Bebop, reading, starting to write
The first four clips are taken from No More to Say & Nothing to Weep For: An Elegy for Allen Ginsberg, a film which was completed in 1997, in what proved to be the last year of Allen’s life. The interviewees here include the poets Robert Creeley, Gary Snyder, Ed Sanders (co-founder of The Fugs), Anne Waldman & Michael McClure, Ginsberg’s life-long partner Peter Orlovsky, his brother Eugene, his long-time secretary Bob Rosenthal, the composer Philip Glass, Jack Kerouac’s biographer Ann Charters & Allen’s spiritual teacher Gelek Rinpoche.
The full versions of Allen reading Howl, Kaddish & Don’t Grow Old were filmed at the Knitting Factory in New York in May 1995. They were not shot by me, but were edited in 2014 by my colleague Jane Clegg on behalf of the Allen Ginsberg Trust.
Father Death is a short film – another elegy – which I shot in Allen’s apartment shortly after his death.
After Lalon & Ballad of the Skeletons were filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in October 1995 at The Return of the Reforgotten, an evening of music & poetry organized by art dealer Michael Goldmark & poet Iain Sinclair. On Ballad of the Skeletons Allen is accompanied by Paul McCartney.