The Big Dope Reading

#1
I am new to this forum. Stumbled across it. Saw some dated (2011) posts asking if C.B. did any readings in Florida during the ‘70s. Short answer is yes.
Longer answer - he read two nights at the Pastime bar in Tallahassee. I know because I’m the guy that set it up.
Called Ma Bell information in L.A. and got his phone number. We talked. Bought his round trip plane ticket. Put him up for a week. His girlfriend, whose name escapes me, flew in for the last 3 days. One night we drank a bunch of mushroom tea. The money was put up by friends who made their living off the grid importing agricultural products from Latin America. Hence the name of the story. If you read the story I am Clyde.
I was temporarily 86’ed from the Pastime because I had agreed to give the 50% of the profit from the reading. We charged a buck to get in. We gave him $500.00 + plane fare. Lost money. But had one helluva good time. It was a truly memorable experience that I’ll carry smiling to my grave. The Pastime relented after I explained the true finances of what happened. That was important for me as I was often there until closing time. My friends and I knew along we weren’t going to make any money. That thought never entered our minds. We just wanted to meet Bukowski and have a good time.
The Pastime was like the bar scene in the original Star Wars - a motley collection of artists, writers, musicians, grad students, pool hustlers, bikers, drag queens, drug dealers and hippies. And Bukowski fit right in. If you made it this far, thanks for reading - aka Clyde.
 

zobraks

Moderator
Over 1000 posts
#3
If you made it this far
Well, it wasn't quite easy: I had to play JM and make a few corrections of your narrative (just the spelling, nothing on a grand scale like JM actually) to make it more readable for myself and the general audience.
It's quite a story nevertheless, so welcome to The Forum.
 

mjp

The stone that the builder refused
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#5
Well, since the story was first published in March of 1977 I'd guess the readings were in 1976 (or very, very early in 1977).

I'm not sure what happened in February of 2016, but I'm sure it was interesting...
 
#6
I'm not sure what happened in February of 2016...
The readings at the Pastime in Tallahassee were two nights in February 2016. I don't recall the exact dates. I'm the fellow that arranged them.

The Big Dope Reading was first published in Hustler Magazine. Hustler had previously published The Fiend. They asked Bukowski for an original unpublished story. He asked me what I thought of Hustler. I told him it was a rag, but gave credit to Larry Flynt for having balls to stand up to the tobacco companies. Hustler had published a full page photo of cancerous lungs, presumably caused from smoking. The next month Hustler did two things. Flynt wrote an editorial with the statement that the tobacco companies had threatened to pull their advertising from Hustler, worth $5,000. He told them to screw off that he didn't need their money and published the same photo again,.
I have always believed that exchange between Hank and me influenced his decision to give The Big Dope Reading to Hustler.
 
#9
You sound like a bad-ass motherfucker. I'd enjoy talking to you. Florida is mighty: I spent some baptismal time in North Central. Cheers.
 
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