FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 79 THE BEATLES (Why was William Burroughs on Sgt. Pepper’s cover? ) (Feature on artist Brion Gysin)

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Why was William S. Burroughs put on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Burroughs was challenging the norms of the 1960’s but at the same time he was like the Beatles in that he was also searching for values and he never found the solution. (In the last post in this series I will talk about the one person on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s that did have access to the answer of values.) WHY DID THE “BEATLES” PUT BURROUGHS ON THE COVER? Francis Schaeffer hit the nail on the head when he said of Burroughs and those of the BEAT GENERATION:

These men are like John Osborne. They are idealists without an ideal. An idealist for which no ideal exist as far as they are concerned. So you can say they are puritanical in the sense they are furious simply because they want values and they can’t find them, so they are smashing…I will say two things about these men. It is always the same. FIRST, aren’t they horrible? We are at war with these men. They are trying to destroy us….It is like a real breath from the devil and they are destructive and then SECONDLY, they are really seeking purpose and they are really seeking values. They are not nobody. You can say they are horrible, but you can’t say they are nobody. 

SCHAEFFER WAS RIGHT TO COMPARE BURROUGHS TO JOHN OSBORNE. CHECK OUT THIS SMALL PORTION OF THIS ARTICLE BELOW WHERE OSBORNE ATTACKS THE IDEA OF FIXED VALUES:

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Music and The General Culture’s Shift Away From Absolute Truth

By

Pastor Stephen Feinstein

Next Schaeffer moves onto drama and focuses in on John Osborne (1929-1980). As brilliant as a playwright as this man was, he too was part of this movement towards absurdity. In his famous play Martin Luther, he deliberately distorts history to promote his view of truth. Luther was a man that was absolutely committed to truth and he was convinced that he was right in his doctrinal stances against the Roman Catholic Church. Well, in Osborne’s play, the story ends with one of Luther’s old Catholic mentors asking, “Martin, do you know you are right?” And contrary to all history, Osborne has Luther answer, “Let’s hope so.” The curtain rolls, and the audience is left with the mood that nothing is certain. What a moving way to end a play! If someone missed the point in a philosophy textbook, they certainly would have gotten it from the emotional pit in their stomach after watching the play. This is how drama works. It has the unique power, like music, to bypass the intellect and go straight for the emotions.

The Beatles were looking for lasting satisfaction in their lives and their journey took them down many of the same paths that other young people of the 1960’s were taking. No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” 

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

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William S. Burroughs introduced by Lauren Hutton on Saturday Night Live November 7, 1981:

Timothy Leary with William Burroughs

William S. Burroughs: The Possessed

Published on Jan 29, 2015

Thelema Now! host Frater Puck discusses William S. Burroughs, possession, synchronicities and chaos magick.

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Francis Bacon with Burroughs

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William S. Burroughs Was A “Rock Star” To “Rock Stars”

William Burroughs was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and spoken word performer.  A primary figure of the Beat Generation, he is considered to be “one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century.”  In the music industry he is a cultural legend, having influenced several generations musicians.  He is on the album cover of The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“, he is in the video for the U2 song “Last Night on Earth“, he released a collaboration with Kurt Cobain and his writings even inspired the band name Steely Dan.

His cult like status in the music industry is evident in these photos of Burroughs with some of the musicians he has inspired.  Remember, these musicians wanted to meet him, not the other way around…

And finally Kurt Cobain, who even collaborated with his idol Burroughs on a lengthy 9:42 song titled The “Priest” They Called Him (1992) in which Cobain provided a distorted guitar backing track behind Burroughs spoken word.  The two did not meet in person during the collaboration but they did meet a year later at Burroughs home in Lawrence, Kansas in October of 1993.

Kurt Cobain WIlliam S. Burroughs 1993 Meeting

Kurt Cobain WIlliam S. Burroughs Meeting 1993

As Kurt drove away, Burroughs remarked to his assistant,

“There’s something wrong with that boy; he frowns for no good reason.”

The “Priest” They Called Him (1992)

Francis Schaeffer comments on William Burroughs:

I am going to read first from Douglas M. Davis article, “The New Mood: An Obsession with the Absurd.” National Observer (February 1965), and then comment on it.

William Burroughs, 50, is the most controversial of them all, former drug addict, he wrote an impressionistic intensely detailed account of his experience and published it in 1962 under the title NAKED LUNCH.”

If there is anything that guarantees to make you nauseated it is NAKED LUNCH, and that is anybody, not just Christians.

“The book provoked a lively debate that is still in progress filled with pages and pages of what seemed to be gratuitous pornography. Critic John Wayne labeled NAKED LUNCH the merest trash, not worth a second glance. Mary McCarthy  didn’t agree. She called it the most important novel of the age and the epic of the century.”

That is because Mary McCarthy really belongs in the same thing. I saw Mary McCarthy on the BBC-3 television program when we were in England coming back from my last lecture time in the States. It was a discussion on censorship with Kenneth Tynan on November 13, 1965 and suddenly while discussing censorship Tynan used the most famous of all four letter words on TV and Mary McCarthy just laughed. I was fascinated and I thought the BBC was further along than I thought it was. Then the war started in Parliament the next day, embarrassment and finally apologies for the use of the famous four letter word on the BBC. Why do these men smash things this way? Mary McCarthy would think NAKED LUNCH is a good book because she belongs in the same black bath.

“Mr. Burroughs new novel NOVA EXPRESS will hardly settle matters. Like NAKED LUNCH it is impressionistic although not filled with pornography but with rough brutal language. If ever a book was written with rage it is this one. One doesn’t have to be a psychologist to perceive the moralist behind the mask of William Burroughs. Indeed, it is puritanical anger in the man that both saves the books from the charge of depravity and makes them unreadable.”

I would say that is right. These men are not cabbages. These men are like John Osborne. They are idealists without an ideal. An idealist for which no ideal exist as far as they are concerned. So you can say they are puritanical in the sense they are furious simply because they want values and they can’t find them, so they are smashing. And again we ask why do they smash things so? I will say two things about these men. It is always the same. FIRST, aren’t they horrible? We are at war with these men. They are trying to destroy us. If I am a Christian and I’m reading in an uncritical way and naive fashion they will destroy us. They will destroy everything they touch. It is like a real breath from the devil and they are destructive and then SECONDLY, they are really seeking purpose and they are really seeking values. They are not nobody. You can say they are horrible, but you can’t say they are nobody. 

Biografilm 2014 – Burroughs: The Movie – Official Trailer

William Burroughs is featured at the end of this music video by U2

U2 – Last Night on Earth

Terry Southern with William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jean Genet at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago

Terry Southern with William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jean Genet at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Junkie author William S. Burroughs on heroin addiction: CBC Archives

Published on Dec 5, 2012

In this clip from 1977, the renowned William S. Burroughs, the author of ‘Naked Lunch’ and ‘Junkie’, talks about his addiction to heroin. He says it didn’t cause any real damage to his health and he has no regrets. For more classic clips, go to http://www.cbc.ca/archives

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Kurt Cobain & William S Burroughs – The Priest They Called Him

William S. Burroughs on Saturday Night Live, 1981

william s. burroughs

Let’s rewind the videotape to November 7, 1981. That’s when Beat writer William S. Burroughs made his first appearance on American national television. Appropriately, it was on the irreverent, late-night comedy show, Saturday Night Live. Actress Lauren Hutton makes the introduction, setting up Burroughs to read from Naked Lunch (1959) and Nova Express (1964). You can watch the action above, which happens to be the opening scene of Burroughs, a 1983 documentary by Howard Brookner. The complete film is listed in our collection of 450 Free Movies Online (look under Documentaries), along with a 1997 BBC documentary on the author. For more good video dedicated to Burroughs, don’t miss the following:

William S. Burroughs Reads His First Novel, Junky (find it also in our collection ofFree Audio Books)

“The Thanksgiving Prayer,” Read by William S. Burroughs and Shot by Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant Adapts William S. Burroughs’ The Discipline of D.E.: An Early 16mm Short

William S. Burroughs on the Art of Cut-up Writing

The “Priest” They Called Him

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The “Priest” They Called Him”
Single by William S. Burroughs and Kurt Cobain
Released July 1, 1993[1]
Format 10″ vinyl
Recorded September 25, 1992 at Red House Studios in Lawrence, Kansas and November 1992 at Laundry Room Studio in Seattle,Washington
Genre Spoken word, noise rock
Length 09:41
Label Tim/Kerr
Writer(s) William S. Burroughs, Kurt Cobain
Producer(s) Thor Lindsay (exec.)
James Grauerholz

The “Priest” They Called Him is a collaboration between the American novelist William S. Burroughs and musician Kurt Cobain. Cobain provides dissonant guitar backing based on “Silent Night” and “To Anacreon in Heaven” to Burroughs’ deadpan reading. Originally released as a limited edition 10-inch picture disc on Tim/Kerr Records in 1993, it was subsequently re-released on CD and 10-inch vinyl.

This short piece read was first published in Exterminator! The titular “Priest” is the protagonist, an otherwise nameless heroin addict trying to score on Christmas Eve. After selling a leather suitcase filled with a pair of severed legs (and subsequently visiting the ubiquitous crooked doctor), the Priest returns to a boarding house with a fix. While preparing, the Priest is interrupted by muffled moans from the next room. He knocks and finds a crippled Mexican boy in the throes of agonizing withdrawal. After giving the boy his drugs as an act of charity, the Priest returns to his room, reclines on his bed and dies, in what Burroughs calls “the immaculate fix.” Another reading of this piece was also used in The Junky’s Christmas, a short animated film in 1990.

Cover art[edit]

The cover image and treatment was by Mark Trunz, who also took the picture of Cobain. The picture of Burroughs was taken by Gus Van Sant for his book 108 Photographs. Steve Connell created the jacket design. Kurt Cobain’s friend and bandmate Krist Novoselic is featured on the cover as the Priest.

The original 10-inch record is one-sided, with cover art completely covering the disc along with a hand written number, while the flip-side features etched autographs of Cobain and Burroughs: “William S. Burroughs” and “Kurtis Donald Cȯhbaine”. The release details “TK 92-10044” are etched in the inner groove of Side A.

The 10-inch vinyl reissue has cover art in black and white in the center on side one, which contains the audio. Side two has their autographs.

Recording[edit]

Wiliam Burroughs recorded at Red House Studios in Lawrence, Kansas, on September 25, 1992. It was engineered by Brad Murphy. Cobain’s guitar part was recorded in November 1992. Barrett Jones pushed the record button straight to DAT at Laundry Room Studios in Seattle, Washington. The mixdown was engineered by Ed Rose with James Grauerholz at Red House Studios; Grauerholtz also produced. Thor Lindsay served as executive producer.

Personnel[edit]

All personnel credits adapted from the single’s liner notes.[2]

Performers

97 Things You Didn’t Know About William S. Burroughs

Writer, philosopher, artist, and co-founder of the Beat Generation, William S. Burroughs — who died in 1997 at the age of 83 — continues to be a vital cultural force today. The author of books like Junky, Queer, and Naked Lunch, Burroughs forged the cornerstone of a modern American cultural movement with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and other visionary writers and artists. His buttoned-up, three-piece exterior cloaked a dark genius that hungered for hustlers and heroin — way back in the 1940s. On February 5, William S. Burroughs would have been 97, but his spirit undoubtedly lives on, with more about him still coming out.
Yony Leyser’s documentary William Burroughs: A Man Within is due on DVD February 15, filled with Burroughs rarities and interviews with everyone from John Waters, Laurie Anderson, and Patti Smith to Gus Van Sant, Iggy Pop, and Thurston Moore. Slated to be published this summer, Ah Pook Is Here is a collaboration between William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill. The “word/image novel” predicted the emergence of the ever-popular modern literary genre, the graphic novel. So if you have $260,000 laying around, you could do worse than invest in the William S. Burroughs Word Horde 2.0, considering the potential publishing rights. But for the rest of us, we’ll just celebrate by pulling out a big, sweet, flaming sheet-cake of love with words instead of candles, each representing one small piece of Burroughs’ life before he finally succumbed to his biggest obsession: death.

1. William S. Burroughs’ uncle was Ivy Lee, the godfather of modern public relations and a publicist for the Rockefellers.

2. His mother, Laura Lee Burroughs, came from a prominent Southern family, and claimed to be related to Robert E. Lee.

3. William S. Burroughs’ dad’s first name was Mortimer. He was the owner of a plate-glass company.

4. Their family fortune came from the Burroughs Adding Machine.

5. Burroughs’ parents sold their stock for $200,000 in 1929 — right before the stock market crash.

6. Burroughs used his first gun at age eight.

7. The same year, he wrote his first short story, “The Autobiography of a Wolf.”

8. Burroughs was introduced to opium by his family’s housekeeper.

9. Later in life, he thought he might have been sexually abused by a family relative.

10. From age 12 to 15, William S. Burroughs went to John Burroughs School in St. Louis. John and William were not related.

Junkie, 1953 [via]

11. He discovered the counterculture lifestyle at age 13 after reading You Can’t Win, the autobiography of Jack Black. It was around this time that he first began experimenting with drugs.

12. His short essay “Personal Magnetism” was published in the John Burroughs Review in 1929.

13. He learned about sex from studying classics.

14. Burroughs’ parents sent him to the Los Alamos Boys School in New Mexico, a boarding school for the wealthy, when he was 15. He was later expelled after taking chloral hydrate with another student.

15. At 16, he lost his virginity to a boy in the next bunk bed.

16. He destroyed all his diaries from this period.

William S. Burroughs [via]

17. Burroughs graduated with a degree in English literature from Harvard University in 1936. He was known for keeping to himself, and spent most of his free time with a .32 revolver and his pet ferret.

18. His parents gave him an allowance of $200 a month after graduation. $200 in 1936 was roughly equivalent to $3000 in 2011.

19. Burroughs worked as a cub reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but disliked the job and refused to cover certain stories.

20. Burroughs was turned down four times by the military.

21. He moved to Vienna to study medicine at age 22.

22. In Europe, Burroughs married a Jewish woman named Ilse Klapper in order for her to escape Nazi occupation and obtain a visa to the United States.

23. They divorced, but remained close friends for decades.

24. He purposely cut off his left pinky at age 25.

William S. Burroughs’ left hand [via]

25. He brought his severed finger to his psychiatrist Herbert Wiggers, who admitted him to a mental hospital.

26. Burroughs said that cutting off his little finger was part of “an initiation ceremony into the Crow Indian tribe.”

27. He later wrote a short story about the experience called “The Finger.”

28. Burroughs moved to Chicago in 1942 and got a job as an exterminator.

29. He also worked as an employee-fraud detective.

30. In Chicago, Burroughs became friends with Lucien Carr and Dave Kammerer; both men were also from St. Louis.
31. Burroughs moved to New York City in 1943, where he became friends with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

32. In 1944, their friend Lucien Carr murdered Dave Kammerer for making sexual advances.

Lucien Carr [via]

33. Burroughs and Kerouac were arrested as material witnesses to the crime.

34. The two collaborated on a novel based on the event, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks.

35. While the book was completed in 1945, it remained unpublished until 2008.

36. Burroughs met his future common-law wife Joan Vollmer through Jack Kerouac, who was dating her roommate, Edie Parker.

Joan Vollmer

37. The four of them moved in together in 1944.

38. Joan was the first girl Edie knew who practiced birth control with a diaphragm.

39. Kerouac introduced Burroughs’ wife Joan to Benzedrine inhalers.

40. In 1946, Burroughs was arrested for forging narcotics prescriptions.

41. At the same time, Joan was committed to a mental hospital for acute amphetamine-induced psychosis.

42. Burroughs and his wife moved to Texas and grew marijuana.

43. They had a son, William Burroughs III, aka Bill, Jr., born in 1947 in Conroe, Texas.

44. After being arrested for drugs in New Orleans, Burroughs and his family moved to Mexico City in 1949.

45. He studied Anthropology as a graduate student at Mexico City College.

46. In 1951, Burroughs killed Joan after shooting her in the head while playing William Tell.

47. They used a highball glass, not an apple.

48. Right before she was killed, Joan allegedly said, “I can’t watch this — you know I can’t stand the sight of blood.”

49. The police officially ruled it an accident, and Burroughs never served time for the crime.

50. In his book Queer, Burroughs wrote: “I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan’s death, and to a realization of the extent to which this event has motivated and formulated my writing.”

51. Though it was written between 1951 and 1953, Queer wasn’t published until 1985.

52. Burroughs moved to Colombia in search of the entheogenic vine yagé (ayahuasca) in 1953.

53. He corresponded with Ginsberg about his experiences; their exchange was published in 1963 as The Yage Letters.

54. Junkie was first published in 1953 under Burroughs’ pen name, William Lee.55. Burroughs met his future collaborator Brion Gysin and author Paul Bowles in Tangier in 1954.

56. Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Ginsberg’s lover Peter Orlovsky visited Burroughs in Morocco in 1956 and helped him to organize Naked Lunch.

David Woodard, William Burroughs, and Brion Gysin’s dream machine

57. Naked Lunch was rejected for publication by City Lights Books.

58. Chicago Review editor Irving Rosenthal was fired for publishing excerpts of the book.

59. Burroughs lived with Ginsberg in Paris, where he met Maurice Girodias of Olympia Press, who published Naked Lunch in 1959.

60. Burroughs had a bad trip on psychedelic mushrooms that Timothy Leary gave him in 1961.

61. After it was published in the US in 1962, Naked Lunch was officially declared obscene by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer testified in defense of the book.

Naked Lunch, 1968 [via]

62. In 1966, courts rejected the obscenity charges against Naked Lunch. The case marked the last major censorship hearing against written literature in America.

63. “I do definitely mean what I say to be taken literally, yes, to make people aware of the true criminality of our times, to wise up to the marks,” Burroughs told an interviewer in 1970. He described Naked Lunch as ”a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.”

64. While living in London, he reportedly sold his typewriter to buy heroin.

65. Burroughs appeared on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. (He’s next to Marilyn Monroe in the middle.)

66. He attended the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago with Jean Genet, Terry Southern, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Seaver, and John Berendt, where he witnessed police riots against demonstrators.

67. Burroughs lived abroad for 24 years before returning to NYC in 1974.

68. He taught at City College of New York from January to May of 1974.

69. Patti Smith had a huge crush on Burroughs (“He’s like another kind of Bible,” is how she once described him); he encouraged her to sing.

Patti Smith and William Burroughs, photo by Allen Ginsberg [via]

70. Burroughs’ son was one of the first people in the US to get a liver transplant in 1976.

71. William S. Burroughs worked as adjunct faculty at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics of Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado from 1976 to 1978.

72. While he was one of the pioneers of gay liberation movement, Burroughs said, “I have never been gay a day in my life.”

The Soft Machine, 1967 [via]

73. He wrote for High Times magazine.

74. He loved snakes.

75. He always carried a gun, even in bed.

Photo by Jon Blumb [via]

76. He’d also carry a custom-made sword-cane and a switchblade.

77. His physician’s name was Dr. Harvey Carcass.

78. He loved cats, having as many as six at a time.

79. Burroughs’ son Bill, Jr. died from a hemorrhage at age 33 on March 3, 1981.

80. Bill Burroughs, Jr. wrote two autobiographical novels before his death: Speed (1970) and Kentucky Ham (1973).

81. William S. Burroughs moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1981 with his life manager James Grauerholz, who helped him organize and publish his works.

Early Routines, 1982 [via]

82. He made paintings using bullets from shotguns.

83. He was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

84. The Ministry of Culture of France gave him the order of Commandeur del’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

85. During his life, Burroughs painted over 600 Manila file folders featuring “automatic calligraphy,” which he called his “life files.”

86. His first solo art exhibition was in December 1987 at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in NYC.

87. Burroughs was a regular on the set of David Cronenberg’s 1991 film adaptation of Naked Lunch.
88. He had triple bypass surgery at age 77 and quit smoking after the operation.

89. He was in a GAP commercial in 1993.

90. Kurt Cobain visited Burroughs six months before committing suicide. The pair had collaborated on Burroughs’ spoken word EP The “Priest” They Called Him.

91. Burroughs was featured in a Nike ad campaign in 1994.

92. He is considered the godfather of punk, even though he resisted the title.

93. He recorded a song with Ministry called “Quick Fix.” He also appeared in the music video for their song “Just One Fix.”

William S. Burroughs in 1983

94. He has a drink named after him: “The Burroughs” is made with vodka and Coke.

95. Burroughs died of a heart attack in Lawrence, Kansas at age 83. His epitaph reads: “American Writer.”

96. He died five months after Allen Ginsberg passed away. In a 1961 interview Ginsberg asked Burroughs “What is death?” His response: “A gimmick. It’s the time-birth-death gimmick. Can’t go on much longer, too many people are wising up.”

97. William S. Burroughs’ final words in his last journal entry were: “Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller what there is. Love.”

Tags:Allen Ginsberg, Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac, Junky, Queer, William S Burroughs

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About

Kurt Cobain & William S Burroughs, Claude Debussy & Erik Satie, Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire, Paul McCartney & Jeff Buckley, James Brown, Brian Jones, Keith Richards & Mick Jagger, Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve & Andy Warhol

Kurt Cobain & William S Burroughs, Claude Debussy & Erik Satie, Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire, Paul McCartney & Jeff Buckley, James Brown, Brian Jones, Keith Richards & Mick Jagger, Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve & Andy Warhol

Kurt Cobain & William S Burroughs, Claude Debussy & Erik Satie, Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire, Paul McCartney & Jeff Buckley, James Brown, Brian Jones, Keith Richards & Mick Jagger, Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve & Andy Warhol

Kurt Cobain & William S Burroughs, Claude Debussy & Erik Satie, Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire, Paul McCartney & Jeff Buckley, James Brown, Brian Jones, Keith Richards & Mick Jagger, Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve & Andy Warhol

Kurt Cobain & William S Burroughs, Claude Debussy & Erik Satie, Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire, Paul McCartney & Jeff Buckley, James Brown, Brian Jones, Keith Richards & Mick Jagger, Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve & Andy Warhol

Kurt Cobain & William S Burroughs, Claude Debussy & Erik Satie, Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire, Paul McCartney & Jeff Buckley, James Brown, Brian Jones, Keith Richards & Mick Jagger, Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve & Andy Warhol

WARHOL BURROUGHS NICO – CHELSEA HOTEL – 1980

 

 

William S. Burroughs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named William Burroughs, see William Burroughs (disambiguation).
William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs at the Gotham Book Mart.jpg

Burroughs in 1977
Born William Seward Burroughs II
February 5, 1914
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died August 2, 1997 (aged 83)
Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
Pen name William Lee
Occupation Author
Alma mater Harvard University
Genre Satire, paranoid fiction
Literary movement Beat Generation,Postmodernism
Notable works Naked Lunch (1959)
Spouse Ilse von Klapper (1937–1946)
Joan Vollmer (1946–1951)
Children William S. Burroughs, Jr.
Relatives William Seward Burroughs I, grandfather
Ivy Lee, maternal uncle

Signature

William Seward Burroughs II (/ˈbʌrz/; also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be “one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century”.[1] His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

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Lennon, Warhol and Yoko below:

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds- The Beatles (Yellow Submarine)

Lennon and Warhol below:

Lennon, Warhol and Yoko below:

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The Beatles I’m The Walrus

Above John Lennon  by Warhol

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September 19, 2011

By Elvis Costello

My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .

Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.

77

‘Because’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Tom Hanley/Redferns

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: August 1, 4 and 5, 1969
Released: October 1, 1969
Not released as a single

Lennon wrote the sweet, dreamy melody after hearing Yoko Ono playing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on the couple’s piano; he asked if she could play the chords backward, and he based the song on those changes. McCartney assumed that Ono also had a hand in crafting the song’s lyrics. “It’s rather her kind of writing,” McCartney said. “Wind, sky and earth are recurring. . . . John was heavily influenced by her at the time.”

George Martin arranged a nine-part harmony for the song, but there were only five tracks on which to record the vocals. So Lennon, McCartney and Harrison sang the three-part harmony live, then overdubbed it twice. This approach took extensive rehearsal, and more than five hours of extremely focused recording, to capture correctly. But the resulting song was stunning: a gorgeous, richly layered daydream that McCartney and Harrison both said was their favorite track on Abbey Road. “They knew they were doing something special,” said engineer Geoff Emerick, “and they were determined to get it right.”

Appears On: Abbey Road

76

‘Yer Blues’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: August 13, 14 and 20, 1968
Released: November 25, 1968
Not released as a single

Lennon had the bad kind of blues in India. He’d felt suicidal there, he later said, and searching for cosmic awareness in the Maharishi’s camp made him feel like the clueless Mr. Jones from Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man.” Lennon channeled his misery into one of his most scalding performances, although he told Rolling Stone that he had “a self-consciousness about singing blues. . . . We were all listening to Sleepy John Estes and all that in art school, like everybody else. But to sing it was something else.”

To re-create the vibe of its early years, Lennon had the band record the basic track of “Yer Blues” elbow-to-elbow in a closet next to the main Abbey Road studio. A few weeks after the White Album was released, Lennon played “Yer Blues” with one-off supergroup the Dirty Mac (featuring Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell) for the Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus. It was also the only Beatles song he played at the Plastic Ono Band gig a year later, released as Live Peace in Toronto 1969.

Appears On: The Beatles

William Burroughs and Brion Gysin

Brion Gysin Teaching

Published on Jul 30, 2013

cut ups slightly modified by modern means with lecture by Bryon Gysin track 04 called “Teaching” from LP, live London 1982

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Artist today is Brion Gysin

Brion Gysin, Art in America

by David Ebony

New York Museum retrospectives can either serve as tributes to well-known artists or offer reevaluations of under-recognized figures. This survey of some 300 works by Brion Gysin (1916-1986), including paintings, photo-collages, audio pieces, films and a sculptural installation, is a rare event that posthumously establishes a reputation that eluded the artist in his lifetime. A peripatetic man, with wide-ranging interests in poetry, music, film and performance, Gysin worked on the fringes of the art world for most of his life. He was a cult figure to some—Keith Haring, Patti Smith, Sue de Beer and Cerith Wyn Evans, for instance, have cited him as an important influence. And he is known in literary circles for his long association and collaborations with William S. Burroughs. Using a collage technique of randomly cut and reassembled texts, Gysin developed the so-called Cut-Ups, which Burroughs then adopted for several of his novels. Despite the fact that Burroughs always credited Gysin for the idea, the innovative process remains widely attributed to the writer. Among the highlights of the show are Gysin’s Cut-Ups from the early 1960s, which incorporate Burroughs’s texts for Naked Lunch (1959); especially outstanding are intricate compositions comprising passages from The Third Mind (1965) and Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead (1971).

Brion Gysin: Self-portrait, 1961, altered 35mm slide, 13⁄8 by 7⁄8 inches.

Gysin and William S. Burroughs: The Third Mind, 1965, mixed mediums on graph paper, 123⁄8 by 95⁄8 inches.

– See more at: http://briongysin.com/?p=128#sthash.lmiWX4qA.dpuf

Brion Gysin: Bigger Than Life

August 10, 2010 by John Perreault

 

Brion Gysin: Self-Portrait, 1961.
Photo: Courtesy of Musée D’art Moderne De La Ville De Paris

“Here-to-go – Planet R 101” Brion Gysin

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From the New Museum’s Press Release: The New Museum will present “Brion Gysin: Dream Machine,” the first US retrospective of the work of the painter, performer, poet, and writer Brion Gysin (born 1916, Taplow, UK–died 1986, Paris). Working simultaneously in a variety of mediums, Gysin was an irrepressible inventor, serial collaborator, and subversive spirit whose considerable innovations continue to influence musicians and writers, as well as visual and new media artists today. The exhibition will include over 300 drawings, books, paintings, photo-collages, films, slide projections, and sound works, as well as an original Dreamachine—a kinetic light sculpture that utilizes the flicker effect to induce visions when experienced with closed eyes. “Brion Gysin: Dream Machine” is curated by Laura Hoptman, Kraus Family Senior Curator, and will be on view in the New Museum’s second floor gallery.

“An exhibition of an artist who died more than twenty years ago represents an approach to the notion of the new that is somewhat different from the Museum’s standard—one that emphasizes relevance and fresh information over chronology, and brings to the fore a relatively neglected yet very influential innovator who continues to have a strong impact on artists working today,” said Laura Hoptman.

In 1959, Gysin created the Cut-Up Method, in which words and phrases were literally cut up into pieces and then rearranged to untether them from their received meanings and reveal new ones. His Cut-Up experiments, which he shared with his lifelong friend and collaborator William S. Burroughs, culminated in Burroughs and Gysin’s The Third Mind, a book-length collage manifesto on the Cut-Up Method and its uses. Transferring this notion to experimenting with tape-recorded poems manipulated by a computer algorithm, Gysin created sound poetry and was among the earliest users of the computer in art. At the same creative moment, Gysin conceived of the Dreamachine. During the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, Gysin would continue his collaborations, and prove to be a mentor for myriad artists, poets, and musicians, from John Giorno to Brian Jones, to David Bowie and Patti Smith, to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Keith Haring, among many others.

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Burroughs and Gysin, 1959.

The New Museum’s “Brion Gysin: Dream Machine” is intended as New York’s reintroduction to this painter, poet, innovator, and total subversive, and that it will be. Gysin was the artist’s artist among the Beats, the man who invented William S. Burroughs’s favorite writing technique—the cut-up, in which newspapers or other printed materials are sliced and reassembled to make unexpected new connections—and is a key figure in the development of postmodern literature, Kinetic art, street art, spoken-word poetry, and experimental punk, rock, and pop. Yet outside the art world, he’s been almost totally unknown, at least until now.

But there’s another story underlying the exhibit. It’s the first major tribute to the artistic subculture rooted just across the street from the museum, at 222 Bowery. Together with the Hotel Chelsea, the building was to New York what the Beat Hotel was to Paris: the spot where artists and writers hung out, crossed paths, misbehaved, hooked up. Burroughs lived there; it was Gysin’s crash pad when he was in town. And unlike the Beat Hotel, it’s still an artist enclave.

The building itself is a sturdy-looking brick chunk, built in 1884, that would blend into nearly any downtown block. In its early decades, it was home to the first modern YMCA. During and after World War II, the artists started to move in. First came the French Cubist Fernand Léger; painters James Brooks and Wynn Chamberlain arrived soon after. In 1958, Mark Rothko leased the building’s huge gymnasium to work on his murals for The Four Seasons, the ones whose story is told in the Broadway show Red. Rothko handed down his space to the second-generation Abstract Expressionist Michael Goldberg in 1962. Lynda Benglis, whose own retrospective opens at the New Museum in February, secured her loft in 1974; the sculptor and painter Lynn Umlauf, who later married Goldberg, came in 1977. (Both women still live and work there.)

The real social butterfly of 222, though, was Gysin’s former lover, the poet and artist John Giorno, who followed Chamberlain there in 1966. Giorno remembers one of Gysin’s long-ago visits vividly. It was 1978, and their affair had long since fizzled. Gysin was in town for the Nova Convention, a poetry festival co-produced by Giorno and dedicated to Gysin and Burroughs—who had moved into his own loft at 222, which he famously called “the Bunker.” Gysin was used to Parisian garrets, and loft life, with its high ceilings and few walls, was a revelation. He took one look at Giorno’s space, cluttered with Oriental rugs and piles of poems, and remarked, in his particular British-Canadian cadence, “You all live like bohemians!” Which they did.

What followed was typical of Giorno and Burroughs’s interlaced lifestyle. They escorted Gysin (and others, like Burroughs’s longtime companion James Grauerholz) down to the Bunker, where Burroughs drank (vodka) and Giorno cooked (bacon-wrapped chicken was a Burroughs favorite). Guests were always high and liquored up by the time dinner was served, at a conference table surrounded by orange vinyl chairs. Drinking and smoking would continue until 10 p.m. or so, when Burroughs would retreat to bed, after engaging his guests in some convivial target practice with his blowgun.

Things were always a little more intense when Gysin was in town. There were visits with Allen Ginsberg and Blondie. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were always around, stopping by with their expensive pot after dinner, getting Gysin high, and hanging on his every word. But it was Burroughs who was most affected by Gysin’s presence. The two had known each other for decades, going back to their time as expats in Tangier in the fifties, and “Brion brought out a very somber, self-conscious Burroughs,” says Stewart Meyer, a novelist and Bunker habitué. Giorno agrees: “When William was asked, ‘Did you ever love somebody?,’ he always said, ‘I’ve never respected anybody more than Brion Gysin in my life.’ That was his word for love. He had lovers, but somehow Brion was on another level. They were gay and never had sex together, but in a certain way Brion was William’s lover.” Meyer says Burroughs was painfully concerned with Gysin’s perception of him. “William could not paint while Brion was alive, though he had wanted to. He did not want to overshadow Brion in that area, because he had already overshadowed him in every other area.”

That continued up to Gysin’s death at 70, in 1986. He’d never become well known and never saw full publication of The Third Mind, the instructional tome (created with Burroughs) that meant to introduce the world to the cut-up. (Burroughs’s own cut-ups, the “Nova” trilogy, were not only published but are still in print.) “Brion knew it wasn’t William’s fault. But in terms of the general popular culture not recognizing the importance of his contribution, there was a little bitterness,” says the artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, who befriended Gysin in the late seventies and credits him with inspiring the project he undertook with his late wife, Lady Jaye. (The two literally cut themselves up via plastic surgery to form the “third being,” with matching lips, eyes, beauty marks, and breasts. Gysin’s methods taken to the extreme.)

The building at 222 retains vestiges of that era. Burroughs returned yearly until his death in 1997, and since then, Giorno has preserved the Bunker, adding a Buddhist meditation shrine opposite the kitchen. Burroughs’s typewriter is still here, as are the Gysin paintings he prized. Giorno accumulated three apartments in the building, and he and his partner, the artist Ugo Rondinone (whose HELL, YES! sculpture hangs on the New Museum’s façade), still hold eccentric, intimate dinners. But their world is vanishing fast. The top two floors have been bought and are rented out at market rate. Green Depot, an ecofriendly home-goods chain, occupies the storefront, and Goldberg’s (and thus Rothko’s) old space is changing hands at year’s end, its hardwood floor still caked with traces of both artists’ paint.

Brion Gysin: Dream Machine
New Museum of Contemporary Art.
July 7 to October 3.

Related posts:

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 38 Woody Allen and Albert Camus “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide” (Feature on artist Hamish Fulton Photographer )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 37 Mahatma Gandhi and “Relieving the Tension in the East” (Feature on artist Luc Tuymans)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 36 Julian Huxley:”God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” (Feature on artist Barry McGee)

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