SECTION THREE 

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COLUMN 115, MARCH 1, 2005
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

MEETING LUCIEN CARR

I met Lucien Carr in a bar in New York in 1977. 

At 51, he was slender, handsome but getting crinkly-faced, with still a mane of straight blond hair just starting to grey.  He was easily the most debonair and worldly-wise man I'd met up to that point.  His knowledge of women, for instance, stunned me---but I was a green kid, a former Catholic from the good old Midwest.

He talked about women he'd fucked the way my neighbors in Lyons, Illinois, might have talked about tomatoes they'd bought in the market. I couldn't help liking the guy.  He was defensive with me at first---and it was clear he still hated "the murder" of David Kammerer being brought up with his name attached. 

There had just been a really salacious piece about the killing in NEW YORK magazine, I think, by Aaron Latham, and Carr was still smarting from it.  He had three kids and didn't want them


'. . .the coal black
hair, the startling
blue eyes. . .'


thinking badly of him.  But once he saw that I was OK, just a little naive, and that I really loved Jack's works, he opened up to me. 

He told me how impressed he'd been by Jack's looks---"the coal black hair, the startling blue eyes"---and how he was even more amazed by Kerouac's huge heart. 

"Every person Jack met was someone new for him to love," he told me, and I could hear the love for his friend in Lucien's cracking voice.  Later, and on a few other occasions, he took me back to his loft, where his dog peed on my shoulder bag and recording equipment.  He just laughed at my embarrassment and misery.  He was a tough cookie, and he wasn't going to allow me to tape anyway. 

I regret that, since it would be so wonderful to hear his voice now on tape, talking about those early days with Jack.  (Even though, as of this writing, all 300 MEMORY BABE interview tapes are still locked up at U Mass, Lowell, special collections, because of threats from John Sampas. And I am still fighting a lawsuit to try to free them.)

What I have are my notes from that interview, which at least will never be put under lock and seal.  Lucien told me never to take Jack too seriously when he wrote---that he invented more than he admitted.  Jack wasn't really in love with "Mardou Fox" (actually Alene Lee, also now deceased) in THE SUBTERRANEANS, Lucien said.  She was just good sex, but Jack had inflated it for the sake of the novel. 

I later learned that Lucien himself had had an affair with Alene---and that when he'd refused to marry her, she set fire to his house. These were crazy, wild people who led the most improbable of lives, and they were all lucky to have had Jack Kerouac to chronicle those lives, or most of it would now be forgotten. 

Lucien clearly knew this and felt that way---gratitude to Jack for making him a "hero" in the DULUOZ LEGEND, even though he was mad that Jack finally broke his promise never to write about the murder---since he told almost the full story in VANITY OF DULUOZ. Despite having spent two years of his youth in a reformatory, Lucien clearly regarded himself as a lucky man.  And frankly, I feel lucky myself that I got to know him too---if only a little. Rest in peace, Claude de Maubris, with your chewed-up beer glasses and Lautreamont under your arm.  You inspired a great American writer.

February 3, 2005  ##  


FOR AS LONG AS PEOPLE KEEP LISTENING TO BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES, PEOPLE WILL WANT THIS BOOK

"A masterpiece!" --- SALLY GROSSMAN, widow of Bob Dylan's brilliant original manager, Albert Grossman.

"This book is a must-read for all rock 'n roll aficionados!"---EAR CANDY

"An essential reference for demystifying what the author refers to as: 'one of the most self-destructive binges of creativity in cultural history.'"---HAMMOND GUTHRIE, COUNTERPUNCH MAGAZINE

"Required Reading for anyone and everyone who considers themselves fans, followers, students, or those just plain curious of the Golden Age of Popular Music"---GARY PIG GOLD, FUFKIN.COM.

"I love the book. I love the way you can open it to any page and start reading and it keeps you reading. The book is just fun to read." --LEVON HELM, Drummer of THE BAND from Big Pink.

"Ellis Paul and I love your book."---RALPH JACCODINE, Ralph Jaccodine Management.

". . .perfect for our times."---WOODSTOCK TIMES

"Adam Duritz (he's the lead singer and writer for the famed Counting Crows). . .was at my studio and couldn't put the book down."---STEWART LERMAN, RIGHTEOUS SOUND INC.

". . .a must read for anyone who loves, music, loves life, loves rock and roll."---TSAURAH LITZKY, author of The Motion of the Ocean, Baby on the Water, and  Goodbye Beautiful Mother.  

"I recommend it."---DOUGLAS HOLDER, IBBETSON STREET PRESS.  

".  . .It is a fascinating, insightful read. You are such a wonderful writer."---STEPHANIE LEDGIN, Music Journalist.

"I could not put this book of yours down for a minute."---ED GALING, POET LAUREATE OF HATBORO, PA.

"Quite simply, Al Aronowitz is a living legend"---JOHN FORTUNATO, THE AQUARIAN.

"Every student and fan of The Beat Generation, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones will want to read this book"---RON WHITEHEAD, POET

"Volume One Of The Blacklisted Journalist is the kinda tome what a fella can dip into at any given point and find oneself hooked within a couple paragraphs"---DUKE DE MONDO, BLOGCRITICS.ORG.


BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES, VOLUME ONE OF THE BEST OF THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST

The sometimes scattered chronicles of the rock journalist's friendship with a few of the most recognizable music icons in rock and pop history.

It certainly takes a bit of hubris to say that "the '60s wouldn't have been the same without me." But coming from Al Aronowitz, the former music columnist for the New York Post who was often called "the godfather of rock journalism," such sentiment is perhaps justified.  Here, in a compilation of many of his unpublished manuscripts, Aronowitz describes in candid yet affectionate detail his friendships with Bob Dylan and the Beatles.  As a music writer and fan who recognized the musicians' limitless potential early in their careers, Aronowitz decided to bring them together for the first time, in a New York City hotel in 1964, a meeting that also involved the Beatles' introduction to marijuana. His prescience was soon bolstered by the 1965 releases of Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited and the Beatles' Rubber Soul, both seminal albums that altered the landscape of pop music.  This landmark moment is just one of Aronowitz's colorful memories and musings of being a hanger-on with these legends and their associates, including The Band, Beatles manager Brian Epstein, poet Allen Ginsberg, deejay Murray the K and others.  Specifically provocative are the accounts of Dylan's erratic behavior and short temper, which often led to fitful confrontations and even the ending of friendships, including that between Dylan and the author.  It's also evident that Aronowitz was particularly fond of George Harrison, and the two remained friends until Harrison's death in 2001.  Most remarkable is the close proximity he maintained to these gods, whether he was at their homes, hoteI rooms, recording studios, or concerts.  Though his personal life certainly had its share of woes (particularly bankruptcy and his wife's death), Aronowitz exhibits a marked sense of pride---and rightly so---for playing a key role in music history,

An enticing backstage pass to the meeting of arguably the two most influential acts in rock history.


"BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES: Volume One Of The Best Of The Blacklisted Journalist is a golden stash box of Al's You-Are-There history of two thirds of rock's Holy Troika"---MICHAEL SIMMONS, LA WEEKLY.

". . .Amazing stories in this book" ---JAY LUSTIG, NEWARK STAR LEDGER

". . .Aronowitz has a place in the annals of history that nothing can erase"---DAVID DANKWA, GAZETTE LEADER

". . .Aronowitz has a simple, straightforward writing style that makes the reading go fast. . ."---JEFFERY LINDHOLM, DIRTY LINEN

"Aronowitz. . .witnessed things that most rock fanswould give an arm and a leg to see"---REGIS BEHE, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW

"The best of Aronowitz's writing. . . offer riotous and rambling time capsules comprising detailed vignettes and told in a voice that's direct, disarming and self-deprecating"---MIKE MILIARD, BOSTON PHOENIX

". . .Addictive reading" ---GOLDMINE MAGAZINE

". . .If you are truly interested in the 'behind the scenes' events of people who spawned an entirely new direction in the time we identify as the sixties, this book is truly for you!"---JOHN ANDERSON, HOST OF THE "ON THE HORIZON" RADIO SHOW

IN THIS 615-PAGE PAPERBACK, AL ARONOWITZ, ACCLAIMED AS THE "GODFATHER OF ROCK JOURNALISM," TELLS YOU MORE ABOUT BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES THAN ANY OTHER WRITER CAN TELL YOU BECAUSE NO OTHER WRITER WAS THERE AT THE TIME. AS THE MAN WHO INTRODUCED ALLEN GINSBERG TO BOB DYLAN, BOB DYLAN TO THE BEATLES AND THE BEATLES TO MARIJUANA, ARONOWITZ BOASTS, "THE '60S WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THE SAME WITHOUT ME."


AND HERE'S ANOTHER BOOK BY AL ARONOWITZ!

THE MOVIE WAS FICTION. THE TRUE STORY IS STRANGER THAN FICTION: FOR MOST OF HIS SHORT BUT SPECTACULAR LIFE, BOBBY DARIN UNKNOWINGLY LIVED A LIE

". . .A highly entertaining and informative read"--HAMMOND GUTHRIE, THE THIRD PAGE

". . .Its 43 chapters provide snapshots of Darin's brief, sensational life>" ---GOLDMINE MAGAZINE


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