- I began singing in India, Mantra, and in the great '60s, I began
transferring the sacred music idea to Blake, and began transferring
that to folk music, and then got together with [Bob] Dylan in the early
'70s. Influences by Happy Traum and Rambling Jack Elliott, whom I've
known since the '40s, and Derroll Adams. So finally, the amalgam got
together and it was very simple minded blues, or adjective about a blues.
- Allen Ginsberg,
interview by Harvey R. Kubernik. October 1996.
- The scene at the table picks up momentum and begins to turn into
a full-tilt Max Sennett routine with Jack Elliott appearing in the window
singing sea chanties, then Ginsberg reading from Moby Dick, then Dylan
crawling across the table, out the window disappearing.
- Scene for Plymouth Rock,
filmed 1975/1976 for the movie "Renaldo & Clara"
[Wizard (Allen Ginsberg) sitting on Plymouth Rock.
Cowboy (Ramblin' Jack) approaching him as though he'd just come
a distance to find this place.]
Cowboy: Is this here the Kingdom?
Wizard: This is the Rock.
Cowboy: Oh. You mean this ain't the
Wizard: This is the Rock in the
Cowboy: Well, where's the Kingdom then?
Wizard: Good question
Cowboy: I come all this way just to
Wizard: Well, they say this is
where it started.
Cowboy: But you're not sure if this
is it or not?
Wizard: I have a feeling
it might be.
Cowboy: Who are you, if you don't mind
Wizard: I'm the King.
Cowboy: You're the King?
Wizard: And you're the Cowboy.
Cowboy: That's right! Now, how
did you guess that?
Wizard: How far did you
Cowboy: All the way from the Far West.
I traveled all this way just
to be here and see it for myself.
Wizard: Now that you're
here, what do you think of it?
Cowboy: Well, it's all right I guess.
A little disappointing.
Wizard: What were you expecting?
Cowboy: Well, I'd heard that it was
undiscovered territory. You
know, a new land. Open country. All that kinda stuff.
Wizard: Well, it is, isn't
Cowboy: But you're supposed to be the
Wizard: Yes, I'm the King.
Cowboy: So it's already been discovered
then if you're the King.
Wizard: But we haven't
found the Kingdom yet.
Cowboy: Oh, yeah.
On the ground floor is a full-scale setting of the landing of the Mayflower,
complete with rocking boat, computerized rainfall, and a tape-recorded
narration that responds the second you push a black button on the wall.
We've spent hours setting up the lights for a scene with Ginsberg and
Jack Elliott. Allen is sitting in the full-lotus meditative pose among
several wax Indians who are hiding behind huge wax leaves, peeking out
at the white Pilgrims. Jack is inside the actual setting, shaking hands
with all the Pilgrims and welcoming them to the new land. He warns them,
"Never give your address out to bad company." Then tips his cowboy hat
and walks out of the shot. Because of the bad lighting we aren't getting
the shot down right, so Jack has to keep repeating this action and saying,
"Never give your address out to bad company," over and over again until
you wish one of the wax Pilgrims would tell him to shut the fuck up.
Jack's begun to liven the scene up somewhat by finding a small platform
to jump from and lands square in the back of the small Pilgrim craft,
causing the stern to give way. "Looks like you guys'll have to bail
out." He starts bailing water with his cowboy hat as the cameraman is
yelling to him that he's run out of film. Jack can't hear this piece
of informtion though on acount of the computerized rainstorm that cuts
in along the repeating the phrase "Never give your address out to bad
company" over and over again. Allen is waiting patiently in the corner
for the cameraman to reload. A whole classful of school kids stampedes
down the stairs, herded from behind by two very tight-faced women who
turn out to be their teachers. Jack is still bailing from the boat.
The kids hit the railing of the display like a flock of gibbons, yelling,
"Hey, look, one of 'em's alive! Look, that guy's alive, Mrs. Thornwall!"
Mrs. Thornwall is peeling the kids off the railing, sensing right off
that things aren't the way they should be at this particular exhibit.
Finally the narration-rainfall-ensemble comes to a silent crunch and
Jack has a great idea. He breaks out his guitar and sings an old sea
chanty to the kids from the midst of the wax dummies. This is truly
- Above scenes transcribed by Sam Shepard
in his The Rolling Thunder Logbook. June 1987. For more on Allen
Ginsberg's adventures with Jack, reference the Beck