Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg

at Kerouac’s grave, and beyond

Authors

  • Daniel Karlin University of Bristol

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v8i2.155

Keywords:

American popular music, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, poetry and song

Abstract

This article takes as its starting point the conversation between Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan at the grave of Jack Kerouac in 1975 during the Rolling Thunder Revue tour, an encounter which was filmed, photographed and narrated, both by the two artists and by others. It considers the ways in which Kerouac’s work focused and mediated the friendship of Ginsberg and Dylan, their sense of each other’s art, and of their own. Ginsberg’s influence on Dylan was more than matched by Dylan’s influence on Ginsberg, but what binds them together is an idea of American speech (whether spoken or sung) for which Kerouac is the disembodied and occluded source.

Author Biography

Daniel Karlin, University of Bristol

Daniel Karlin is Winterstoke Professor of English Literature and Head of the Department of English at the University of Bristol. His primary field of research is Victorian poetry, especially the work of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning with further strong interests in nineteenth-century American literature, and the work of Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Proust and Bob Dylan. His most recent book, The Figure of the Singer, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

References

Dylan, B. 1965. Sleeve notes to Bringing It All Back Home. Columbia Records.

—1975. Sleeve notes to Desire. Columbia Records.

—1986. Booklet notes to Biograph. Columbia Records.

Ginsberg, A. 1975. First Blues: Rags, Ballads and Harmonium Songs. New York: Full Court Press.

—1976. Sleeve notes to Desire by Bob Dylan, Columbia Records.

—1987. Collected Poems 1947–1980. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

—1992. Introduction to Jack Kerouac, Pomes All Sizes, ii–iv. Pocket Poets Series 48. San Francisco: City Lights.

—1994. Booklet notes to Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems and Songs 1949–1993. Rhino Records.

—2000a. ‘The Great Rememberer’. In Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952–1995, 348–57. New York: HarperCollins.

—2000b. ‘Statement on Censorship’. In Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952–1995, 177–80. New York: HarperCollins.

Gray, M., and J. Bauldie, eds. 1987. All Across the Telegraph: A Bob Dylan Handbook. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.

Kerouac, J. 1963. Visions of Gerard. New York: Farrar, Straus and Co.

—1996. ‘After Me, the Deluge’. In The Portable Jack Kerouac, ed. Ann Charters, 573–80. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. (First published as a syndicated newspaper article in 1969.)

Lawrence, D. H. 1923. Studies in Classic American Literature. New York: Thomas Selzer.

Miles, B. 1990. Ginsberg: A Biography. New York: HarperCollins.

Shepard, S. 1987 (1977). Rolling Thunder Logbook. New York: Limelight Editions.

Published

2014-05-20

How to Cite

Karlin, D. (2014). Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg: at Kerouac’s grave, and beyond. Popular Music History, 8(2), 155–168. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v8i2.155

Issue

Section

Articles