The day Bukowski died

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Over 500 posts
Reading Rekrab's Journal following Hank's death has excited my curiosity.

How did you react when you learnt the news ? Did you do anything special ?

I was a child, so I'm not concerned and just want to read some stories.

(By the way, I was astounded by the so insignificant obituary in the newspaper USA Today... Hank's work reduced to Barfly's screenplay !)
 

poptop

Over 500 posts
I wrote this in my journal when I heard of his passing:

[You know we don't post poetry here, pal. - ed]
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
[...] How did you react when you learnt the news ? [...]
your question isn't stupid.
I'm lookin' forward to hear, what the others did.


- When I heared about it on the phone - a friend was calling and telling me,
- I (1st) didn't believe it. At all.
- Then (2nd) I put a tape in my recorder and waited for the news on the radio, recorded them, realized it may be true. Still not sure about it. Didn't believe it, didn't WANT to believe it!
- Then (3rd) another hour later, came the same news. I suddenly realized, it wasn't one of the many "he is dead"-sayings he so often wrote about in some poems.
- (4th) went into my room, put some of his books out of the shelfes. Read his poems. The moment I (literally) began to CRY, was when I read his poem 'forget it' (in 'You get so alone', p. 306)
- I then wrote some mediocre poems about him and my feelings about his death (5th)
- Then (6th) went into town, hit the bookstores, touched the spines of his books, HIS books, which would never be the books of a living person again. His books, that helped me so often, so often, to go on. His books, without falsity or betrayal. And, yes, I cried.
- (7th) Drove to the One friend, Michael, who got me into Bukowski, when I was 16 and who was the one to tell me on the phone about his death - to have a WAKE for Bukowski. And we did.

. . .
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
Roni, you're an "A - No. 1" Bukowski fan - and that's a compliment!

My own reaction hearing it on the TV news was Shock, disbelief, and finally sadness. Sadness because he died relatively early, and sadness because there would never be anymore Buk books to read (how wrong I was - ha!)...
 
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Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Over 1000 posts
Where is this post of Rekrabs journal entry. I can't seem to find it.
It's in buk scene 1. (And no part of buk scene 1 may be reproduced without written permission so I'm not going to be the one that reproduces without permission.)

I was at work when I read of Bukowski's death. It was in the local daily newspaper. I remember saying "oh" out loud. Then tore out the article and put it in my shirt pocket. Still have the article around here somewhere. Then I went back to work.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Over 1000 posts
(By the way, I was astounded by the so insignificant obituary in the newspaper USA Today... Hank's work reduced to Barfly's screenplay !)
Actually, that is to be expected from that paper. They aim at the widest audience possible and Barfly was the one work of his that was a "mainstream hit".

I remember his passing coming just a couple months after Frank Zappa's death. And thinking how it was a depressing time for America (and the world) to lose a couple of unique and courageous creative voices that NEVER took shit from anybody anywhere at anytime. And I feel a rant coming on, but I have to get going, so I'll leave it at that. ;)
 
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LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Over 1000 posts
I was 11 so I didn't even know what was going on. Sadder was that John Fante died 5 days before I was even born.
 

slimedog

Over 1000 posts
The day Bukowski died I started singing-

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie, drove my chevy to the levy but the levy was dry. And those good ol' boys drinking whiskey and rye.

Singing this'll be the day that I die.

(Sorry, I forgot we're not supposed to put poetry)







guess I didn't.
 
I was reading the last chapters of "Hank"by Neeli Cherkovski in bed, finished the book en went to sleep. The next morning it was on tv that Bukowski passed away. The rest of that day I felt sad, and confused because around the moment I closed that (sort of) book of his life, he had died some 5.500 miles away.
Anyone has any sugestions whose biography I should read next?;)
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Over 500 posts
Poptop, I could read your text if you send it through a pm. ;)

Very harrowing, Roni.

I was 11 so I didn't even know what was going on. Sadder was that John Fante died 5 days before I was even born.
Like you, I wasn't aware of Buk's death but I do remember Kurt Cobain's one, a month later, though neither knowing him. That's perhaps due to Cobain's death huge media coverage (compared to Hank). I still have in mind images in tv news showing a blond young man singing and me asking my father who he was.

Anyone has any sugestions whose biography I should read next?;)
Considering your location, I would have suggested you Pim Fortuyn or Theo Van Gogh if it wasn't already done.
 
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esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
I was in a band at the time and my guitar player came to my room and woke me up to break the news. I replied, "Jim... Scotch and water." I was pretty upset that I had never met him even though I once had the chance to and blew it.

I drank and rented barfly. I can't remember what happened after that, but I do believe I kept that up for at least a week. Of course, nobody really understood and the band was concerned I wouldn't come out of the black hole. But it was a black hole on purpose rather than one that's sincerely worth worrying about. Those would come in due time.

I also wrote some bad, drunken poetry in the wake of it all. But don't worry, I won't share it.
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
Over 1000 posts
funny, my friend Mark, my best friend had called about some random crap...We were in a band together, and I think he was telling me about some new idea he had for a song...when he ever so casually said, "oh, that dude you like so much, Bukowski or whatever died." I had been reading Buk for 2 years, so was not devastated, but was still in shock. I remember thinking, ah, I'll never get the chance to get one of my books signed. I was wrong, I have a few signed Buk books, but of course that was after paying more than I could afford for them in the mid to late 90's. Funny, I know it would have affected me much more had I been reading him for longer than 2 years! I was a huge fan of Kurt Cobain who died around the same time, so I remember that death much more vividly. I also spent some time with Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, just 48 priors to his death, which was about a year after Hank's death, so those 2 deaths always seem to have been burned into my mind much more.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
Ambreen, I just discovered this thread. I forget that when I publish stuff, people actually read it. I never make that connection emotionally.

It's okay with me if someone wants to post my article here, or an excerpt, but you'll need to also get permission from Buk Scene's editors, J & J. They may not want it out there while there are still copies of the magazine to sell, and that seems fair.
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Over 500 posts
I've found a youtube vid compiling several german tv news reports of Buk's death and am wondering if someone knows from which film the extract one can see at 3.10 is taken :
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
If you look at the bottom you'll see 'Ganz normal verrückt' - it's the German title for Marco Ferreri's 'Tales of Ordinary Madness'.
 
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Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Over 500 posts
Of course ! I just realize I'm loosing all my german with years...
Thanks Hank Solo !
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
Looks like his death was covered as a significant news story in Germany. Is that film clip from Ben Gazarra's Tales of Ordinary Madness? Maybe an outtake? I don't remember anything quite that risque in the theatrical release, but it's been a long time since I saw it.
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Over 500 posts
As Hank Solo put it, that's a film from the italian Marco Ferreri. Ben Gazzara played the leading role in it.

I don't remember anything quite that risque in the theatrical release, but it's been a long time since I saw it.
Marco Ferreri was well known for his daring and controversial films.
 

bogthing

Over 100 posts
Those were dark days indeed, wimmen trouble, sleeping on friends couch's, court dates. It was just a blip, and no one around me knew from nuthin'.

"Bukowski, who the fuck is that?"

Long explanation, followed by blank stares.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
the day after, I phoned a bar, where they had regular cultural events (concerts, plays, readings, parties, etc.) and asked if they'd be interested in a 'Bukowski-Night' as a tribute. They sure were.

So I was organizing an evening there, showing 'Barfly' and a rare German docu. The place was packed! All chairs occupied, people standing side by side on the walls.

I decided to organize a 'Buk-Night' every two years then.
The Buk-Tapes were one of the things I showed on the 2nd. Later nights also had live-readings from well known local guys. After the 2nd, I had to change the place, since that 'cultural' bar closed and at that new place, I had to pay for the room. It was impossible to get all the money back, since I didn't want people to pay too much. I wanted school-students be able to afford it. (one time, I even was only able to cover the cost by WORKING for the guy who rented the place!)

All in all there were 5 of these Buk-Nights.
It was a fine time. I liked it. And some other people did too.


here's a pic of me and the posters of the first 3 Bukowski-Nights, made in 1998.
 

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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
Kudos, Roni! - You did a great thing organizing those Buk nights.
 

slimedog

Over 1000 posts
Actually, my antedote is band related, too. I was in a new band and we were meeting to play one of our first gigs and the drummer, a good friend and casual Buk fan said, "I guess you heard the news." But I hadn't and he told me. I was too caught up in what we were doing but later that night I wrote about it. I had no idea he was ill and just marvelled he lived that long.
 
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