Sunday, January 20, 2013

happy birthday brion gysin!

yesterday was brion gysin's birthday. i probably first came across his name on the liner notes of the brian jones joujouka record, which i purchased early in 1972. the british pressing. and his name would show up every now and again, often in 'rolling stone' magazine, which was quite hip in those days and published interviews with burroughs and gysin, plus paul bowles. the named hinted of a very magical person, and not just because of the unique spelling. by 1975 i wanted to know more and had started collecting books by william s. burroughs. gysin's name was everywhere. in 1977 i went to tangier to see paul bowles,  who gave me gysin's address in paris. in 1979 gysin wrote to me with
information about the festival at joujouka. on may 5th of the next year i was at gysin's paris apartment listening to everything from his tales of moroccan music, to burroughs, to the stones. i wrote a piece about that visit which is in one of these journals over here. the may 5th visit was followed up with a visit in mid june i now realise. the article combined a summary of the 2 visits. oh, most of you havent read the piece, and i will post it in the coming days. in 1982 i started a publishing company called inkblot. to publish my own works plus those of brion gysin. by '84 i was back in europe for 6 months or so and spent a lot of time with brion, mainly in june and september. we were working on a book of his short stories from morocco in the early '50s. later published as 'stories'. brion didnt quite know what to make of me, being young and, uh.....not quite comfortable in my own damn self. but we would drink whisky (american bourbon), smoke whatever he had on hand, and talk of all hither and yon. once we went to 'flunch' for dinner. he showed me some new drawings he was working on. then we would go out for coffee. not too far from brion's place on rue st martin, across from the beaubourg center. was it the rue sebastopol? we got there one nite and the place was closed. 'how will we get to sleep without coffee?' brion proclaimed! we found another joint for an espresso or 3. i went back to my hotel de nevers, near the luxembourg gardens and slept quite well for a change.  heres to ya brion!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

welsh rarebit

i first heard of bob cobbing sometime in 1983, and wrote to him at his home in london. inkblot magazine had just begun and i was looking for material for the 2nd issue. sometime that spring cobbing wrote and sent words & pictures. he also mentioned he would be in oakland in july and could he and clive crash at my flat. no problem, as small as it was.  i picked them up at the train station probably in july. they had several performances in san francisco. good stuff! and nice folks! that same week i took them up to kpfa at 4.30 on saturday morning where they performed several sound works. i still have a tape of this. course i didnt sleep much as bob was quite a snoring machine. where did i take them to drink? i just dont recall tho the obvious choice would have been bertolas. we kept in touch and i hit london october 1984, where bob and his wife hosted me at their north london house. each nite we would go to the pub. ostensibly bob had cut down on drinking and was allowed just 2 pints, plus a shot of american whiskey. if his wife was involved in the snooker he would sneak himself a third pint or a 2nd shot. when we returned to the petherton road house bob always cooked something. 'spoiled egg, spoiled fruit or spoiled welsh rarebit' would be his question. i think i often opted for the rarebit, which to my delight is broiled cheese on toast!