The play discussed below, called Bukowski, We Love You, was premiered in Rome in 1981. Galiano produced Storie di ordinaria follia [Tales of Ordinary Madness], directed by Marco Ferreri in 1981.
[To John Martin]
February 24, 1981
You’ve probably gotten something from Silvia Bizio about wanting rights to about half the Black Sparrow Bukowski books in your arsenal to put into a god damned play. They offer no $$$ and claim to be a little non-profit outfit but actually they are going to run this thing for two years in many different cities. I hope you didn’t give your o.k. but if you have . . . well, they aren’t clear on the rest of the steal which are many stories from City Lights books. Bizio has been bugging me constantly to sign away these rights. I did an interview for her and also let her do a bit on video with me spouting off about various nothings. But I’ve personally taken a dislike to her as a person and to her ways. She’s evidently fronting for these crooks and I’ve told her I want nothing to do with the whole scene.
“But they’ve been preparing this for two years!”
“They love you!”
“They want to pay your fare to come and see them and their play.”
I told her, “That’s balls! Why didn’t they try to get permission before starting out?”
I don’t like the Italians, they’re sneaks, their whole way of doing things makes me sick. How can they just steal my work and put it on stage without asking? [Sergio] Galiano is trying to make a movie out of some of the same stories. If he pays, where do they get off?
And then there’s another problem, Galiano. Supposed to pay $44,000, he has sent 4,000 and claims the other money was wired over a month ago. Nothing but a lie. And he’s down in Georgia with Ben Gazzara, shooting the films now. The Italians . . . Hitler didn’t trust them either and I can see why, they slide and lie and trick. I’m sure the same thing has happened to other writers. A writer is only looked at as a guy who puts words down on paper. He’s an easy take. He’s only thinking of the next line and doesn’t want to be bothered with externals that don’t fit his little mood-state. Which is true but he also doesn’t like to get raped. The bastards also know the cost of court procedure and that they can flee and hide in some Italian hamlet, giving us the big finger.
We missed this when it premiered here in 2016. And there were readings from Tam Dean Burn and poets Stephen Watt and Nisha Bhakoo, and live sets from Chrissy Barnacle and the purveyors of ‘doom wop’, Killearn’s finest Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lockpickers. We didn't miss those though. Or maybe we did.
For anyone who hasn't seen it: good but too short. She states there's hours of footage but the final product has been whittled down to just under an hour. Maybe 25% of the footage, or more, I had seen or heard elsewhere. What's left is some good footage mixed with forced emotional music and footage ( some of which was rather poignant ) of Los Angeles and homeless folks. I did enjoy it but the few hours of raw footage would have been more enjoyable, for me anyhow. The only thing I hadn't heard or read him talk about was his view on celibacy which made me feel an even greater kinship with him. I kept thinking how this would look if everyone had smartphones. Linda looked like she had heard these rants so many times it bored her at times. But I'm just a rambling man on the internet. If you haven't seen it I think its worth the 12 bucks.