Saturday, July 17, 2010

Beat This

It was a time rich in exploring the unconscious thoughts of a nation. A time for poets, writers and wanderers to explore the psyche of a western world going through great change.

It was America, post WW11, post modernist philosophy, and with the wide open spaces ahead that new choices bring.

Change was all around. Europe was being reshaped, old political partners were becoming the new enemy, and the Left and Right were testing just how far each could go.

And to capture the new vistas that were opening up to the American people, a new generation of poets and visionaries threw away the rules of prose and paved the world with a new way with words.

They would become known as Beat Poets.

The likes of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S Burroughs and Hunter S Thompson became known as the nations new voice.

They were not working in isolation, influence came from earlier wordsmiths, such as Blake, Shelley, Thoreau, Emerson, Poe and Melville, as well as the artworld of Dadaism and Surrealism.

They in turn, influenced up-coming musicians. Among songwriters around the world, many have acknowledged the influence of the Beat Poets: The Beatles (McCartney even played on one of Ginsberg's albums), Dylan (Ginsberg toured with him in 1975), Jim Morrison (The Doors), The Grateful Dead, Mick Jagger, Patti Smith and Lou Reed. Tom Waits, The Clash, R.E.M., Kurt Cobain, Sonic Youth, Laurie Anderson and even Bono cite the Beat Poets as inspiration.

Tune in to Yarra Valley FM 99.1 on Monday night from 9 pm to catch the words and music of the Beat Era.

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Keep it nice :) or get kicked out :(