January 13, 2018

Beat Scene 88 will be out in a few days. If you would like a copy get in touch by email kevbeatscene@gmail.com

This photo of Kathy Acker and William Burroughs in London probably in the early 1980s? Intrigued me. Is it one by John Minehane? John took some lovely photos of Burroughs with Francis Bacon. Any clued up people out there?


It’s been a while since Beat Scene had an internet site. Long story. Won’t go into it. Beginning now to build up a new one. The most obvious place to start is with news of the current issue of the magazine, number 87. This issue is wholly devoted to Jack Kerouac and his landmark novel ON THE ROAD. It features contributions and memories from his friend David Amram. From his first biographer Ann Charters and from a more recent biographer Paul Maher Jr. Into the mix goes a history of Kerouac’s efforts to see the book adapted for a film. That’s a twisted journey. There’s John Clellon Holmes, his great NY, East Coast buddy, who was with him every step of the way as Kerouac strove through various versions of his novel. There’s an interview with Luanne Henderson – you’ll know her as ‘Marylou’ in ON THE ROAD. And more besides.

If you would like to buy a copy of Beat Scene, prices are as follows — In the UK £7.95 – cheques payable to M.Ring or by Paypal  — a Paypal link will be sent.

If you live in Europe a single copy is 15 Euros. Payment either by Paypal or by sending 15 Euros in cash.

If you live OUTSIDE Europe a single copy is $20 USA. Payment through Paypal or by USA cheque to an address in the USA that will be supplied.

Get in touch with me at kevbeatscene(at)gmail.com

Must also mention Miriam Kleiman’s new HIT THE ROAD, JACK chapbook in the ongoing Beat Scene chapbook series. In this edition of 125 numbered copies Miriam explores Jack Kerouac’s time spent in the US Naval psychiatric unit in the early 1940s, when Kerouac was just twenty years old. Fascinating account where Miriam has access to all Kerouac’s archives there. Please get in touch if this interests you. Single copies in the UK are £7.95, cheques payable to M.Ring –  including post. Europe is 15 Euros & elsewhere $17 USA dollars.

Looking to publish Beat Scene 88 mid January. Fingers crossed.



A few words on the Beat Scene chapbook series. See some of the issues above. There have been 62 chapbooks in the series so far. They are a uniform series of 8″ x 5″ stapled card cover chapbooks. Numbered, usually in an edition of 125 copies. A number in the series are signed. Often original work by people such as Michael McClure, Jack Hirschman, Ed Sanders, Iain Sinclair, Dan Fante, John Fante,  Philip Lamantia, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen and others is published. There are interviews with Charles Bukowski, Herbert Huncke, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Al Hinkle, (Ed Dunkel in ON THE ROAD), William Burroughs + original writings on Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Bob Dylan, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso and many others.

For availability – please ask – get in touch. kevbeatscene@gmail.com

BBC Radio 3 are broadcasting a programme about Jack Kerouac’s novel ON THE ROAD this coming Friday, December 8 at 10 pm. Ian McMillan and others discuss this landmark novel and its significance sixty years after publication in 1957. If you miss the show it will be available on the BBC iPlayer, which can be easily logged into. Not sure how this works for those overseas, but give it a try. Ian McMillan is knowledgeable about Jack Kerouac. Do recall him coming to my house many years ago to talk about Kerouac for a BBC radio show. He pulled a fast one on me. Recording me. I then thought he had switched his tape recorder off after he said – that’s fine, I’ve got enough there – but he carried on recording as we casually glanced over some photos of Kerouac, Snyder & others on the stairway. & that was the bit aired on the show. Sneaky Ian. Forgotten history now. To be honest the media in general have been slow to comment on this ON THE ROAD sixty years thing. Kerouac’s novel remains so relevant – recording as it does – a vanished time. America is a vastly different country now.

Beat Scene, in particular issue 87 – the ON THE ROAD issue – was given a little coverage in last week’s TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT. Thank you to James Campbell who gave the issue a write up – which was most welcome and a number of people got in touch as a result. Cheers James. Though Beat Scene friend Ann Charters, well known for her biography, bibliography and editing of various Jack Kerouac books of letters and collections, as well as much more – writing on Charles Olson in particular – Ann noted a number of errors in James Campbell’s summary of the creation of ON THE ROAD. I’ve put in Ann’s email below, so you can see for yourself. If anyone knows about ON THE ROAD it is definitely Ann.

A Note from Ann Charters…..

Dear Kevin, Congratulations! I noticed that your “On the Road” special issue was listed in the “Hello, Marylou” squib by J.C. in the recent TLS.  I’m delighted that you have been given credit for this splendid issue, but could you please drop a note to J.C. correcting the several errors in the so-called “few facts” in his/her opening paragraph.  The errors give a poor impression of the extent of scholarly interest in Kerouac’s work:
(1) It is well documented (by eye-witnesses Joan Haverty Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes, Allen Ginsberg, etc.) that JK wrote the “Original Scroll” version of the book in three weeks in April 1951;
(2) In 1957 the first published version was the outcome of six years of rewriting, only partially done by Kerouac;
(3) Kerouac did deliberately tape together sheets of paper to make “a single piece of paper” that he rolled into his typewriter when he composed the book.  That’s why it is called the “Original Scroll”;
(4) The “Original Scroll” version of “On the Road,” first published in Great Britain by  Penguin Classics in 2007, is Kerouac’s “first thought, best thought” 1951 original text.  Many readers find it greatly superior to the edited 1957 version;
(5) Kerouac was the first editor of the “Original Scroll” version when he re-typed it onto standard sheets of typing paper shortly after completing the book in 1951, but it was most heavily rewritten in 1956-1957 before publication by editors at Viking, including Malcolm Cowley.
J.C.’s four sentences presenting “a few facts” contain five errors.  That’s not good.
Please help the TLS get it right.

Thank you, Ann Charters

Beat Scene 88 is at the printer now. Back to a regular issue this time. Allen Ginsberg, Joanne Kyger, something a little out of the ordinary involving Charles Bukowski, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. William Everson features and more besides. I’d anticipate this issue will be posted out beginning Tuesday 16 January. If you haven’t ordered yet, be quick. Pre-orders have snapped up most copies.