as little money as possible on sets and other infrastructure and living off performance proceeds, Davis sought to use broad gestural acting styles rather than wordless pantomime as the basis for his political statements. One such statement was to refuse funding from arts commissions or foundations arguing such sponsorship was the basis for political compromise. Another was to refuse to obtain the required performance permits from the Parks and Recreation Commission. The Mime Troupe played without permit and risked arrest with each performance (Perry 21-22).
The Mime Troupe produced children's puppet shows using giant puppets, a radical campaign for the San Francisco mayoral race, and a benefit for Timothy Leary's legal defense fund. Leary, the Harvard professor fired in 1963 on charges of administering the psychedelic drug LSD to students. Following his firing, Leary edited a journal called Psychedelic Review and traveled around the country urging young people to "turn on, tune in, drop out" through the use of pyschedelic drugs. Leary faced jail time and fines for a number of drug arrests.
Davis encouraged such activities as part of his personal opposition to foundational support for the arts. He organized his resistance by forming the Artists' Liberation Front (ALF) to circumvent official art presentations. The ALF planned street fairs featuring the Mime Troupe, live music, puppet shows, and participatory activities. Davis also encouraged political discussion among the Mime Troupe members. Such discussions led to dissent and the formation of the Diggers.
Another member, Bill Graham, became the famous impresario of the evolving San Francisco music and art scene after failing in his attempt to launch an acting career with The Mime Troupe.
A San Francisco photographer whose work appeared on the covers of several of Brautigan's books
A Confederate General from Big Sur (front cover first United Kingdom edition)
A Confederate General from Big Sur (front cover Picador edition)
In Watermelon Sugar
The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster
Revenge of the Lawn
Revenge of the Lawn (front cover first United Kingdom edition)
Listening to Richard Brautigan (front cover, with Valerie Estes)
Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt
Revenge of The Lawn, The Abortion, So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away
Photograph of Brautigan included in Lawrence Wright's memoir, "The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan." See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Wright.
Shea's photograph of Brautigan included with the article "A Taste of the Taste of Brautigan" which featured seven poems by Brautigan: "They Are Really Having Fun," "We Meet. We Try. Nothing Happens, But," "Home Again Home Again Like a Turtle To His Balcony," "You Will Have Unreal Recollections of Me," "Finding Is Losing Something Else," "Impasse," and "Homage to Charles Atlas," all first published in this article. LEARN more.
Shea's photograph of Brautigan included in "The Magician" by Paul McMullen, a rambling rant on Brautigan and his writing. See References > General > McMullen.
Photographed the creation of Brautigan's The San Francisco Public Library: A Publishing House.
by Kenneth Baker
11 October 2004 San Francisco Chronicle
"Noted San Francisco photographer; 62
"San Francisco photographer Edmund Shea died of metastatic esophageal cancer at his home Sept. 17. He was 62.
"Many people have probably seen Mr. Shea's photographs without realizing it. A friend of poet and novelist Richard Brautigan, Mr. Shea took the pictures that adorned several Brautigan book covers. He did the same for books by Hunter Thompson, Barbara Szerlip and Randall Potts.
"Some of his most important projects were collaborations. In 1984, for a now out-of-print luxury edition of Dashiell Hammett's mystery classic "The Maltese Falcon," San Francisco's Arion Press commissioned Mr. Shea to shoot contemporary views of sites where Hammett had set scenes in the novel, originally represented by period photographs. North Point Press later issued the book in a mass market paperback edition.
"In 1992, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art showed photograms from the 1970s on which Mr. Shea had collaborated with Bay Area conceptual surrealist Bruce Conner.
"A Conner photogram on which Mr. Shea collaborated hangs in the UC Berkeley Art Museum. And his pictures of the celebrated "Media Burn" event by the Bay Area art collective Ant Farm also appear in a survey show devoted to the group that began its tour in Berkeley and is now at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.
"Mr. Shea was also a great friend of musicians. His photographs appeared on the covers of albums by Fleetwood Mac, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Charles Lloyd and others.
"Mr. Shea was born in Cambridge, Mass., and came to the Bay Area in the early 1960s to enter the writing program at San Francisco State University. Instead, he discovered the camera and studied photography for three years at San Francisco State University. He later supported himself by printing pictures for a number of notable photographers, including Imogen Cunningham. Mr. Shea is survived by his longtime companion, Shelley Diekman; a sister, Judith Borek of North Reading, Mass.; and a brother, Philip Shea of Kano, Nigeria."
Feedback from Doug Schneider
"In 2009, I heard the song Twin Rocks, Oregon for the first time. Written by Shawn Mullins, the song is filled with nice images: 'It's been years since I've smelled this salty sea' and nice thoughts: 'ain't it a blessing to do what you wanna do...' The song is almost a counterculture anthem, and it mentions the book The Tokyo-Montana Express by Richard Brautigan, the man who personified the counterculture movement in the 1970's. In fact, the last line of Twin Rocks, Oregon is: 'Sitting on his bedroll looking just like Richard Brautigan.'
"And whenever I hear the name Richard Brautigan, I think of the day that Phillip Shea came to my house, with his brother Edmund in tow.
"It was 1972, and I was living in Kano, Nigeria. Phillip Shea was a historian, doing research in Kano. His brother flew out from California to visit him and see Nigeria before Phillip wrapped up his research and went back to the USA.
"This was the moment when Phillip was leaving Nigeria and going back to the USA. But his brother was not going with him. Edmund had bought a one-way ticket from California to Kano, and did not have a ticket back to the US.
"Since I had a guestroom, could Edmund stay with me? I was told that it wouldn't be for long. Edmund was Richard Brautigan's favorite photographer, and Brautigan owed Edmund money for a cover photo Edmund took for his latest book. Brautigan would be sending the money to Africa any day now.
"Phillip left Kano, and Edmund moved in with me, for what I thought would be a couple of days.
"I would come home from work each day, and Edmund would be sitting in my living room. He would ask me how my day was. He would listen attentively, and then he would report that he had trekked down to the bank, and Richard Brautigan's money still had not arrived.
"This happened for one week, which stretched into two weeks. I fed Edmund; I took him along with me on my evening jaunts, buying him beers and paying his admission to the movies.
"And then I started to wonder if I had been duped. Brautigan, whose book Trout Fishing In America was a big best seller, was probably too busy to worry about somebody being stranded in my living room in Africa. I had no proof that Edmund really was Richard Brautigan's favorite photographer. In fact, I had no proof that Richard Brautigan even knew Edmund.
"I started to dread coming home to hear the same story about trekking to the bank and finding no money.
"Finally, Richard Brautigan really did send Edmund money and Edmund bought a one-way ticket back to the US. Before he left for the airport, Edmund gave me a thank-you present: an advance copy of Brautigan's latest book: The Revenge Of The Lawn.
"The photo on the cover really was Edmund's ticket home.
"In 2010, I entered Edmund Shea's name into Google, and found out that Edmund had died in 2004. Reading his obituary, I discovered some things about Edmund.
"I discovered that I was not the first person to have Edmund as a houseguest. He had been Lenny Bruce's houseguest in the 1960s. Yes, the very same Lenny Bruce who is rated one of the top American comics of the 20th Century. The obituary said that Edmund used to give Lenny advice on how to deal with Federal drug charges.
"I was stunned. Edmund never mentioned to me that he had stayed in Lenny Bruce's house.
"I discovered that Edmund was also friends with Fleetwood Mac, and photographed them for their album covers. And Edmund was friends with Herbie Hancock. And with Keith Jarrett.
"Edmund Shea never mentioned that he knew these icons of American culture. All he did was ask me how my day was, and thank me for the beers I bought him.
"Now I realize that I had a bit of a celebrity staying in my house, who was very quiet about his celebrity. In fact, he treated me like I was a bit of a celebrity myself."
— Doug Schneider. Email to John F. Barber, 15 March 2010.
The Sixties, the 1960s, especially The Summer of Love, a media term created to romanticize the social and music movements evolving in Haight-Ashbury from 1965-1969, was a period of intense social, political, and cultural change with emphasis on electric rock music, psychedelic drugs, protest against the Vietnam War, counterculture aspirations, and, yes, literature and art.
American Cultural History 1960-1969
A web and library guide designed to provide a broad understanding and appreciation for the culture and history of the 1960s. Features links to additional information about art and architecture; theater, film, radio, and television; books and literature; fashion and fads; education; music; and events and technology. American Cultural History website.
Brick, Howard. Age of Contradiction: American Thought and Culture in the 1960s. Twayne, 1998.
Echols, Alice. Shaky Ground: The Sixties and Its Aftershocks. Columbia University Press, 2002.
Gitlin, Todd. The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage. Bantam, 1987.
Revised edition: Bantam Books; Aug. 1993; ISBN 0-553-37212-2
Gitlin was an early president of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and his account of the decade is part memoir, part celebration, and part cultural history. The result is a compelling narrative. The revised edition features a new introduction by Gitlin.
Law, Lisa. Flashing on the Sixties. Chronicle Books, 1987.
Revised edition: Squarebooks; Sept. 29, 2000; 144 pages; ISBN 0-916-29081-6
A fine collection of photographs documenting many aspects of the changing social, cultural, and political scene(s) of the 1960s.
Law, Lisa. A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-1971
A photograhic exhibition sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American History that examines the 1960s counterculture. Of special interest is the section devoted to The Counterculture which features several photographs of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. The Timeline provides a useful and informative listing of the events associated with the counterculture movement from 1963 to 1973.
Peck, Abe. Uncovering the Sixties: The Life & Times of the Underground Press. Pantheon Books, 1985, pp. 46-48.
Revised edition: Citadel Press, June 1991; ISBN 0-806-51225-3
Discusses the founding of the Communications Company by "ex-beat" and "street activist" Chester Anderson. Says Anderson, with a stencil duplicator, "pumped out as many as ten thousand leaflets to add 'perspective to the [San Francisco] Chronicle's fantasies.' . . . A Com/Co leaflet could be a poem by Richard Brautigan, a notice that four hundred pounds of fresh perch would be available at 4:00 P.M. on the corner of Oak and Ashbury, or a Jerimand [defending or attacking the vision of a new social order that was the center of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury hippie district]" (47).
The Psychedelic '60s: Literary Tradition and Social Change
An extensive website featuring materials from the Special Collections Department of the University of Virginia Library. Includes links to information about the San Francisco Beats, Hippies, Timothy Leary, Civil Rights, Rock Music, and many others. Lots of fine images.
Manzarek, Ray. Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1998.
Reprinted: Berkley Publishing Group, 1999 and 2000; ISBN 0-425-17045-4
An autobiographical confessional memoir of Manzarek's college friendship with Jim Morrison, founding the rock group The Doors, their success, and decline. Manzarek performs with Michael McClure at nightclubs and on college campuses. LEARN more.
McWilliams, John C. The 1960s Cultural Revolution. Greenwood, 2000.
232 pages; ISBN 0-313-29913-7; First printing Oct. 2000
Includes essays focusing on Chronology, Historical Overview, The New Life and the End of Consensus, Give Peace a Chance: The Antiwar Movement, Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out: The Counterculture Legacy of the 1960s, Cultural Revolution Biographies: The Persons Behind the 1960s Cultural Revolution, Primary Documents of the 1960s, Cultural Revolution Glossary of Selected Terms, and Annotated Bibliography.
Miller, Henry. On the Fringe: The Dispossessed in America. Lexington Books, 1991.
Photographs from the archives of photographer Robert Altman (not the film director). Featured in this gallery of photographs are several of Haight-Ashbury and the celebrities of the period. Many links to related websites are provided. See Robert Altman's website.
Wolfe, Tom. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1968.
A very involved, informative, and entertaining narrative about the intersection of the Beat and Love Generations. Focuses on Ken Kesey and his activities with the Merry Pranksters.
(1925-1965). A leading literary figure of San Francisco from 1945 until his death in 1965. Spicer graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a master's degree in English. He taught at the University of Minnesota and the California School of Fine Arts (later renamed San Francisco Art Institute) in San Francisco where he was hired as head of the new humanities department in the fall of 1953.
A poet, Spicer founded an "anti-Beat" literary movement based on the traditions of Greek and Roman mythology and poetry rather than spontaneity and interest in Eastern philosophies espoused by the "Beat Generation." Mostly through his personality, but also because of the help he provided, Spicer attracted other contemporary writers and artists, including Richard Brautigan. Spicer was the driving force behind the founding of White Rabbit Press that published Brautigan's The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, and he helped Brautigan with the final editing of Trout Fishing in America.
Spicer was part of the richness of people and ideas Brautigan must have found in San Francisco in the late 1950s.
Ron Loewinshon commented on how he and Brautigan felt about Spicer.
Spicer wrote the poem "For Dick" for Brautigan in which he spoke of Brautigan's innocence
"Innocence is a drug to be protected against strangers
Not to be sold to police agents or rather
Not to be sold.
When you protect it a sudden chill
Comes in the window
When you proclaim it it becomes a wet marijuana cigarette
Which cannot be lit by matches.
Hear the wind outside
The bloody shell of your life.
Hear the wind rumble
Like a sabre-toothed ape.
Innocence is important
It has meaning
It can give us
Hope against the very winds that we batter against it."
(Robin Blaser, The Collected Books of Jack Spicer 59)
and included it in his book Admonitions (Adventures in Poetry, 1974).
Scheduled to appear with Brautigan and others at Borregaard's Museum in San Francisco, April 1961.
Spicer, gay, was attracted to Aste, so the rejection was probably hard for him as well as for Brautigan. Became Brautigan's mentor and confidant. Trout Fishing in America > Background > Dedication.
Brautigan dedicated Trout Fishing in America to Spicer. See Trout Fishing in America > Background > Dedication.
Arranged for Brautigan to read from Trout Fishing in America at the time of its first publication. See Trout Fishing in America > Background > Spicer.
Work included, with Brautigan and others, in C/O/. See Poetry > Uncollected > Forgotten.
In 1953, Spicer helped found 6 Gallery, at 3119 Fillmore Street, where on 7 October 1955, in this former automobile repair shop, Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Michael McClure, and Allen Ginsberg read their poetry. Ginsberg's epic poem "Howl," read publicly for the first time that night, almost immediately became one of the two, along with Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, defining works of the Beat Generation.
In the spring of 1957 [March?] Spicer started the Poetry as Magic Workshop, an informal, weekly meeting of San Francisco poets, artists, and university professors, with occasional visits from their East Coast counterparts. The workshop was limited to fifteen people and aspiring participants were asked to complete a questionnaire focusing on politics, religion, history, poetry, personal, and practice. The initial accepted participants included Helen Adam, George Stanley, Stan Persky, Robin Blaser, Ebbe Borregaard, Robert Duncan, Joseph Kostalefsky, Jack Gilbert, Sue Rosen, Elyce Edelman, and Joe Dunn. The workshop met initially on the third floor of the San Francisco Public Library; it moved later to the San Francisco State University Poetry Center. The magical focus of the workshop centered on "disturbance, entrance and passion, rather than abracadabra" (Robin Blaser 353).
Poet Robert Duncan encouraged Brautigan to attend Spicer's Poetry as Magic workshop, December 1956.
Brautigan was, however, not among the initial workshop participants. See Chronology 1950s.
Robert Duerden contributed a poem to Brautigan's literary magazine, Change, in which he attempted to ward off the "bad magic" he felt coming from Spicer and his followers.
Following the 9 June 1957 workshop meeting, Spicer suggested to Joe Dunn, that he start a press to publish the writing of workshop members. See Galilee Hitch-Hiker > Background > Spicer.
This venture became known as White Rabbit Press.
The sense of community developed during the Poetry as Magic Workshop spread throughout the bars of North Beach where Spicer met other people involved with poetry and encouraged readings and/or discussions. One popular site was The Place, a bar at 546 Grant Avenue. See Chronology 1950s.
Artist Caroling Geary Lind painted a portrait of Brautigan, reading at The Place. She said Brautigan had a constant energy about him. In her website, To Richard Brautigan, an iPoem altar, she says "Brautigan exuded poetry like a time warp; everything that happened around him seemed like poetry. All my memories of him are poetic. Like, we said like all the time. Like he liked the painting, so he picked it up and carried it to The Place. He hung it on the wall so it was in back of him when he read poems at The Place."
Spicer edited a privately published mimeographed literary magazine titled J (1959-1961, eight issues). The magazine was inspired by Beatitude, a San Francisco beatnik magazine (published 1959-1987 but suspended 1961-1969) about which Spicer felt envious, scornful, and competitive (Ellingham and Killian 164-165; See References > Literary > Ellingham), and drew its title from the first names of Jack Spicer, Jim Alexander (a young poet from Fort Wayne, Indiana, recently arrived in San Francisco with whom Spicer was in love), and Jay Herndon (younger son of Jim and Fran Herndon, friends from Spicer's college days at Berkeley). Spicer collected submissions in a box marked "J" in The Place, a San Francisco bar at 1546 Grant Street.
Several Brautigan poems first published in issues of J.
1959, issue 1
"The Fever Monument"
November 1959, issue 4
"The Pumpkin Tide"
"The Sidney Greenstreet Blues"
December 1959, issue 5
Spicer promoted the idea of a "Pacific Nation" comprised of "healthily unlikeminded" people that would extend from San Francisco up the coast to Canada and perhaps as far north as Alaska. The product of this new nation was to be poetry, as was its language (Ellingham and Killian 300-301). An offshoot of this was Pacific Nation, a journal edited by Robin Blaser and published in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The journal was issued in two volumes, the first in 1967 and the second in 1969.
The Pacific Nation 1 Summer 1967
Volume 1 featured, under the title "Trout Fishing in America (1-5)," the first five chapters from Brautigan's newly published Trout Fishing in America: "The Cover of Trout Fishing in America," "Knock on Wood (Part One)," "Knock on Wood (Part Two)," "Red Lip," and "The Kool-Aid Wino" (34-40).
Other contributors included Robin Blaser, Jim Herndon, Charles Olsen, George Stanley, and Michael McClure. The front cover featured a drawing by John Button.
The Pacific Nation 2 Fall 1969
Volume 2 contributors included Allen Ginsberg, George Stanley, Robin Blaser, Jim Herndon, and Charles Olsen. The front cover featured a Native American inspired drawing.
Brautigan referenced Spicer and his notion of a Pacific Nation in his poem, Our Beautiful West Coast Thing.
Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance by Lewis Ellingham provides a definitive biography of Spicer, as well as interesting information about Brautigan.
Spicer died 17 August 1965 in San Francisco from complications associated with alcoholism.
Provides a "Jack Spicer Chronology" that relates Spicer's life and activities to ongoing world events.
Jack Spicer feature essay in Jacket #7.
Blaser, Robin. The Collected Books of Jack Spicer. Black Sparrow Press, 1975.
Collects Jack Spicer's poetry published in books between 1957-1965 in order to demonstrate Spicer's belief that "there's no such thing as a single poem" and "a book isn't a collection of poems" (288) but rather a streaming narrative which demonstrates the poet's discovery of new narrative forms through continued thought about poems written or in process and how those poems relate to a larger, surrounding world. For Spicer, poetry was something that filled one up. His work here demonstrates that belief.
Ellingham, Lewis and Kevin Killian. Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance. Wesleyan University Press, 1998.
Summer of Love
A media term created to romanticize the social and music movements evolving in Haight-Ashbury from 1965-1969, The Sixties, was a period of intense social, political, and cultural change with emphasis on electric rock music, psychedelic drugs, protest against the Vietnam War, counterculture aspirations, and, yes, literature and art.
San Francisco's evolving social and music scenes attracted thousands of young people starting in 1965. Based on negative media portrayals of these young people, a group of concert promoters, Haight-Ashbury business owners, the Diggers, The Straight Theater, and others formed the Council for the Summer of Love in an attempt to initiate arriving young people into a more positive and compassionate vision of what the embryonic cultural revolution was all about. They concentrated their efforts on the Summer of 1967.
Despite this idealistic endeavor, the Summer of Love, in the end, was a media term, originated to romanticize the varied social and music movements evolving in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury from 1965-1969.
An end date for the Summer of Love is often cited as the 6 December 1969 stabbing death of Meredith Hunter, by members of the San Francisco and Oakland Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, hired to provide security for the rock group The Rolling Stones during a concert at the Altamont speedway stadium east of San Francisco.
The 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love was celebrated 2 September 2007 at Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Bands, poets, and pundits from the original Summer of Love appeared and participated. Summer of Love anniversary website.
Anthony, Gene. The Summer of Love. Celestial Arts, 1980, pp. 27, 28, 29, 34, 143.
A photographic documentary of some of the events that occurred in and around the Haight-Ashbury district during the summer of 1967, the Summer of Love, with background information and photographs concerning its gestation period, November 1965-mid-January 1967.
Features photographs of Brautigan in Haight-Ashbury, a popular Gray Line tour destination in 1966-1968 for people wishing to see "hippies." Tour buses were met by Diggers (a "heavy hippie" group) who turned turned broken mirrors on the tourists. "Novelist Richard Brautigan ambled about the streets carrying a mirror that he held out before likely looking tourists, exclaiming, 'Know thyself!'" (27).
Literary Kicks Website—Summer of Love
A website "devoted to a few experimental literary movements that tried to uncover some deeper truths about life. In studying the life stories of the writers as well as their works, there are sometimes even more interesting truths to be revealed than are found in the works themselves."
The "Summer of Love: Hippie Writers and Latter-Day Beats" portion of the Literary Kicks website provides information about the Summer of Love.
Selvin, Joel. Summer of Love. Dutton, 1994; First printing August 1994
Reprinted: Cooper Square Press, 1999; 393 pages; ISBN 0-815-41019-0; First printing October 1999.
Throughout the late 1960s, San Francisco was the center of pop culture, and rock music was its engine. Subtitled "The Inside Story of LSD, Rock & Roll, Free Love and High Times in the Wild West," this narrative history, while concentrating on the early careers of rock bands like The Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin), Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Country Joe and the Fish, Santana, and The Charlatans, chronicles the San Francisco music scene from Summer 1965 through Summer 1971. Selvin has been a music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle since 1972.
Summer of Love
This website tells how the Summer of Love was started and administered, provides a list of participants, and provides images of promotional posters and many photographs by noted photographers.
Owner of The Cradle, a bar in Tokyo patronized by writers and artists. She is featured with Brautigan in a photograph on the back cover of The Tokyo-Montana Express. A few of the stories in this collection deal with her.
Brautigan dedicated June 30th, June 30th to Takako. See June 30th, June 30th > Background > Dedication.
Four poems in June 30th, June 30th are dedicated to Takako
"The American in Tokyo with a Broken Clock"
"The American Carrying a Broken Clock in Tokyo Again"
"Meiji Shoes Size 12"
Takako's comments about Brautigan included in a memoir by Kazuko Fujimoto. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Fujimoto.
The Trips Festival
A series of concerts and performance happenings held 21-23 January 1966, 8:00-12:00 PM, in the Longshoremen's Hall, 400 North Point, near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California. Producers Stuart Brand and Ramon Sender promoted the event as "a non-drug re-creation of a pyschedelic exprience," especially the sensory effects of drugs, like LSD. They hoped to create an "electronic art happening" featuring music, light shows, and other types of communication and entertainment. More than 6,000 people attended.
San Francisco bands, including Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Loading Zone, and The Grateful Dead, as well as avant-garde performance groups like the Committee Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Open Theater, the Dancers' Workshop, and the San Francisco Tape Music Center performed during the event.
Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters distrubuted LSD throughout the crowd and performed their "Psychedelic Symphony," free improvisations by musicians and nonmusicians playing flutes, guitars, a Hammond organ, and noisemakers. Films by Anthony Martin were shown, as were projections for a Vortex Light Box.
Bill Graham used ideas garnered from The Trips Festival to establish himself as the famous promoter of rock concerts and light shows in his dance hall, the Fillmore.
(2 April 1945 - ). Edited The World, the magazine of The Poetry Project of St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery in New York City, beginning in 1967. Also edited, with poet Lewis Warsh, Angel Hair magazine (see Non-Fiction > Papers > Angel Hair). A total of six issues were published from Spring 1966-Spring 1969. Edited Silo magazine while attending Bennington College.
The Poetry Project began in 1966 and was always a premier venue for new and experimenting poetries. One of its offerings was the publication The World.
Work included, with Brautigan's poem Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain, in Paris Review, Winter 1968.
Four Brautigan poems first published in The World, January 1971, edited by Waldman.
"Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork"
"It's Time To Train Yourself"
"Two Guys Get Out of a Car"
"Punitive Ghosts Like Steam Driven Tennis Courts"
Work included, with Brautigan and others, in CoEvolution Quarterly, Winter 1975. First publication of six Brautigan poems in this issue.
"Autobiography (When the Moon Shines Like a Dead Garage)"
"Fuck Me Like Fried Potatoes"
"We Are In A Kitchen"
"A Penny Smooth As A Star"
Work included in Transit, Spring 2002. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Thomas.
Poem "Brautigan" included in Rolling Stock, 1985, as part of a tribute titled "Richard Brautigan Remembered" which also included work by Robert Creeley, Brad Donovan, and Greg Keeler. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Tributes > Waldman.
Correspondence included in the Jim Koller Papers. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Koller.
Letters, from Brautigan and others to Waldman, included in the Angel Hair Archive. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Angel Hair.
Photographer and friend of Brautigan. Weber met Brautigan at a party in 1962 where Brautigan mentioned he needed a photograph of himself for the back cover of his forthcoming novel A Confederate General from Big Sur. Weber replied that he was a photographer. For the next sixteen years, Weber and Brautigan were friends and neighbors and Weber photographed Brautigan on numerous occasions. His photographs show both the public and personal side of Brautigan. At a Christmas party in 1978 Brautigan ended the relationship, never seeing or speaking to Weber again.
Weber's photographs of Brautigan appeared on the covers of several Brautigan books
A Confederate General from Big Sur (back cover)
Trout Fishing in America (front cover)
Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery (front cover United Kingdom first edition)
Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel (front cover United Kingdom first edition)
Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork (front and back covers)
The collection Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar (front covers, 1969 first edition and 1989 reprint)
The Edna Webster Collection of Undiscovered Writings (front cover)
Back cover photograph from A Confederate General from Big Sur illustrated review by John Barkham. See A Confederate General from Big Sur > Reviews > John Barkham.
Photographs illustrated first publication of Brautigan's stories What Are You Going to Do with 390 Photographs of Christmas Trees? and Homage to Rudi Gernreich, Evergreen Review, December 1968.
Photographs of Brautigan wearing a detective-style fedora for the cover of Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942 were never used. The publisher decided to use a period-looking illustration instead. See Dreaming of Babylon > Background > Weber.
Photograph of Brautigan on front cover of Houghton Mifflin collection of A Confederate General from Big Sur, Dreaming of Babylon, and The Hawkline Monster incorrectly attributed to Weber. See Collections > A Confederate General from Big Sur, Dreaming of Babylon, and The Hawkline Monster/
Front cover of June 30th, June 30th adapted from a photograph by Weber.
Photograph of Brautigan included in a short, anonymous, article titled "Richard Brautigan Hip Huck Finn" in Playboy, November 1970. See References > General > Huck Finn.
Photograph of Brautigan illustrated Keith Abbott's essay, "When Fame Puts Its Feathery Crowbar Under Your Rock," April 1985. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Crowbar
Photographs of Brautigan appeared on the back cover and throughout the text of Keith Abbott's Downstream from Trout Fishing in America, 1989. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Downstream and Chronology 1970s.
Another photograph was originally intended for the front cover of Trout Fishing in America. Trout Fishing in America > Background > Allen
Brautigan moved to 2546 Geary Street apartment, San Francisco, next door to Weber, March 1965.
Recalled taking last photograph of Brautigan, September, 1978.
Erik Weber offers for sale photographs of Brautigan at his Erik Weber Photography" website.
(16 February 1915-20 April 2000). Brautigan's surrogate mother. Her son, Peter, was Brautigan's best friend. Her daughter, Linda, was his first girlfriend. Just before leaving Eugene, Oregon for San Francisco, California, Brautigan gave Webster several manuscripts written in the mid-1950s, photographs, and personal items.
Webster sold the materials in October 1992 and much of it has been published as The Edna Webster Collection of Undiscovered Writings and other speciality publications. See Collections > Edna Webster.
Webster recalled that Brautigan played basketball in Eugene, Oregon.
Peter Webster, Edna's son, noted Brautigan's ability as a poet.
Peter Webster recalled staying up late with Brautigan in his Eugene, Oregon, boarding house room.
Peter Webster involved in an incident that later became the basis for Brautigan's So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away. See So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away > Background.
Peter Webster's daughter, Deanna (Webster) Hershiser, published a short essay entitled "A Discovered Legacy," in which she details her grandmother, Edna Webster, sharing some of Brautigan's work, later collected in The Edna Webster Collection of Undiscovered Writings and stories about Brautigan himself. See Collections > Edna Webster > Background.
Edna Webster recalled Brautigan's relationship with her daughter, Linda.
Lawrence Wright implied that Webster's daughter, Linda, criticized poetry written for her by Brautigan, thus inciting Brautigan to break a window in the Eugene, Oregon Police Station, leading to his arrest and confinement in the Oregon State Hospital.
Neither Linda nor Edna admitted any criticism of Brautigan's writing.
Peter Webster attributed Brautigan's vandalism to the fact that "He decided he was crazy."
While confined in the State Hospital, Brautigan wrote letters to Linda and Edna Webster.
Brautigan's The Smallest Book of Poetry returned to Webster following its rejection for publication.
Obituary for Edna A. Webster
The funeral will be held April 24 for Edna A. Webster of Eugene, who died April 20 of age related causes. She was 86.
She was born Feb. 16, 1915, in Bayard, Neb., to Richard and Lydia Daniels Smith.
Webster worked for the Oakland Tribune newspaper in California and the Lane County Tax Assessor's office.
She moved to the Eugene area in 1923 from Nebraska. She attended Geary and Whiteaker elementary schools, Wilson Junior High, Eugene High School, Northwest Christian College and the University of Oregon.
She had a collection of Richard Brautigan's unpublished writings and was the first woman to get a chauffeur's license in Georgia. She was also one of Eugene's first taxi drivers.
Survivors include three sons: Peter of Bremerton, Wash., Jim of Pleasant Hill and Tim of Wadsworth, Ohio; four daughters: Lorna Smith of University Place, Wash., Linda Webster of Hillsboro, Nancy Webster of Portland, and Lani Woods of Corvallis; a sister, Shirlijeanne Abel of Grande Ronde; 14 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchilldren. Two sons, Daniel and John died previously.
Monday's service will be at 10:30 a.am. at First Christian Church in Eugene.
Burial will be at Laurel Grove Cemetery in Eugene. Poole-Larsen Funeral Home in Eugene is in charge of arrangements.
(Eugene Register Guard 23 April 2000: D4.)
(1926-1971). Beat poet in San Francisco. He disappeared on 23 May 1971. A note in his van, found by Gary Snyder, read, in part, "I went Southwest. Goodbye. Lew Welch." He was never found.
Welch lived with a Polish woman named Maria Magdalena (Magda) Cregg and tutored her two children in jazz music. The elder, Huey, started a band called "Huey Lewis and the News." The "Lewis" was in tribute to Welch.
Included in the photograph The Last Gathering of Beat Poets & Artists, City Lights Books by Larry Keenan, 1965.
Work included in Now Now, 1965, which featured first publication of Brautigan's Banners of My Own Choosing.
Work included in The Digger Papers, with Brautigan and others, 1967.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in The 1st San Francisco Poet's Benefit for the Diggers, January 1967.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in the Joyful Alternative Peace Poet's Dance, April 1967.
Participated, with others, in the Rolling Renaissance: San Francisco Underground Art Celebration: 1945-1968, June 1968.
Reviewed Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar, December 1968. In Watermelon Sugar > Reviews > Welch.
Participated, with Brautigan and others, in the Spring Renaissance Faire, April 1969.
Participated, with Brautigan, in a poetry reading at San Quentin Prison, August 1969. Wrote a response to a prisoner.
Participated, with Brautigan, in a poetry-diddey-wah, May 1970.
Reprinted in Meltzer's Golden Gate: Interviews with 5 San Francisco Poets, 1976.
Reprinted in Meltzer's San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets, 2001.
Letter from Brautigan included in Lew Welch Papers 1943-1971. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Welch.
Letter reprinted in I Remain: The Letters of Lew Welch & The Correspondence of His Friends, 1980. See Resources.
Wrote a "Happy Birthday Poem" for Brautigan, and seven postcards. See Non-Fiction > Papers > Welch.
Brautigan made a textual reference to Welch in the poem, "Rainy Gary Snyder Poetry Reading Night." See Poetry > Uncollected > Rainy Gary Snyder.
Donald Allen published work by Welch.
Biography at the Literary Kicks website.
White Rabbit Press
A small, fine arts press that published chapbooks by emerging San Francisco poets over a ten-year period, 1957-1968. The origins of the White Rabbit Press began with San Francisco poet Jack Spicer who hosted an informal weekly meeting of San Francisco poets, artists, and university professors, with occasional visits from their East Coast counterparts, called Poetry as Magic Workshop.
On 9 June 1957, workshop poets and others offered a reading, called "Poetry as Magic," conducted by Spicer. Featured poets included Helen Adam, Ebbe Borregaard, Robert Conner, Joe Dunn, Elyce Edelman, Jack Gilbert, J. Kostolevsky, Sue Rosen, and George Stanley (Alastair Johnston 11).
Following the reading, Spicer suggested to Joe Dunn that he start a press to publish the writing of workshop members.
Soon afterwards, Dunn attended a four-week night secretarial school, learned to operate an AM Multilith press, and started working in the Print Department of the Greyhound Bus Company in San Francisco. He printed flyers, schedules, and other materials (Johnston 11). Dunn founded White Rabbit Press and between November 1957 and September 1958 turned out ten chapbooks authored by (in order of their printing) Steve Jonas, Jack Spicer, Denise Levertov, Ebbe Borregaard, George Stanley, Robert Duncan, Harold Dull, Richard Brautigan (The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, published 1958), Helen Adam, and Charles Olsen (Alastair Johnston 11-12).
It is unclear whether Dunn printed these volumes "surreptitiously" as Johnston says (11) or with the permission/encouragement of Jack Sutherland, head of the Greyhoud printing department who, according to Ellingham and Killian, allowed Dunn to use the equipment at night and on weekends for his own press publications; Dunn had to buy his own paper (Ellingham and Killian 112-113).
Regardless, each chapbook was lithographed from author's typescripts or holographs, and each was printed in a uniform 8.5" x 6.5" format. Print runs were small: 200, 300, or 500 copies per book. Several featured covers and illustrations by Robert Duncan and [Burgess] Jess Collins and an image of a rabbit drawn by Duncan as a pressmark. Each book sold for twenty-five cents a copy (Johnston 11-12). The address for the press was stated as 1515 Polk Street, San Francisco.
After a year of success, Dunn issued a plea for financial support printed on a map of the Western United States titled "Western Greyhound Territorial Map." When Dunn was unable to continue his work with the White Rabbit Press because of his involvement with Methadone (a sythetic subsitute for heroin), Graham Mackintosh took over in 1962. Mackintosh was a printer and a former student of Spicer's. Mackintosh printed Brautigan's Please Plant This Book in 1968.
Between 1957 and 1968, White Rabbit Press issued sixty-three books and ten broadsides. This work is chronicled in Alastair Johnston's Bibliography of White Rabbit Press.
Michael McClure incorrectly stated that Joe Dunn and White Rabbit Press published Brautigan's first book. The book published by Dunn and White Rabbit Press, The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, is considered Brautigan's second book publication, 1958.
Mentioned in the catalog published to accompany an exhibition at the New York Public Library (January-July 1998) exploring the confluence of the New American Poetry and experimentation in American writing and literary publishing.
Bibliography of White Rabbit Press, by Alastair Johnston, documented work produced, 1957-1981.
Williams, Reg E. (Reggae)
16 April 1942- ). Writer, film maker, light show artist, production designer, and dealer in Haight-Ashbury memorabilia. Involved with the renovation of The Haight Theater into a multimedia environment called the Straight Theater. The Haight Theater, a neighborhood theater, closed in 1963, probably for economic reasons. It reopened in early Summer 1964, for only one month, as the nation's first and only homosexual movie theater. It reopened Spring 1966 with a new name: The Straight Theater, which may have been a rhyming modification of the original name, a dig at the "straight" community then in opposition to the evolving hippie community, or a reference to its former existence as a gay theater. The subtitle of the new theater, "Environmental Theater of Light," betrayed its focus as a theater adaptable to many types of performances through the use of modern sound and lighting techologies. Many different types of theater, poetry, and music performances were held in The Straight Theater, 1966-1969.
Reg E. (Reggae) Williams maintains a website, The Straight Theater. Information available includes still images from a film made during the 1966 Artists' Liberation Front Street Fair, still images from a film made of a Diggers free food event, photographs of the interior at the Straight Theater, and remarks by Williams about The Straight Theater.
Photojournalist for Life and Look magazines before joining Rolling Stone as its first staff photographer. Wolman worked for Rolling Stone for three years. After leaving the magazine Wolman worked on his own projects. He is noted for his photographic portraits of musicians which stand today as an historical record of rock music.
Photograph of Brautigan appeared with first publication of 1/3, 1/3, 1/3, Ramparts, December 1967.
Photographs of Brautigan featured with "The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan," by Lawrence Wright, Rolling Stone, April 1985. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Wright.
Photograph of the band Mad River appeared on front cover of their second album "Paradise Bar and Grill," which featured Brautigan reciting his poem, "Love's Not the Way to Treat a Friend." See Recordings > Not the Way.
The magazine of The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church In-the-Bowery, 10th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York City's Lower East Side. St. Mark's continued the poetry efforts formerly centered at the nearby Metro Coffee House.
The Poetry Project, started in 1966, provided a base for many people in the community interested in new/experimental poetry or involvement in a socially significant project. It was a place where they could work with established poets and first read their own poetry. With government grants, the church was able to offer poetry workshops, paid readings, publications like the magazine, The World, and beginning in 1972, The Poetry Project Newsletter, publishing facilities (originally a mimeograph machine, later computers and commercial printers), and archives for collected documents and audiotape recordings.
Edited by Anne Waldman, The World was mimeographed (8.5" x 14" sheets) on the church's AB Dick mimeograph machine. It began in Fall 1966 when there were no other active mimeograph magazines representing poetry from New York's Lower East Side. Each issue ran 60-80 pages and included submissions from participants in the Poetry Project as well as poets around the country. Many poets used this opportunity to publish for the first time, publish works in progress, or experiment unselfconsciously.
Four Brautigan poems first published in The World, January 1971, edited by Waldman.
"Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork"
"It's Time To Train Yourself"
"Two Guys Get Out of a Car"
"Punitive Ghosts Like Steam Driven Tennis Courts"
All four poems were collected in Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.
The World Anthology: Poems from The St. Mark's Poetry Project
Selections from issues 1-12 (Fall 1966-Spring 1968) were collected and published as The World Anthology: Poems from The St. Mark's Poetry Project (Ed. Anne Waldman. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1969).
Another World: A Second Anthology of Works from the St. Mark's Poetry Project
Selections from issues 12-23 were collected and published as Another World: A Second Anthology of Works from the St. Mark's Poetry Project (Ed. Anne Waldman. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971. 345). Brautigan's four poems (see above) were reprinted in this volume.
Yoshimura (Nishizawa), Akiko
Brautigan's second wife. She and Brautigan met during his first trip to Japan, 1976.
Brautigan and Akiko were married 1 December 1977, in Richmond, California. They separated on 4 December 1979 and entered a petition for dissolution of marriage in San Francisco Superior Court filed 10 January 1980. An interlocutory judgement was entered 30 October 1980. The final judgement of divorce was issued 12 November 1980, and filed the following day.
Following the divorce, Akiko changed her surname to Nishizawa. She remarried, is now known as Akiko Sakagami, and lives in Los Angeles.