Review: The Beat Generation

Title: The Beat Generation
Publisher: Rhino Records
Music #: R2/R4 70281
Format: Cassette (R4) CD (R2)

box coverThese tapes were given to me by my library instructor (you know, the one who taught me how to surf the Internet), so I'm not sure how much they cost. He had also bought the Kerouac tapes, which he liked, but these seemed to be a little too much for him. So on Thanksgiving Eve, 1994, I took the tapes home, got drunk like Kerouac and auditioned the tapes. It was the best Thanksgiving Eve I ever had.

The set consists of three cassettes in a box with a 56 page booklet, which has comments on each item on the tapes. Items include interviews, songs and readings. The tapes are not only entertaining, but very educational. I didn't know this material ever existed before. Before Rhino got hold of these recordings, they were probably sitting in some tape vault gathering dust.

The quality of most of the recordings is very good, better than the Kerouac recordings, where you could hear scratches. The wide range of items puts you right back into the 50's. There's even a song from a Beat Generation exploition movie that stereotypes the Beats something fierce. It looks like they pretty much covered everything. I found out that my library has these tapes, which means that there's a good chance yours does too, or maybe you can get them through inter-library loan. Every serious Bohemian should listen to them. Below is a listing of what's on the tapes.

Library card catalog information

PUBLISHER Santa Monica, CA : Rhino Records, p1992.
DESCRIPT 3 sound discs : digital, stereo ; 4 3/4 in.+ 1 booklet (56 p.).

-- San Francisco / Jack Kerouac (reading)
-- Beat generation / B. McFadden & Dor (title song from exploitation movie)
-- Footloose in Greenwich Village (WNYC documentry)
-- Blues montage / Langston Hughes (song)
-- Manhattan fable / Babs Gonzales (reading set to music)
-- Reaching into in /Ken Nordine (reading set to music)
-- Parker's mood / King Pleasure (song)
-- Route 66 theme /N. Riddle (instrumental)
-- Diamonds on my windshield / Tom Waits (reading set to music)
-- Naked lunch (excerpt) / W. Burroughs (reading)
-- Bernie's tune /Lee Konitz (instrumental)
-- Like Rumpelstiltskin / D. Morrow (reading set to music)
-- Oop-pop-a-da / Dizzy Gillespie (song)
-- Basic hip /D. Close & J. Brent (dialog)
-- Christopher Columbus digs the jive / J.D. Barrymore (reading)
-- Clown / C. Mingus (reading set to music)
-- Murder of two men by a young kid wearing lemon colored gloves / K. Patchen.

-- Hip Gahn / L. Buckley (reading)
-- Twisted /Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (song)
-- Yip roc heresy / Slim Gaillard & his Middle Europeans (reading set to music)
-- Ha / C. Ventura (song)
-- Pull my daisy / David Amram Quintet (song)
-- October in the railroad Earth / J. Kerouac & S. Allen (reading set to music)
-- Cool rebellion / H.K. Smith (CBS news documentry)
-- Cosmic rays / Charlie Parker Quartet (instrumental)
-- Kookie's mad pad / E. Byrnes (song)
-- Bebopper /Gordons (song)
-- Hunger is from / K. Nordine (reading set to music)
-- No pictures please / Rod McKuen (reading set to music)
-- Like young / Perry Como (song)
-- Married blues /K. Rexroth (reading set to music)
-- Psychopathia sexualis /Lenny Bruce. (reading set to music)

v. 3.
-- Jack & Neal/California, here I come / T. Waits (song)
-- Readings from "On the Road" & "Visions of Cody" / J. Kerouac (reading set to music)
-- Interview with Jack Kerouac / B. Hecht
-- Kerouazy / D. Morrow (instrumental)
-- Cool / D. Close & J. Brent (dialog)
-- But I was cool / O. Brown Jr. (song)
-- Uncool / D. Close & J. Brent (dialog)
-- High school drag /P. Fallon (reading set to music)
-- Oop-bop sh-bam / Kenny Clarke & his 52nd Street Boys (song)
-- Professor Bop / Three Bips & a Bop (song)
-- Beatnik's wish / P. Raye & The Beatniks (reading set to music)
-- Like having fun / E. Bernstein (instrumental)
-- On beatniks / C. Sandburg (quick interview)
--Swinghouse / Gerry Mulligan Quartet
-- Greenwich Village poets / C. Kuralt (CBS news story)
-- America / Allen Ginsberg. (reading)

NOTE(S) 1) Rhino Records: R2 70281.
2) Compact disc.

MUSIC # R2 70281 Rhino Records

SUBJECT(S) 1) Bohemianism.
2) Bohemianism -- United States.

For more information, see the blurb on the Rhino Records site.

Copyright © 1995, 1996, Colin Pringle