New CD of Buk Reading from Litmus/The Temple

Discussion in 'Video, audio, film and other media' started by Rekrab, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. the complete skinny

    will be coming your way one day. I like the sensitivity the CD of Bukowski at the Underwater Poetry Festival is being listened to with. When I have more time I will explain some things. Why I think he partly "lost" it midway thru, etc. the first printing of the 8 story window book, took place in California in 1968. the 2nd and 3rd printings were done in Utah. The parties at the Underwater festival were off the chart. More later.
  2. I also received my CD today, really enjoyed it. The quality is excellent, I was worried it might be hissy or poorly recorded, it's not. You wouldn't think it was from 32 years ago... First thing that really struck me was how terribly SICK he sounded, that he must have been miserable battling the FLU and stuck in Utah! :)
    I get a sense the crowd was pretty minimal, not so much a case of it being a Mormon crowd but just small... The crowd was a bit of a welcome change, some of the recordings really brought out the loudmouth losers, who believe because they are drunk and it's BUK they must constantly yell out and challenge him.
    Highly recommend it for the 12 or 14 bucks I paid.
  3. What if later never comes?! Type now! ;)
  4. Charles: I'm sure everyone on this forum would love to hear your memories of Bukowski. As one of his publishers and the organizer of that reading, you had a close up view of him that few people had. Please do share that as soon as you can. We eagerly await your words.

    Question: is there any chance of a new edition of POEMS WRITTEN BEFORE JUMPING OUT OF AN 8 STORY WINDOW? I'm guessing not, but I had to ask.
  5. David, that's a great question...
    I'm ready to paypal a copy already!
  6. theeffects: me too. That book would be an instant Paypal purchase, no thought required.
  7. yes, indeed it would be.
  8. News from Vienna

    My reaction to the Underwater CD. If anyone is worried about SPOILERS, turn thy head away right about NOW.

    No peeking. (Happy New Years!)


    There's excellent sound quality. Amiable audience. Before he begins, he announces he has a case of the flu, which sets a nice tone for the rest of his presentation, lol, with the usual giggling girl(s) in the background reacting to some of his introductory remarks. He starts off seemingly sober, but Bukowski must have been partying a great deal before the reading in Mormon country, and there's one thing that can be said for sure: he breaks his personal speed record for getting completely smashed before he's even half-way through his performance, and it shows more than usual.

    Another new first, among all the 7 or 8 CDs I have in my possession, is that he is either feeling so infected by his flu, or is so thoroughly satiated in his drunken condition, or a combination of both, that he fails to complete some of his poems and leaves the listeners hanging. (Even drunk to his gills on Hostage he still managed to struggle through to the end of each poem; but not so here.) Although he's apparently not depressed by his condition, he's in agony. Between poems there are his noticeable agonizing combinations of sighs, moans and groans. He's not in front of a hostile audience but doesn't seem to know how to enjoy it or take advantage of it: he seems to equate their silence with a lack of understanding or interest. Not so. On the contrary, I think they were there for the poems and not the antics, and he could have read more of his serious ones. This reading duplicates some of the poems on Poems and Insults but he always reads unpublished poems and there are a few surprises. The best line for me is from "Big Gray Balloon Things""”and I still chuckle about it"”"into the elephant's ass shoots the sun." Try to get that out of you mind once it's in!

    So there are a few rays of sunshine, but Bukowski could have used a little more sunshine going into his own ass to illuminate his way on this day, because I think he muffed this one. Still, a miss can be just as illuminating as reading his string of hit novels. (I have to laugh when I read of people trying to protect his image or legacy after they approve the release of a self-involved and befuddled Bukowski so deeply in his cups here that he's unable to get through a reading in front of a non-hostile audience and is completely lost in his drinking, wanting to be anywhere but where he is, and yet they are still eager to hear him"”or so it seems. Whatever legacy has been dispoiled, it has first been depoiled by him, and the good thing is that it doesn't make any difference in his popularity, or to me.)... By the end, he's so completely fucked up that the reading mercifully peters out, and the forgiving audience lets him off the hook. If there had been more good-natured highjinks here, and most likely less flu, this reading might have turned out a real winner, as everything started off so promising, good recorded sound included. As it is, I notice that I haven't wanted to listen to it again, and I cannot bring myself to like something just because it's Bukowski. It's a hell of a Vienna. (And don't worry, the CD will probably sell well among the diehards anyway.) "”Poptop.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  9. well said...
    my fav. part is probably still the fact the crowd isn't full of assholes.
    nothing worse than a crowd believing they are more entertaining than the guy they paid to put up on stage...
    guys challenging him gets boring real quick. Utah brings out very controlled crowds (or at least on this night!), we can hear and concentrate on what BUK has to say.

    now what about that 2007 re-release of 8 STORY WINDOW!?
  10. Hi Bill, I've heard what you've said from other people. Not to be too sweeping here, but I've also heard of people being ostracized by the religious community there for not being a Mormon, and I'm sorry to hear that. What I liked most about Bukowski's reading is that he remained himself and didn't censor his poems because of where the reading took place: in the center of conservative Mormon country. I'm sure he set the literary community abuzz there by his unabashed openness, his sexual content, his celebration of drink, etc. I think that lack of self-censorship is at the heart of his genius and there's no other way he could have been. "”Poptop.
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  11. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    Just got my copy today. Well worth waiting for! There are many poems I have'nt heard or read before and the sound quality is real good. Just too bad Buk was'nt able to finish the reading. But that's the flu for you ;)
    I hope the cd will be available on the big cd sites on the net someday, so that people who are not diehards like us also gets the chance to pick it up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  12. A Second Listen

    I felt the urge, at last, to give it another listen and I enjoyed it
    more the second time around. He seems to momentarily lose it
    on "$5.95" and then regains his balance for awhile. I can imagine
    what it must have been like for him to give a poetry reading"”
    which he was loathe to do but for the usual financial reasons"”and
    then have to do one with the bloody flu. No doubt it was "party
    hats" for him under the circumstances, and I think he got through as
    much of it as he could with a certain drunken grace combined with
    the mood of good-natured surrender to the experience...whatever the
    f--k that means. So, I'm glad to include it in my CD collection with
    the rest of his irritable, exhaustive, but somehow engaging readings.
    I still find it odd, though, how fast he was putting it away before he
    seemed to fade from the combination of the flu, audience, beer or
    vino. Maybe it was the Poet's Cure and he was trying to drown those
    viral flu-ish f--kers. Anyway, I feel strangely relieved that I liked it
    more after a repeated listen, and I got more out of it than the first
    time around, especially from the reading of "Memory." That was a
    deep one. Elsewhere, "...into the elephant's ass shoots the sun."

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  13. Some Background Info

    OK, Potts got me here... so a few notes on the Buk CD. I did the original recording and the CD production. I appreciate the comments on the sound quality, since it took a bunch of work, some good software, and lots of luck to clean it up.

    There was a post or two about Cosmic Aeroplane Books. The Cosmic was originally a head shop in SLC, the first (I'm one of the original partners), started around 1966 or so. The Cosmic never published any books, but worked with Potts when he got an NEA grant to do the Litmus publishing. In those days (and still true today), we "hipsters" stuck together and provided mutual support.

    The first book was 8th Story Window. Hand collated by walking around and around a kitchen table. Way crude compared to today's "print on demand" resources.

    Anyway, if anyone has any questions, I'll try to answer them.

    Oh, yes, Buk did get drunk at the reading. Potts mixed a whole pint of vodka with the orange juice in the thermos, instead of 1/2!
  14. Rev. Willis: many thanks for giving us some background on Cosmic Airplane and Litmus Press. I was aware of both of them back in the 60s/70s and always suspected they were somehow connected. Or maybe I read that someplace and it was a given. Anyway, it's good to hear it from the source. I was always puzzled by some rare book catalogs I received from Cosmic Airplane that had (I was 25 to 30 years ago) an unexpected mix of underground lit first editions (Bukowski and Beats?) along side early Mormon imprints. I'm guessing there was no great scheme or meaning to that, other than that the shop had somehow picked up the Mormon books during the course of business -- i.e., an opportunity presented itself to make a few bucks. Or, maybe there was some meaning there, and the shop did have connections to -- or at least an interest in -- the Mormon faith. Noting your user name, "Rev.", that later scenario seems possible. Any light you can shed on that subject would be very interesting, to me anyway. If nothing else, it'll stop me from concocting wild and implausible conspiracy theories about the intersection of religion and literature in Utah. Thanks again.
  15. That explains it, lol. He seemed to go from sober to shitfaced in record time. But what a poet still!
  16. Cosmic and Books and Buk

    OK, now I think I have the connection. The last incarnation of the Cosmic did indeed involve a bookstore (I was long gone). The bookstore was managed by Ken Sanders, a rare book dealer and Utah historian. I suspect he was doing mailings in those days. He currently has his own store in SLC, and is the local outlet for the Buk CD. More info can be found at:

    Great guy, and has a good supply of old and new Bukowski books.
  17. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    Yeah, I noticed that too (who did'nt). It sure happened fast! And now we know why. It's always nice to get some background information. Thanks, Rev. Willis...
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  18. glad I bought this and it's a fine recording job, but I have to say I was disappointed on first listen.
    the opening poems seem awkward and rushed and after he gets drunk, nothing is finished. and when he's drunk, there's little banter and beligerence.
    still, I'm glad this document was put out and I'm happy to have it in my collection.
    repeated listenings may bear more fruit.
    thanks Rev. Willis and Mr. Potts.
  19. the only good poet

    the only good poet One retreat after another without peace. SAMCRO Unholy Ones

    Charles Potts partially describes the reading in his essay, How I came to publish Bukowski's Poems Written Before Jumping Out Of An 8 Story Window, in Last Call: The legacy of CB (lummox press.) i'm sure most of you will have that!
  20. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    I've never read Potts essay. Is it still for sale or can it be found on the net? Or is it possible that someone could scan and post it?
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  21. the only good poet

    the only good poet One retreat after another without peace. SAMCRO Unholy Ones

    you might pick up a copy of LAST CALL from: (sorry, i don't have a scanner.) it's worth checking out the site for the authors they publish. i believe the LUMMOX journal is now defunct..?
  22. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    Thanks for the link, poetissa! I found two essays on Buk by Todd Moore there. For those who might be interested:
    I'm thinking about ordering a copy of LAST CALL. If they still have any, that is...
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  23. Well, I want order this but 4 $ for a shipping its too low price to send this CD to Poland. I'm not good with this PayPal stuff, where i can change a shipping cost?
  24. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    It's very easy and fast to create a pay-pal account. You could also use a credit card instead...
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  25. I have PayPal but shipping cost automatic set to 4$. I think that i should pay more :) .
  26. hank solo

    hank solo Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights Vice President First 9 Reaper Crew ROAD CAPTAIN Unholy Ones

    International Shipping - Underwater Poetry Festival CD

    You can just log into your Paypal account, and send money direct to the email shown below. Within the paypal site you will be able to select 'Other goods' or something similar - ie. not an ebay sale. This is how I ordered. Just put the details in manually as you go. Hope this info is also useful:

  27. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    You can't use the "buy book" button because the pay-pal form is already filled out with 14$ and you can't change the amount to 16$ manually.
    You have to create your own pay-pal form and write 16$ plus the mail address.
    I had the same problem myself. I used the "buy book" button and used the standard 14$ form, not realizing that with international shipping it's 16$, so later I had to send the last 2$ and write the form myself...
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  28. That's what i want to know. Thanks.
  29. hank solo

    hank solo Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights Vice President First 9 Reaper Crew ROAD CAPTAIN Unholy Ones

    Well what Bukfan said - thats what I meant lol. :D

    Maybe try for the discount though!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013

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