COLUMN THIRTY-SEVEN, SEPTEMBER 1, 1998
(Copyright © 1998 Al Aronowitz)
A SATISFIED READER
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 1998 19:09:27 -0500
always wanted to hear a first person account of the time dylan turned on the beatles. thanks for the article; it was a great read. great web site.
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ANOTHER SATISFIED READER
From: "Leon Tabory"
Subject: I am thankful. Your interviews are just awesome!
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 11:00:43 -0700
I just spent too much time reading. Too much time taken from chores an other planned activities. But some of those would have given me great moments that your genius brought to llife. Thank you is what I want to say.
Leon Tabory ##
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GERSHWIN HAD A SON!
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 18:13:35 -0500
From: email@example.com (herb)
Subject: Alan Gershwin
Dear Mr. Aronowitz
My daughter Marcia has asked me to email you and provide a condensed scenario concerning my involvement with Alan Gershwin together with published evidence which indicates he may actually be the son of George Gershwin.
Casually ask some friends, "I wonder what ever happened to George Gershwin's son?" You can be sure they will stare at you in disbelief as they invariably say, with astonishment, "George Gershwin's son? He never had children, did he?"
The answer is "Yes" he did indeed have a son. His name is Alan and he's alive, questionably well, seventy-two years old, and trying to survive on a meager Social Security disability check.
There are dozens of biographies of George Gershwin. Did all their authors experience certain fears causing them to exclude references to his son? Most likely there are powerful influences to consider when biographers decide to venture forth to re-create in book form the life of a personage such as Gershwin. Did Alan fall prey to these fears?
Joan Peyser, Gershwin's biographer in her published book The Memory of All That, disclosed the existence of Alan Gershwin and to this very date, she has never been legally challenged. His birth was acknowledged by his mother, Margaret Manners, a showgirl. It appears biographers are reluctant to alter American Musical History.
Alan Gershwin was born in Brooklyn on May 18th, 1926, his birth certificate recorded in the name of Albert Schneider, with Mollie Schneider, Alan's mother's sister, listed as his mother.
In Alan's early years and during his occasional visits with his famous father, Gershwin could never find the courage to acknowledge Alan as his son and introduced Alan as a "son of a friend".
For what appears to be endless years, Alan waged a futile battle for full acknowledgement. And while the evidence is overwhelming, denials rage on.
A sad childhood, lacking even a shred of his father's musical genius, Alan approaches the waning segment of his life still hoping the world will, at the very least, announce him as "the son of George Gershwin," not Gershwin's "son of a friend."
I have met with and spoken to Joan Peyser and Alan Gershwin a number of times. They are fascinating individuals. I hope this info helps you, but I would suggest you read Peyser's bio of George Gershwin The Memory of All That.
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IT SEEMS INCREDIBLE
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 19:36:39 -0500
Subject: Kerouac, The Who
Dear Mr. Aronowitz,
Congratulations on the superb series of articles you have been reprinting, introducing and also currently writing for your page.
I have enjoyed them all but especially the one from the old Post series on the Beat Generation, I mean the interview with Jack Kerouac, which was most perceptive and sensitive to the real literary merit, and looming revolutionary socio-cultural impact, of the best of the Beat works.
Did you ever meet Kerouac after this interview? His Sixties' persona has been painted very negatively, even by friends such as the late John Clellon Holmes in whose reminiscences he comes across as a drunken, racist fool whose genius of the early-to-mid-50's had dimmed to the point almost of non-recognition. The stories of Jack's reported animus towards Jews in this era have, especially, greatly disturbed me. How could a man who could demonstrate the sensitivity to suffering revealed in all his major artistic works have said the kinds of things about Jews that Holmes and others who knew him in the '60s have reported he said? Does this portrait seem recognisable to you, who had known him? Considering the many, many Jews who helped Kerouac on his way and/or whom he loved (Ginsberg, Jerry Newman, boyhood jazz friend Seymour Wise, Gil Millstein ((who basically launched Jack's fame)), Carl Solomon, Larry Rivers, Joyce Glassman ((I liked your comments about the contretemps you have had, or rather that she has continued to have, with you)), I could go on and on.. It seems incredible Kerouac could have spoken against Jewish people in the way that has been reported, yet the proof seems overwhelming. The biographies, with the exception of Gerry Nicosia's and Tom Clark's fine books, largely overlook this issue. The issue of alcoholism does not seem adequately to explain all this..
If you have any comment on this matter I would be most interested in your views.
On a rock music note, I loved your Mick Jagger piece and was delighted to hear that you liked their current show. Question: did you ever see The Who and did you ever write about them? Perhaps about Tommy as performed at the Met? A great, great, band, especially, live.
Gary Gillman, Toronto.
P.S. I saw you a couple of years ago at a Beat Conference at NYU. You were in the basement club (made an introduction in fact) where Jan Kerouac read, and so well I thought too - so saddened I was to read of her untimely death. G.G. ##
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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 23:58:28 EST
Your site and most likely sight are excellent and I would greatly appreciate your feedback on this alternative last chapter I wrote for Jack Kerouac's On The Road.
Of course if you think it 's worth posting on your site i would be honored- if not, I have no GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Here it is:
So Dean drove back to New York and in my fevered haze, I thought I could see his bony ankle pushing out of his shoe, leaning on the gas all the way; the old car rumbling and sighing but moving for him like I knew it wouldn't for me. Later I understood that he must have been afraid of my disillusion in that fever. He was the ultimate cowboy of experience and life and I am sure he could not bear to see me not understand because he believed we understood everything and that knowledge would take care of us. So I forgave Dean for leaving me there in dry Mexico City just as I would have forgiven him if he left me there to die.
It was a long time before I had the energy to be a stranger again and hitch hike back up to New York. On a bright, moonlit night some where in Texas, I came a cross a camp fire of old, gray, hobo men and I felt honored when they made room for me and shared their whiskey and their stories. And listening to the stories of those men, I realized that maybe we had never found Old Dean Moriarty, but where ever he is, he is proud because we found the America he had searched for so long. And maybe we had found Dean's father and he knew because we found that spirit of the west I have tried to capture when I write and sometimes failed and sometimes not. And beside me suddenly I saw Dean's angular chin and hard warm eyes and we had that American bug so sought after that we sensed each other even though he was on the road between New York and San Francisco and two disillusioned wives. We sensed each other in the Texas night and on the dusty road and I thanked him for showing me why our fathers' believed in America and he grinned yes at me and I knew he would remain young and all knowing forever.
THankee for yo' time and thyme! ##
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ABOUT ELVIS PRESLEY
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 15:06:46 EDT
Subject: The Last Supper
"It was 21 Years Ago Today. . ."
Codeine, Morphine, Quaalude, Valium, Valmid, Placidyl, Amytal,
Nembutal, Carbrital, Demerol, Elavil, Aventyl, Sinutab (!). . . ##
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A RECOMMENDED LINK
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 14:21:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: charles sheppard
Subject: your web-site
Just came across your web-site today. . .I found it so exciting I added it to my literary link list page. I hope you don't mind. If so, let me know and I will remove it promptly.
I'm going to take my time to read your web-site over the next few days and weeks. At this precise moment I am at work so I can't browse as much as I would like.
Visit my web-site. Tell me what you think. It is brand new and I haven't posted any artwork up yet but you can still get the feel of what I aim to do. . . ##
Be cool, stay warm
Charles Atlas Sheppard
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