Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg
at Kerouac’s grave, and beyond
Keywords:American popular music, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, poetry and song
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.
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