Bukowski at Bellevue, 1970

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Over 1000 posts
#1
This no doubt has been posted elsewhere on youtube. Just the latest upload that will probably be pulled, or forgotten, shortly:

 

roni

Over 5000 posts
#2
Thanks man,
I have bought this on VHS back in the days and still remember, how disappointed I was. Haven't seen it since then and even though I am downloding this digitized version now, probably never will again.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
#4
I was amazed at seeing it too. Back then, it was the only way you could get to see Bukowski "live", except for the hard to get Bukowski Tapes, and the equally hard to get Hackford documentary.
Yes, the quality was poor, but it was great to see Buk doing a reading for the first time.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Over 1000 posts
#5
I think Bukowski says it is his fourth reading on the film. Interesting. The timeline indicates it would have been his sixth reading. Or maybe he's collapsing a couple two day readings, including the Washington trip.

In the story "Would You Suggest Writing as a Career?", (in Erections, originally from NOLA, early 1971) he says it was his first time flying. So does the timeline.

I borrowed the tape a few years back from the local library and was disappointed in the quality. Then again I remember how crappy those old VHS tapes were back when I was in high school and a few years later in college. Amazing anything survived. Porn seemed to help the quality of tapes improve. :p

I don't really like some of the cuts the uploader makes that splits a few poems in the middle. But, like Roni, I've got the flv file now. Twenty years down the road I hope it still plays or someone puts up the newest way to watch older stuff on whatever exists. Hopefully I'll still exist.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
#7
He certainly felt at the wrong place there. And he seems to be even more uncomfortable than at other readings we know. It hurts to see him suffer like that. In later readings, he was at least able to make a show out of it, which was not only entertaining, but also helped him going through it.
 

mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#8
I think Bukowski says it is his fourth reading on the film. Interesting. The timeline indicates it would have been his sixth reading. Or maybe he's collapsing a couple two day readings, including the Washington trip.
Or he is not counting the Bridge readings, since they were small and the others were at universities (or community colleges).

Then again I remember how crappy those old VHS tapes were back when I was in high school and a few years later in college.
1970 that would have been open reel video - like a reel to reel audio deck. The first video cassettes didn't come out until '71, and they were targeted at broadcast users so the hardware (and the cassettes) was expensive. But the older open reel systems were pretty common in the 60s (we had one or two at my backwater junior high school, and they let us fuck around with them unsupervised, so they must have been relatively inexpensive at the time).

Bellevue has been on DVD for some time now. I assume that's where those YouTube rips came from. I have the DVD here but I don't think I've ever looked at it. The source was pretty rough, and while it's fascinating in small doses, it suffers - for me - the same way all Bukowski's readings suffer. They're just boring. Unless someone is turning over a table or throwing something at the stage, hearing him read makes me sleepy.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#9
Yeah, the Bellevue reading seem to be a stiff crowd, a stiff place. But who knows, maybe afterwards all hell broke loose. Or maybe not.

Bellevue has been on DVD for some time now. I assume that's where those YouTube rips came from. I have the DVD here but I don't think I've ever looked at it. The source was pretty rough, and while it's fascinating in small doses, it suffers - for me - the same way all Bukowski's readings suffer. They're just boring. Unless someone is turning over a table or throwing something at the stage, hearing him read makes me sleepy.
That's really true. The readings always get interesting when something happens beside the reading or in between. This is probably because all readings are senseless and stupid bullshit, imho. Literature, poetry, anything, does not work this way. It only works like this, if it works at all: book, bed, and the idiot who's reading. I have spoken.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#10
the live readings are theater, no doubt, his sense of humour and his "rejoinders" with the audience the best part.

although his home readings can be dull - especially at the beginning, before he gets progressively drunker and more animated, there are always moments where he seems to get really absorbed in the poem, almost as if he's reading someone else's work.

i thought the "70 minutes" cd and the pacific radio broadcast had some really compelling readings but needless to say - what the hell do i know?
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#11
One reading I really like is "For Jane" from The Bukowski Tapes.

Starting at 1.44 ... it's so unbelievable raw and intense. Maybe it's just the alcohol but it really sounds down to the last bone of sadness and loneliness and everything. As it probably came out.

[This video is unavailable.]

After I heard this for the first time, I never got his voice out of my head again while reading it.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
Over 500 posts
#12
i've got audio of him reading "for jane" and then "quiet clean girls in gingham dresses." anyone any idea, if he read those poems consecutively, what reading they are from? it's one of the few, if only, instances where the reading took me back to the text.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
#13
I LOVE, when he reads his poems!

Talking about the Schroeder-Tapes, all his readings there are good. I especially like 'Style', where he goes on after the reading: "Style is also the way of lighting a cigarette ..."

Also some of the poems on the 'Uncensored'-CD are splendid! (Like 'Rain' or 'A radio with guts')

The live-readings, I agree, live mostly from the show, which is usually cool (except for the stupid fucks at Vancouver). But these have also some wonderful poems read in a perfect style. Like 'The Crunch' from the 'Baudelaire'-reading.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
#14
[...] Bukowski says it is his fourth reading on the film. [...] timeline indicates it would have been his sixth reading. [...] In the story "Would You Suggest Writing as a Career?", [...] he says it was his first time flying. So does the timeline. [...]
Or he is not counting the Bridge readings, since they were small and the others were at universities [...]
Have just re-read 'Would You Suggest Writing as a Career?' and definitely think he's talking about the readings at West Washington State College [5/29] and Bellevue Community College [5/30].

Everything fits except his claim it was his 4th reading. He DOES count the Bridge-readings ("It was my first college reading, but I'd had a drunken two night stand at an LA bookstore") but doesn't mention Cal State L.A. [2/17] and The Kiva, University of New Mexico [5/15] readings.

Have a look at his description of the second reading (hungover at a college at noon. The recording on "tv". The thermos. Even having "one long hair hanging straight down the center of my forehead" fits)!
 

zobraks

Moderator
Over 1000 posts
#19
Thanks, Ponder. You're welcome. :)

Speaking of My Father, there are three other (collected) poems with that title.

In It Catches My Heart in Its Hands / Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame:
he carried a piece of
carbon, a blade and a whip
...

In Septuagenarian Stew:
was a truly amazing man.
he pretended to be
rich
...

And in The People Look Like Flowers at Last:
my father liked rules and doing things
the hard way.
...
 

mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#20
Database updated.

These multiple versions of the same title are the most difficult to tease out, especially if we don't have the magazine appearances.

So I made a couple of assumptions in breaking the existing "my Father" entry into four different entries. 1) That the version from Catches My Heart In Its Hands and Burning in Water Drowning in Flame is the same one from Harlequin. 2) That the version from Septuagenarian Stew and Gargoyle are the same, since they were both published in 1990.
 

zobraks

Moderator
Over 1000 posts
#22
A part of that poem is collected (kind of), as Bukowski reads it in I Just Write Poetry So I Can Go to Bed with Girls :DD (a story published in Absence of the Hero, page 105).
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Over 1000 posts
#27
Nice.
I haven't seen a lot of movies in my life, except when I lived
nearby a video store, but that was early nineties and I mainly rent
slow Asian movies. I forgot all the titles of those first class movies.
 
#30
This is easily one of my favourite Bukowski readings. May have missed it on thread here but does anyone have a complete 'track list' of the poems in order they are read?
 
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