From the Producer... There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here! (1 Viewer)

I want to thank MJP for maintaining this forum, it has been a great help to reach Bukowski fans to announce our two new DVDs.

Here's the story behond the Vancouver video taping by Dennis Del Torre

When Bukowski arrived in Vancouver in 1979, his legend preceded him. He'd been here 2 years previously and sold out. But unfortunately there was no record of it I could discover. I had attended it with hundreds of others. It made such an impact on me that afterwards I gathered a coterie of friends who hadn't been there and set up a private showing at "The Western Front" where it had been held. Upon arriving we sat down and the manager went to find the tape and play it. Well, when he returned he looked perplexed and slightly disconsolate. "I'm sorry" he said, " there isn't any record of the tape. It seems that it's gone missing, lost or stolen." What could I do? I decided to write Bukowski and tell him what had happened and if he would be willing to come back and try it again. Would he do another reading? This way my friends would get to see him live and I would film it and make sure that his visit would be recorded for posterity.

He answered and said yes, he would come back. I had my answer. I had a lot of work to do. What followed were 7 months organizing flights and hotel and renting a hall and advertising and so on. I set the date October 12, 1979 because the summer would be long over, everyone would be back in the city. It was set for a Friday night.

Hank and Linda Lee Beighle (later to become Mrs. Bukowski) arrived the night before. There was a dense fog that night and they were forced to land 50 miles away in Abbotsford and were bused to Vancouver International. My wife and I were there to greet them. I was sweating bullets, as they say. They came through arrivals several hours late - but, they were here! We took them to their hotel, The Sylvia; a heritage building, where they freshened up and we went out on the town and got to know each other.

The reading was set up at an old hall in the Downtown Eastside on Hastings Street. It was a hall used for weddings and dances and was perfect since it reeked of life and use and was layered with nostalgia. We set up chairs and put Hank at the front with a bank of mics and filmed it. It was raw, raucous, and raunchy. Also sublime. 650 people came. There was plenty of yelling and screaming and applause and repartee. There were also plenty of tears and shouts resounding with love and adulation for this man. It's all here. I hope you enjoy it. It was the last time he performed outside the United States. It was and remains a testament to a great poet and writer.

FOOTNOTE: It's worth noting this film sat in Bukowski's archives for over 20 years. It was "discovered" by John Dullaghan during the making of the documentary "Born Into This", the story of Hank's life. He used a portion of the film and contacted me to have it released for use in the story. Subsequently it was returned to me. Time and circumstances had shuffled it off to a back corner where it was forgotten. The details aren't important. So thank you John. And thank you Linda, for helping it find its way back into the light of day and a new audience.
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It's a minor miracle that either of these were produced and distributed after all this time (hello Deep Freeze video?), and even more of a miracle that they put them both out simultaneously without a yearlong wait between them. Most large distributors would have done that..."Here put out 1979, we'll sell that to everyone then hit them with the 1980 reading in 16 months."

Now Jon, how about a disc of everything that was cut out... ;)
Yeah, I was kinda surprised at how fast the thing came to be. there we were just talking about it and the next thing you know, both readings came on like a tickling migraine from out of nowhere.

thanks again, dennis and mondaymedia
It seemed to Dennis and I that it took forever to get the two DVDs ready for production and distribution.

Dennis and I were brought together by Linda Bukowski, who knew we both had 25 year old videos that we wanted to release - as we were both seeking her permission to create the DVDs. That this happened at the same time, after both Dennis and I kept our videos on the shelf for over 25 years, was shear coincidence.

At first we were almost adversarial - as Dennis had started to promote his Vancouver video as, "the last Bukowski reading" and I knew that the Redondo reading was six months later. Linda suggested that we work together; she knew I was in the business and could help Dennis finalize his production and possibly get him distribution.

After dancing around a bit, Dennis and I found that we could work well together, and in fact, by working together we could creating something very special for Bukowski fans.

Dennis already had another company create a Vancouver reading DVD, but it had some quality problems and seemed incomplete. I had the video tools to do sound processing and color correction to enhance the original video - and Dennis seemed pleased with the test results.

We eventually made a deal where my company, mondayMEDIA, would re-master his tapes, create new menus and extras, and seek a distribution deal for both of our DVDs.

During a visit to Linda, Dennis and Linda were poking around the racks of the books, but I was looking through stacks of video tape - and found what turned out to be the Vancouver master (or possibly a long forgotten 3/4" copy of the original master). At any rate, when I got back to my office and digitized it, I found it was much higher quality than what had been used to create the initial Vancouver DVD.

I think it was on this trip that I had a very nice dinner with MJP, Dennis, and Linda.

As we prepared the final versions of each reading, we discussed what to do about the 6 poems that were in both reading. It seemed the best thing would be to cut 3 poems from each reading - thereby making the two DVDs totally unique. I created a preview DVD with both versions of each poem, and in a viewing session with Dennis and Linda, we choose which poem would go with which reading.

While all the final color corrections, audio enhancements, editing, and menu creation was going on, I started to reach out to distributors to find a deal. Although there was good interest from some major companies, none of them could guarantee enough royalties to make the deal interesting, as opposed to our releasing them ourselves. We also didn't want to give up any creative or marketing control. It seemed like they were eager to get the titles for their catalogs, but the return to us was minimal. Even if we only sold out our first pressing of 1,000 copies of each, we would be better off by far.

So, Dennis and I revised our original deal and decided to release both DVDs through my mondayMEDIA label and sell direct to Bukowski fans.

Both Dennis and I feel honored that we were allowed to document, preserve, and release the last two readings Bukowski ever gave. He really did not like to do them - they took a terrible toll on his health and work. If you listen very carefully at the end of the Vancouver reading, you can hear him say that it was last reading he would give. Luckily for me, he did one more, in Redondo, as part of the promotion of "Bukowski Reads His Poety" LP released on Takoma Records. The last poem on Redondo reading is prophetic, as if he was certain that this would be the very last reading, and concludes with "... this reading is over."


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Both Dennis and I feel honored that we were allowed to document, preserve, and release the last two readings Bukowski ever gave.


It would be impossible to measure what has been
accomplished by the vision, and perseverance you both have shared.

Thank you is all I can mange.

Thank you so very much.

- -
Father Luke
Thanks a lot for giving us the background info for the two DVD's! It's all very interesting for a die-hard Bukowski fan to read.
And a big thank you to both of you for producing and releasing them! Thank you!
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It looks like the "box set" they talked about way back when is going to happen. Watch for an announcement around the time of the Huntington shindig. No details yet on contents, extras, etc.
MJP, are you somewhat sure of this? I haven't bought these yet, but was planning to soon. I'll wait tho if this is going to happen.
From Dennis:

I just got back to Vancouver an hour ago after a very fruitful 4 days in Ca. We filmed Dullaghan, Sue Hodgson at The Huntington and Linda and myself. for the box set. Yes, it will have tons of extras and both readings in their entirety. We have a new distributor and they're very excited about this project and will be promoting the hell out of it when it's released around the end of Sept.
That's great news! With, "tons of extras and both readings in their entirety", it'll be worth buying the box set.
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Here's some info on the upcoming box set!

Rumor has it, bukowski-shop could become the official distributor for Germany.


  • OTMsellsheet_final08.pdf
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I can live without every one of those "bonus" features, but it's good to have the uncut readings. The price listed there is reasonable.

Though, I have to admit, I didn't even make it all the way through either of those DVDs the first time around. They are interesting, for sure. But - for me - kind of sleepy to watch. Bukowski is not what you'd call a dynamic or engaging reader. If you like to watch him bait hecklers and joke around, there's plenty of that. Maybe that should have been one of the special edited version with the poems removed. ;)
sure, but it's a long distance call. do you have enough dimes? because Mr. Fields hates collect calls. fair warning.
and I still have so many of the single editions in stock! Dammit! I'm always buying too big amounts of this stuff!
Hey Roni,

Hold onto those original DVDs - Dennis and I determined that we won't produce any more copies when they sell out. We'll just keep One Tough Mother in print forever.

That's great news! With, "tons of extras and both readings in their entirety", it'll be worth buying the box set.
There are 6 poems on the new package that weren't on the first two DVDs; and altogether about 3 hours of Hank plus about another 3 hours of new featurettes and bonus material. Remember, it's a two DVD set: 350 minutes of video.
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Great! It'll be nice to have both readings in their entirety, and the Huntington and Dullaghan bonus material sounds interesting. I hope those two take up most of the 3 hours of bonus material.
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and I still have so many of the single editions in stock! Dammit! I'm always buying too big amounts of this stuff!
[...] we won't produce any more copies when they sell out. [...]

Not to sound bitter, but we both know, that's a joke!

I sure WILL have 'Tough Mother' in the shop anyway!
- but I'm expecting to get a very fair discount. Not that I could CLAIM it. I'm just expecting it. Somehow.

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