On The Road with Cassadys, and Furthur Visions
On The Road with Cassadys, and Furthur Visions
The third & final book in "The Beat Trilogy" by Brian Hassett - this volume does what no book has done before - bringing to life the youngest Cassady (John) and the eldest (Carolyn) - on Roads & Adventures from New York to L.A. - including taking you inside the room as history's made at Christie's Auction House at Rockefeller Center when Kerouac's original On The Road Scroll was sold for more than any manuscript in history; and inside clubs in New York and L.A. when the book is brought to life by rock stars & movie stars. You can curl up with scholarly yet rollicking essays from Rolling Stone to Bloomsbury, then roll up some bombers and slip down to San Miguel in Mexico (where Neal died) with his old Prankster pal George Walker. You can go On The Road with On The Road film director Walter Salles, then to the Grateful Dead at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and enjoy that Cassady world with "Neal's kid" as Jerry Garcia & the boys used to call son John; then go hang at a party with the closest & coolest parent-child relationship in all Beatlandia (Carolyn & John); or stay up all night in New York with Kerouac's principal musical collaborator David Amram; or party into the wee hours in the Hollywood Hills with millionaire ne'er-do-wells reading Kerouac to a summer breeze, all while enjoying stories written and lived over decades of flashbulbs and flashbacks.
There's over 50 photos spanning the Adventures, from family albums to book covers, from Amsterdam stages to Beatnik sages. There's haiku transcribed from Carolyn's lips in England, and jokes recorded with John's dry delivery while staying lubricated on a couple of coasts over a couple of millennia. There's a massive interview with the guy who bought Kerouac's Scroll minutes after he did so, and an endless bar-hopping night with the guy who preserves it. There's cameos by Annie Leibovitz and Sonic Youth, and comments by every member of the Grateful Dead on how much both Cassady and Kerouac meant to them. There's meditations on friendship, and on The Power of The Collective. There's a deep exploration of the decade at the middle of the last century, as well as the decade that started this one. There's an ever-present uplifting refrain of playfulness both in the actions and the language. There's lessons from the masters implemented by proteges practicing in the present. There's touching tributes to fallen giants, and afternoon playdates with decades-old children. There's On The Road meets carpe diem, and corporate per diem meets Prankster performers. There's vivid accounts of the celebrations in New York and L.A. for the 50th anniversary of Jack writing the On The Road Scroll, and of the 40th anniversary of his writing Big Sur in Northport.
There's been a million words spilled by Kerouac & Kesey & Wolfe & others about father Neal - but far too little on the only family he ever really knew. Carolyn kicked some intellectual ass, and John was always open for a long-bomb pass, and this is the first book to really take the two of them for a ride. It's been in the works for over 20 years, and finally by the grace of beers, the gears got spun and the words got wrung from memory's tongue into the light and everything's right.
The Road didn't end in '47 or '59 or '68, hike It didn't end with Neal's passing or Jack's passing or Jerry's passing or Kesey's passing - but they were all just passing the torch - lighting The Road - and here's more miles where we kept it lit from California to the New York island.
But mostly it's about Love. Cuz that's All You Need. Between friends. Between surrogate parents and children. Between generations, and coasts, and continents, and hemispheres. There's a love of Adventure, of Spirit, of curiosity, of openness, of words, both past and present, and an embrace of life at it's fullest - of how to live - and why.
Author: Brian Hassett
Publisher: Gets Things Done Publishing
Binding Type: Paperback
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.67d
About the Author
Brian Hassett, a lifelong Road Adventurer, has been friends with the Cassady family since the 1990s, and has been writing about Jack Kerouac and the Beats for nearly 40 years, including in the 2018 "Kerouac On Record" collection, and helping put together and write two of the keynotes essays for 1999's "The Rolling Stone Book of The Beats" - all of which are included in this new book. This is the third in a Beat Trilogy that also includes "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Jack Kerouac" and "How The Beats Begat The Pranksters." . . . . He's also produced (booked, stage managed, hosted) many Beat-related multimedia events with many of the living leading lights in various downtown clubs in Manhattan, as well in L.A., Toronto, London, Amsterdam and elsewhere. In Winnipeg in the 1970s he helped organized a series of Acid Tests with multiple bands and light shows and everything that goes with it. By age 17 he was touring Western Canada with the rock band Yes, and by 20 working with Bill Graham producing The Rolling Stones 1981 tour. In the 1980s he became close friends with Edie Kerouac Parker and Henri Cru, and by the Beat boom of the '90s fell in with Carolyn Cassady and just about everybody else. He also hosted Carolyn and son John's first-ever stage appearance together as they all inducted Neal & Jack into the Counterculture Hall of Fame in Amsterdam. . . . . He's performed both his own work and Kerouac's writing, often with musical accompaniment, at the St. Mark's Poetry Project, the Beat Museum, the Knitting Factory, Wetlands, the Bitter End, the Bowery Poetry Club, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and many other subterranean saloons. In 2001 he produced the multimedia "50th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac Writing On The Road" shows on the day he started it, April 2nd, in New York, and on the day he finished it, April 22nd, in L.A., each with a long list of celebrity readers and performers. He wrote "The Temp Survival Guide" about how to make a living without having a job, and ended up for many years as an Executive Aide-de-Camp at MTV working with CEO Tom Freston, president Judy McGrath and others. . . . . His work on the Beats can be found in High Times, Relix, the Toronto Star, Beat Scene, DharmaBeat, Ken Kesey's Intrepid Trips, Literary Kicks, Levi's Jeans ads, and many other places. He maintains an active website with all sorts of current adventures - including falling back in with the Merry Pranksters and the Furthur bus at Yasgur's Farm in 2014 - at - BrianHassett.com
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