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Watch Allen Ginsberg perform the first song he ever wrote, on the roof of his apartment.

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June 3, 2021, 3:29pm

Rhythm was so critical to Allen Ginsberg’s work and delivery that it makes sense he was so often set to music, collaborating with The Clash, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, and Philip Glass. As part of Leita Luchelli’s Poetry Breaks project, Ginsberg was recorded on the roof of his apartment performing his song “A Western Ballad,” the first song he ever wrote; on his birthday, here it is below for your viewing pleasure.

Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace & junk & drums! Holy the guitar archival recording from 1997!

 

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