Thursday, December 30, 2010

And Let Us Not Forget "Zacherle" The Cool Ghoul!

I remember him originally from "Chiller Theatre"; when I could stay up late on a Friday or Saturday night and watch him play host for a good old fashioned, classic horror flick like Frankenstein  or Dracula. With cauliflower for a prop, he could have you playing along with his version of metrosexual monster schtick:

But I really became a fan of his when he began hosting that American Bandstand rip-off they used to show on Channel 47, around the year 1967:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gifts for Your Favorite Beatnik This Christmas - For A Cool Yule! is offering a large assortment of T's and Hoodies featuring beatnik logos and memorabilia. Check out this sample ...

This is one of my favorites!

Here's the tagline for it: "Show your loyalty to the resistance by wearing one of these Underground Beatnik t-shirts."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Formula: Two Guys in Sports Jackets, Playing Guitar - and a Blonde

Oh, I almost forgot, one guy is short and the other tall. Back when people snapped their fingers instead of clapping their hands in applause.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Modern-day Beatniks Found On The Forum

I don't believe it contemporary beatniks do in fact exist!

Ya don't believe me? Check out this post:

"Beatniks were a group of artists in the 1950's. They were non-conformists who used their art to express their emotions, which was usually against society. They were outcasts and proud. As the 50's ended the Beat Movement gave birth to the Hippie Movement. Although they were similar in a 'hate the establishment' sort of way, their methods and dress were quite different.

What is an Urb Beatnik?!

On Urb, the Beatniks are the funkiest members on the site. Funk-Ahhh-Delic ALT is the main group for these members. The Beatniks on Urb are people who grew wary of the same ol' battle of good versus evil (although some of us still keep our allegiance with one group or the other). Beatniks aren't all good nor are they all evil, their love for the arts keep them grounded. They are often ridiculed for their free spirit and accused of being a Hippie but only the ignorant do that."

This one is even better:

"Come check us out at the Arts District and sign your name on our charter:

SOME famous Beatniks include:


Remember, Beatniks do it BETTER! If they ask what "it" is, tell them EVERYTHING!

I hope to see you soon! Even if you aren't a Beatnik, stop by my Hep Cat Chill Spot and HOLLA!!!

Remember Hep Cats and Squares...

All are welcomed to join!

Keep it Funky!

The Mistress of Funk"

I'm adding this link to my blog -

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cafe Wha? and The Purple Onion: Where The Beat Elite Used To Meet

Cafe Wha? in New York and The Purple Onion in San Francisco are two of the original beatnik hangouts that are still in existence today,

"Since the 1950s the Café Wha? has been a favorite hot spot cornered in the heart of Greenwich Village. The 60s was an impressionable and revolutionary era. Artists of the time frequented the Café Wha? as it was known to be a sanctuary for talent; Allen Ginsberg regularly sipped his cocktails here. The Café Wha? was the original stomping ground for prodigies Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Bruce Springsteen, Peter, Paul & Mary, Kool and the Gang, as well as comedians, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby also began their road to stardom on this historic stage. The Café Wha? encompassed the Beat Generation and continues to hold tight to its spirit, entertaining all walks of life."

"The Purple Onion is a celebrated cellar club in the North Beach area of San Francisco, California located at 140 Columbus Avenue (between Jackson and Pacific). With an intimate, 80-person setting, the club was a popular influence in local music and entertainment during the Beat era.

Notable entertainers who either got their starts or played the club in the 1950s and 1960s include Maya Angelou, Jim Neighbors, Bob Newheart, Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Phyllis Diller (who made her stand-up debut here), the Kingston Trio (then a quartet), and the Smothers Brothers (then a trio --who recorded their first album, Live at the Purple Onion there. Richard Pryor also performed at The Purple Onion."

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Beatnik's Favorite Comic Strip

Walt Kelly's comic strip "Pogo" had to be without doubt a precursor to the beatniks. Pogo the Possum symbolized The Beat Generation every bit as much as James Dean's "Rebel Without a Cause or Marlon Brando's "The Wild One". Pogo had that touch of "je ne sais quoi" the others lacked. Perhaps it was a lot like "Your Moment of Zen".

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Sampler of "Beat" Heroes

What more can I write? Only in America ... only in America!

Makes you wonder about the name "The Beatles". Was there an influence perhaps?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why Did Beatniks Resemble Fidel Castro and Cuban Revolutionaries?

Ok, maybe Fidel didn't wear turtlenecks in the Caribbean climate. Maybe he and his troops got to wear combat boots instead of sandals.

The rest of the look - berets, sunglasses, and beards is 'spot on', as the Brits say. Fidel and his troops liked their strong coffee, regardless of what name it was given. They like to smoke. And they liked their music. Bongo music was not foreign to the Cubanos, and Conga drumming was familiar to Beats. I'm sure both groups used marijuana and played guitars.

Was their a possible connection between the two? Were The Beats as much related to Marx as they were to Thoreau or Kerouac? Or was it all just one big coincidence?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beats and the Backlash of The Squares

This site could just as well be called "Beatnik 101". It's a real good introduction to beatniks of both stripes, the real "Beats" and the stereotyped weekend wannabes. Here's an excerpt for your perusal:

"The Beatniks we know and love, with their requisite bongos, berets and turtlenecks, made their big screen debuts in Hollywood films like FUNNY FACE and BELL BOOK AND CANDLE in the late 1950s. They weren't called beatniks yet, but they were black-clad, modern-dancing, angst-ridden Existentialists—a trés chic French export. These early beatnik stereotypes—goateed, bongo-beating espresso drinkers—were then portrayed as quaint and harmless, if somewhat silly.

But in American urban centers like New York and San Francisco, a youth culture that defined themselves as "beat" was forming. These were members of a generation whose spirits were beaten down by World War II and the new fear of atomic weaponry, and responded to the angst by rejecting the materialistic, straight-laced values of the 1950s mainstream. They listened to jazz. They experimented with drugs. They wrote stream-of-consciousness poetry. They danced to the beat of a different bongo, and went pretty much unnoticed. It was only after the publication of Jack Kerouac's On the Road in 1957 that the mainstream caught on."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beatniks and "Beat" Poets - There's A Difference

"Beatnik" was a more superficial and aesthetic spinoff of the beat movement. The word was coined by Herb Caen, a San Francisco columnist, in 1958, playing off of the recent launch of the Russian sputnik.[ ... ]

Were there ever any beatniks? Probably, but they were as phony, or phonier, than the hipsters of today. Instead of being a vital social or artistic movement, this was a way for ordinary people to feel "bohemian" without actually taking any risks, or producing anything of value.

Jack Kerouac, who coined the phrase "beat generation," hated the term. (Wouldn't you?) Allen Ginsberg famously said that "If beatniks and not illuminated Beat poets overrun this country, they will have been created not by Kerouac but by industries of mass communication which continue to brainwash man."

This appropriation of beat culture mirrored the later co-opting of the term "hippie," which grew into a grotesque parody of itself by the late 1960s. In point of fact, the word "hippie" grew out of the word "hipster," which was used to describe various bohemian types who lived in NYC's Greenwich Vilage, and Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. Like modern-day hipsters, 1950s and 60s counterparts shunned work in favor of artistic expression; or, at least, pretending to be artists.

The word is still in use today, though its negative connotations have largely faded. A Haruki Murakami book, Sputnik Sweetheart, gets its name from a catachresis by the narrator's love object, who says "sputnik" instead of "beatnik." Film director John Waters once cited Maynard G. Krebs as an inspiration growing up. Unfortunately, it's the cliched image, of sunglasses, turtlenecks and bongos, which lives on...not the reality of the beat generation.