Edward Albee’s Vortex of Violence (January 18, 1964)

In this May 2, 1967, file photo, playwright Edward Albee, winner of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for drama, for his play “A Delicate Balance,” talks to reporters during a news conference at the Cherry Lane Theater in the Greenwich Village section of New York.

“… The big woman greases her arms with hog fat. The man sullenly does the same. A lame dwarf lurches from one to the other like an evil Cupid, insane with glee. Townspeople whisper excitedly. When the woman and the man have finished readying themselves, they face each other, crouch, and spring. Their fight is brutal, and for a time it is even. Then the woman’s greater strength begins to tell. She has nearly strangled the man, when the dwarf shrieks and jumps on her back. The man recovers, clubs the woman to the ground, then gouges out her eyes. The Ballad of the Sad Café is over. The cast takes its bows, and the cash customers walk up the aisle wearing a look that Broadway has come to know well. It is shock, but not simply that. The audience has had its emotions wrung out by something it does not understand and does not like, but cannot dismiss. After Ballads opening performance, the first man interviewed by TV reporters was crying. An hour or so after that opening, a thin young man at the cast party turned to Colleen Dewhurst, the show’s star. ‘Why do we have to put up with this?’ he asked, in a voice edged with boredom and irritation. ‘This’ was the roomful of 32-toothed smilers waiting to widen their smiles or narrow them to smirks, depending on the reviews. The young man, who was Edward Albee, author of the stage version of Ballad, did not look as if he could possibly have attended enough opening-night parties to have become bored. He is 35 but looks 26, and his face is the kind you see waiting in an ad agency, 15 minutes early for an appointment with the assistant head of personnel. But Albee, bad type-casting or not, can look, on a good night, very much like the New Thundering Savior of the American stage. There is no denying that the credentials he has presented both on and off Broadway are impressive. So impressive, in fact, that although he is supposed to be a ferocious critic of the American society, State Department Chautauqua officials recently booked him into Russia under the cultural exchange program. Less than six years ago, however, the only thing impressive about Edward Albee was that a grandmother had left him $100,000 in trust. …”
Saturday Evening Post
NY Times: Edward Albee, Trenchant Playwright Who Laid Bare Modern Life, Dies at 88 (Video)
W – Edward Albee

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Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts (1962-1965)

“In February of 1962 I was sitting in Stanley’s Bar at 12th and B with some friends from the Catholic Worker. We’d just seen Jonas Mekas’s movie Guns of the Trees, and I announced I was going to publish a poetry journal called Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts. There was a certain tone of skepticism among my rather inebriated friends, but the next day I began typing stencils, and had an issue out within a week. I bought a small mimeograph machine, and installed it in my pad on East 11th, hand-cranking and collating 500 copies, which I gave away free wherever I wandered. Fearful of getting arrested, I nevertheless mailed it to my heroes around the world, from Charles Olson to T. S. Eliot to Marianne Moore, from Castro to Samuel Beckett, from Picasso to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg. Fuck You was part of what they called the Mimeograph Revolution, and my vision was to reach out to the ‘Best Minds’ of my generation with a message of Gandhian pacifism, great sharing, social change, the expansion of personal freedom (including the legalization of marijuana), and the then-stirring messages of sexual liberation. I published Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts from 1962 through 1965, for a total of thirteen issues. In addition, I formed a mimeograph press which issued a flood of broadsides and manifestoes during those years, including Burroughs’s Roosevelt After Inauguration, Carol Bergé’s Vancouver Report, Auden’s Platonic Blow, The Marijuana Review, and a bootleg collection of the final Cantos of Ezra Pound. …”
from a secret location
UbuWeb – Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts (1962-1965) [PDF]

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Did John F. Kennedy and the Democrats Steal the 1960 Election?

“For Richard Nixon, the holiday season of 1960 was a sullen affair. Weeks before, on Nov. 8, he had lost an exceedingly close presidential election to Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. Near the end of December, while President-elect Kennedy received national security briefings at his family’s estate in Palm Beach, Nixon hosted a cheerless Christmas party at home in Washington. ‘We won,’ he groused to his guests, ‘but they stole it from us.’ Nixon’s complaint — which, today, has a dismally familiar ring — is the central contention of ‘Campaign of the Century,’ by the historian Irwin F. Gellman. For more than two decades now, Gellman has undertaken a rolling rehabilitation of Richard Nixon. In previous books, he cast a sympathetic glow on Nixon’s years in Congress and reframed Nixon’s relationship with Dwight D. Eisenhower, whom he served loyally but awkwardly as vice president. In this new volume, Gellman seeks to upend our understanding of the 1960 race, not least the matter of which man won it. There is a cycle to the waging and relating of presidential elections: A campaign, typically, begins with a plan, tumbles into chaos and improvisation, and gets neatened up after the fact by participants and journalists who distill it into a few pat postulations. Much of this is mythology, and it can be hard to root out. To that end, Gellman has, arguably, logged more hours and examined more documents in the Nixon archives than any other historian to date. That doggedness, he says, has yielded new information and insights into the events of 1960. There is much ballyhooing in this book of its author’s willingness to follow facts wherever they lead. ‘It is long past time,’ Gellman proclaims, ‘to tell the story without a partisan thumb on the scale.’ This is a wide-ranging dig. It is directed, first, at Theodore H. White. Gellman regards White’s best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning narrative, ‘The Making of the President 1960,’ as the original sin, visited upon succeeding generations. …”
NY Times
Politico: The Time Nixon’s Cronies Tried to Overturn a Presidential Election
Did the Chicago Outfit elect John F. Kennedy president?

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Foreword to Ariel: The Restored Edition written by Frieda Hughes

“The Restored Edition of Ariel by my mother, Sylvia Plath, exactly follows the arrangement of her last manuscript as she left it. As her daughter I can only approach it, and its divergence from the first United Kingdom publication of Ariel in 1965 and subsequent United States publication in 1966, both edited by my father, Ted Hughes, from the purely personal perspective of its history within my family. When she committed suicide on February 11, 1963, my mother left a black spring binder on her desk, containing a manuscript of forty poems. She probably last worked on the manuscript’s arrangement in mid-November 1962. ‘Death & Co.’, written on the fourteenth of that month is the last poem to be included in her list of contents. She wrote an additional nineteen poems before her death, six of which she finished before our move to London from Devon on December 12, and a further thirteen in the last eight weeks of her life. These poems were left on her desk with the manuscript. The first cleanly typed page of the manuscript gives the title of the collection as Ariel and other poems. On the two sheets that follow, alternative titles had been tried out, each title scored out in turn and a replacement handwritten above it. On one sheet the title was altered from The Rival to A Birthday Present to Daddy. On the other, the title changed from The Rival to The Rabbit Catcher to A Birthday Present to Daddy. These new title poems are in chronological order (July 1961, May 1962, September 1962, and October 1962) and give an idea of earlier possible dates of her rearrangement of the working manuscript. When Ariel was first published, edited by my father, it was a somewhat different collection from the manuscript my mother left behind. My father had roughly followed the order of my mother’s contents list, taking twelve poems out of the U.S. publication, and thirteen out of the U.K. publication. He replaced these with ten selected for the U.K. edition, and twelve selected for the U.S. edition. These he chose from the nineteen very late poems written after mid-November 1962, and three earlier poems. There was no lack of choice. …”
British Library
NY Times: An Art Like Everything Else By Erica Jong
Slate: Ariel Redux
Restored Ariel Mis-Introduced With Defense of Plath Nemesis
[PDF] Ariel: The Restored Edition
amazon: Ariel: The Restored Edition

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Jajouka Or Joujouka? The Conflicted Legacy Of The Master Musicians

“‘Telephone Man’ was a gimbri player who used to play in the village of Joujouka (just as often spelled Jajouka), decades before mobile phones finally connected the hilltop base to the outside world around ten years ago. He would visit the village from his home in nearby Tatoft, hold his ear and tell the Joujouki he was receiving a message from someone who was planning to visit. To the amazement of the other residents, more often than not, his predictions came true. His story is one of many charming tales in the mythical folklore of Moroccan Sufi brotherhood The Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka, who were described by William S. Burroughs as the ‘4,000-year-old rock ‘n’ roll band’. The tiny village in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco has attracted and enchanted many visitors over the years, including Tangier-based artist Brion Gysin and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, both of whom had been introduced to the Master Musicians by Tangier-based artist, Mohamed ‘The Painter Of Morocco’ Hamri, who hailed from the village. How many of these influential guests were foreseen by Telephone Man remains unclear, but the group’s exposure to the wider world continued to grow as LSD guru Timothy Leary followed, writing of his experience in Jail Notes, and Ornette Coleman visited to make recordings with the group in 1973. However, their recent history has been overshadowed by a row between two separate groups who both claim to represent the rich musical heritage of the village. The wealth of misinformation and conflicting reports elsewhere means there is much to discourage potential fans from their ancient, transcendental music. In times gone by it was not uncommon for a group of fifty-plus Musicians to line up and wail their holy truth out and over the hills from their mountaintop home. However, today two smaller groups exist to keep the music alive: the Master Musicians of Joujouka, whose leader is Ahmed El Attar, and the Master Musicians of Jajouka Led By Bachir Attar. Whereas the Joujouka Musicians continue to live in the village and do not speak English, Bachir Attar has lived in New York and was taught English as a youth by American writer Paul Bowles. …”
The Quietus
W – Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka
W – The Master Musicians of Joujouka
Brion Gysin, Copyright 1964: Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Brian Jones presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka (Full Album) 1968

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Crawdaddy was an American rock music magazine launched in 1966. It was created by Paul Williams, a Swarthmore College student at the time, in response to the increasing sophistication and cultural influence of popular music. The magazine was named after the Crawdaddy Club in London and published during its early years with an exclamation point, as Crawdaddy! According to The New York Times, Crawdaddy was ‘the first magazine to take rock and roll seriously’, while the magazine’s rival Rolling Stone acknowledged it as ‘the first serious publication devoted to rock & roll news and criticism’. Preceding both Rolling Stone and Creem, Crawdaddy was the training ground for many rock writers just finding the language to describe rock and roll, which was only then beginning to be written about as studiously as folk music and jazz. The magazine spawned the career of numerous rock and other writers. Early contributors included Jon Landau, Sandy Pearlman, Richard Meltzer and Peter Knobler. After Williams left Crawdaddy in 1968, the magazine was edited by Knobler from 1972 until its last issue in 1979. From 1993 to 2003 Williams self-published a Crawdaddy reincarnation. In 2006 it was sold to Wolfgang’s Vault and later resurrected as a daily webzine. … Crawdaddy was a generational magazine known for its well-written, insightful profiles particularly of musicians, but also a diverse mix of filmmakers, athletes, politicians, comedians and other celebrities prominent in 1970s pop culture, including Sly Stone, Bob Marley, the Who, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Mel Brooks, John Belushi, Jack Nicholson, Gregg Allman, Muhammad Ali, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Roxy Music, Little Feat, George Carlin, Randy Newman, Paul Butterfield, Brian Eno and Roy Orbison. Under Knobler, Crawdaddy‘s editors often assigned artists to write about other artists; Al Kooper profiled Steve Martin, Martin Mull interviewed Woody Allen, William S. Burroughs talked magic, mysticism and Aleister Crowley with Jimmy Page. …”
NPR: Remembering Paul Williams, Founder Of Rock Magazine ‘Crawdaddy!’
amazon: The Crawdaddy! Book

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Ronnie Spector: You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory

Publicity photo of the Ronettes—Nedra Talley, Veronica Bennett (Ronnie Spector) and Estelle Bennett

“On Wednesday, in the hours after Ronnie Spector’s family announced her passing from cancer at seventy-eight, I played, on loop, her cover of the Johnny Thunders punk anthem ‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.’ Recorded for The Last of the Rock Stars, her 2006 comeback album, the song is also a dirge for Thunders, who died in 1991; he had been one of Ronnie’s crucial supporters in the period after she left her abusive ex-husband, the megalomaniac, murderer, and iconoclastic music producer Phil Spector. On YouTube, you can watch her perform a live version of the song from 2018: after showing footage from an archival interview the Ronettes did with Dick Clark sometime in the sixties, she comes out, to applause, and says, ‘Sorry, I was backstage crying.’ Dabbing her eyes, she mourns the breakup of her iconic girl group, which also featured her older sister, Estelle, and cousin Nedra. ‘I thought 1966 was the end, no more Ronettes, no more stage, no more singing. I was out here in California and out of show business for seven or eight years. Let me tell you, life was a bitch.’ She then describes starting over back in New York City in the ‘70s (she was raised in Spanish Harlem), and meeting Thunders while singing at the legendary gay club and bathhouse Continental Baths, where he cried all through her set. … ‘People talk about how great the echo chamber was at Gold Star, but they never heard the sound in that ladies’ room. And, between doing my makeup and teasing my hair, I practically lived in there anyway. So that’s where all the little ‘whoa-ohs’ and ‘oh-oh-oh-ohs’ you hear on my records were born, in the bathroom at Gold Star.’ In my late teens, not long after the release of The Last of the Rock Stars, I spent a significant portion of 2007 primping in front of the cloudy mirrors in the girls’ bathroom of my public school, examining my relaxed, chin-length bob—one of the Black American girl’s evergreen coiffures—and combing the curled flip at the end just so. The ladies’ room: where teen girls gather to avoid class, and where iconic vocal stylings are born. I hadn’t yet figured out, then, how much my particular style of performing adolescence owed to Ronnie Spector. But it so happened that Ronnie’s aesthetic was on the rise again. …”
The Paris Review (Video)

Phil Spector, Los Angeles CA, Gold Star Studios. Ronnie Spector.
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Stanisław Lem: A Holocaust Survivor’s Hardboiled Science Fiction

“In ‘His Master’s Voice,’ a 1968 sci-fi novel by the Polish writer Stanisław Lem, a team of scientists and scholars convened by the American government try to decipher a neutrino signal from outer space. They manage to translate a fragment of the signal’s information, and a couple of the scientists use it to construct a powerful weapon, which the project’s senior mathematician fears could wipe out humanity. … Lem, who died in 2006, would have celebrated his hundredth birthday this past fall, and M.I.T. Press has just republished six of his books and put out two in English for the first time. Lem is probably best known in the United States for his novel ‘Solaris‘ (1961)—the basis for sombre, eerie movies by Andrei Tarkovsky and Steven Soderbergh—about a distant planet where a sentient ocean confronts human visitors with a manifestation of a person whose memory they can’t get over. In former Warsaw Pact nations, his robot fables and astronaut tales sold in the millions. When he toured the Soviet Union in the nineteen-sixties, he was greeted by cosmonauts and astrophysicists, and addressed standing-room-only crowds. A self-described futurologist, he foresaw maps that could plot a route at a touch, immersive artificial realities, and instant, universal access to knowledge via ‘an enormous invisible web that encircles the world.’ In a cycle of melancholy sci-fi novels written in the late nineteen-fifties and sixties—’Eden,’ ‘Solaris,’ ‘Return from the Stars,‘ ‘Memoirs Found in a Bathtub,‘ ‘The Invincible,’ and ‘His Master’s Voice’—Lem suggested that life in the future, however remote the setting and however different the technology, will be no less tragic. Astronauts disembark from a spaceship into the aftermath of an atrocity; scientists face an alien intelligence so unlike our own that their confidence in the special purpose of human life falters. Lem was born in 1921, to a Jewish family in Lwów. Like many Jews of his generation who remained in Poland after the Second World War, he rarely discussed his Jewish identity in private and almost never in public. He omitted it from ‘Highcastle‘ (1965), a memoir of his childhood. …”
New Yorker (Audio)

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When Martin Luther King Came to Harlem

“Less than a year before his assassination, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. came to Harlem. In the June 22, 1967, Village Voice, contributor Marlene Nadle observed the crowd anxiously awaiting the Baptist minister’s arrival: ‘Using programs folded accordion style instead of pastel fans with pictures of Christ, they managed to turn the chandeliered ballroom of the Hotel Roosevelt into a Baptist Church.’ At times during her reporting on the event, Nadle comes across as jaded, as in her description of when the audience initially glimpses King in a movie being shown by the hospital workers’ union, which had arranged the event: ‘The Lord appeared for the first time — on film. There was a great burst of applause.’ But when King arrives in the flesh and delivers his speech, Nadle acknowledges why the crowd is so rapt: ‘What he said was not important. It was the man who lent weight to the words. It was his presence felt, his integrity sensed. Such a man could make the telephone book seem like the gospel.’ But in point of fact, her coverage of the speech revealed that King’s words were very important. He was unafraid to speak to America’s most powerful interests — at his growing peril. Nadle relates his principled opposition to the Vietnam War: ‘ ‘Who appointed this country divine agent to the world?’ he asked. ‘Who gave it the arrogance to try to fix up another country when it hasn’t put its own house in order? How can it expect its black soldiers to fight in brutal solidarity with whites in Vietnam and then come home and not be able to live on the same block with them?’ ‘ King goes on to ask: ‘How come this country only worries about Vietnam? How come it doesn’t use its power against South Africa or Rhodesia?’ And the stirring oratory calling out hypocrisy at the top just keeps coming. … The crowd answered: ‘Amen.’ Then King, foreshadowing why he is celebrated every year — on his birthday in the dead of winter — as a great American, concluded, ‘We shall overcome. No lie can live forever.’ …”
The Nation: Hammer of Civil Rights By Martin Luther King Jr. (March 9, 1964)
To Build a Mature Society: The Lasting Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” Speech

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Running in sneakers, the Judson Dance Theater

Yvonne Rainer, We Shall Run, 1963 performed March 7, 1965 at the Wadsworth Atheneum

“Twelve performers stand still onstage. A minute passes, then another. You sit there watching, waiting for the dancing to begin. After what feels like an interminable period of stillness, the performers take off at a brisk jog. They form packs, crisscross the stage, peel off, and then rejoin the group. You make out the sound of sneakers squeaking on the floor under the booming, dramatic climax of Hector Berlioz’s Requiem played on the loudspeaker. If there is a pattern here, it evades you. But you watch as the joggers, like synchronized swimmers, merge, swerve, and break off from the group. Occasionally, you will zero in on a single performer. One woman jogs assuredly, her straight spine and intense gaze hint at her dance background. Meanwhile, another performer is getting visibly tired; they have been running for a while. This brisk jogging is the centerpiece of Yvonne Rainer’s We Shall Run (1963), the opening piece of the Judson Dance Theater’s ‘A Concert of Dance #3.’ The group was so-named for their primary performance space located across the street from Washington Square Park in the historically progressive. Here, the Judson Dance Theater redefined dance as movement and formed a link between the worlds of visual art, music, theater, and film beginning in the early 1960s. The choreographers and performers associated with Judson participated in a series of concerts and workshops between 1962 and 1964 and defined the criteria for what is typically called post-modern dance. Post-modern dance, like postmodernism in architecture or visual art, refers to a period of avant-garde activity responding to, and reacting against, the orthodoxies of modernism. This means that in order to understand post-modern dance, we must turn briefly to modern dance. The earlier generations associated with modern dance (Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and others) had moved away from ballet, or classical dance, and its precise, disciplined vocabulary towards an understanding of dance as authentic, spiritual expression. By the 1960s, however, this expressive version of dance no longer seemed relevant. The Judson Dance Theater emerged as a group of artists seeking to challenge the status quo and re-imagine avant-garde dance for a new generation. In the place of the spiritual and psychological, they celebrated improvisation, the unidealized physical body, and everyday movements. …”
Khan Academy
“The Work Is Never Done:” Judson Dance Theater Transforms MoMA
MoMA Collects: Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions
MoMA: The Voices of Judson Dance Theater (Audio)

Judson Memorial Church
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