COLUMN NINETY, MAY 1, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
(Copyright " 2003 Joyce Metzger)
memoirs of a
beat survivor by Hammond Guthrie; SAF Publishing Ltd., London, England, 2002 (H/B D/J 224pp)
SAF Publishing Ltd., London, England, 2002 (H/B D/J 224pp)
'the first page is so marvelous it should be published as is." --Richard Kostelanetz
"When we played in Portland, Oregon Hammond entertained us backstage with fragments of
his psychedelic memories leaving me itching to hear more. AsEverWas provides the perfect
vehicle for me to do so. "Nick Saloman, The Bevis Frond
"A good record of experience, and memoirs are the in thing!? --Barry Miles
"Hammond Guthrie is an extraordinary writer who has been there, done it and has now written
the book. An important yet rather anonymous figure of the alternative scene from the 60s to
the present day " Hammond has rubbed shoulders with enough pranksters, activists and psyche
delic rock legends to form a dozen supergroups. AsEverWas documents these fascinating times
in Hammond's inimitable way. --Adrian Shaw, The Bevis Frond
Hammond Guthrie was born in
California to C.Robert and Sonya Guthrie, but we soon learn that his parents
were divorced at his early age of four years old. Hammond's father was a well
known criminologist who "occasionally served as an unidentified advisor to
sitting Presidents, the FBI, and to the
anonymous Directors of Central Intelligence." C.Robert Guthrie was remarried later to Arlene.
They resided at that time in South Pasadena but their passion became a sailing
Guthrie got his start in the submerged community when he collaborated with a
the mid-60s when free love, acid tests, merry pranksters, hipster music and
draft dodging were in vogue, Hammond hung out in Los Angeles and San Francisco
with the myriad of West Coast freaks and beatsters who actively engaged in the
birth of the hippie movement.
really didn't know much if anything truthful about the Hell's Angels, but I
knew enough to be
went to school with the potentially rich and semi-famous sons of some of
America's elite. The son of TV's Edgar "Judge Roy Bean? Buchanan; Tony
Miller, scion to the bawdy Henry Miller;
the Acid test? (Ken Kesey), became an open invitation for Hammond Guthrie's
inquisitive initiation to LSD during a foray to the "Futhur," Ken Kesey's
traveling, psychedelically painted touring bus. Later, with his roommate Chip, Hammond explored Tijuana,
Mexico where they met the harsh reality of a drunken wild bash, while being
relieved of all their cash.
words swing from aggressively intellectual to ardent expressionism, from
exploits, after marrying Wendy, included moving to England and immersing himself
in theworld of International Times, London's UFO club and the nascent 'time
Out." The free wheeling
personable Hammond always "lucked out."
We learn of his globetrotting spurred by marijuana, drugs of choice, and
the freedom to act accordingly, almost without restriction, from any authority.
We learn about divine intervention, hardboiled karma, red chalk circles
and the exhilaration of nimble, carnal minded spirits as fast motion dwindles to
slow motion, trickery, chicanery and confessions lubricated by seldom-aborted
plots and experimentation conceived in often befuddled, but dangerous minds.
a fractured time sequence, as readers, we learn that the globe trotting Guthries
are comic moments, sadness, poignant desires, and almost despair, but for all
true astronaut of the beyond, Del's astute knowledge of all things obscure and
his quiet con
Allen Ginsberg, Hammond writes; "We sat for an hour or so in the Express,
Guthrie spent nearly eight years abroad, in England, the Netherlands, Spain and
connection with Kees Hoekert, the marijuana grower, aboard 'the Dutch boat
with the American flag,?in Amsterdam, and the subsequent adventures prove
hilarious. His contact with William S Burroughs is inspired as a personality commentary
with recorded observation.
Guthrie counted Richie Furay (The Buffalo Springfield), Max Crosley, Richie
Havens (The Muddy Waters), Carmen McRae, Gregory Corso, Emmett Grogan (The
Jasper Grootveld is an infinitely creative shaman, a brujo of psychedelic
and his marijuana-friendly compatriots applied their creative genius and
prolific visions for the existing social order to the heater of protest "
putting on original Happenings, and un
unfolds, including charlatans, scoundrels, cynicism, unlawfulness, divisiveness,
Good Samaritan acts, cuckoldry, and revenge, in Tangier where "indigent
beserkers might run amok at the drop of a hat? as Hammond visits The Medina,
the Petite Socco, the Zoco Chico, the
final pages of AsEverWas came as a
surprise, perhaps a bit too quickly. I
had the distinct impression that the 'real? Hammond Guthrie, now returned
in 1976 when he boarded a fateful passage on the Southern Pacific at
Oakland, was still hidden within the folds of his own reality.
Perhaps, though we have traveled through space, time, over oceans and
continents with youthful
was also left with the curious impression that AsEverWas might well have been the first installment of a larger,
lengthy work, still in un-rolling progress.
Perhaps this was because his final three written words were:
To be continued?".
excellent read. A challenge to
actively engaged intellect, and a behind-the-scene revelation about many of the
personas (private and public) and events we have only heard whispers about
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