Remembering Lucien Carr

28 Jan

Because of the film Kill Your Darlings, much has been made recently of Lucien Carr’s murder of David Kammerer, but that’s not how he should be remembered. Carr served his time and tried to distance himself from that association, though he did remain lifelong friends with the people he’d met as a prank-loving student at Columbia. He even went so far as to have Allen Ginsberg take his name out of the dedication to Howl after learning of it in the first printing.

So what should we remember Lucien Carr for? He did not, after all, seek to capitalize on his name or associations with his own writing. Instead, he should remember for tirelessly working as an editor at UPI for close to five decades. There, he encouraged and molded young writers, just as he often did for his “Beat” friends.

Lucien Carr passed away on this day in 2005.

Recommended reading::: Eric Homberger’s obituary “Lucien Carr” for The Guardian.


One Response to “Remembering Lucien Carr”

  1. David Amram January 28, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    Dear Stephanie

    As i take a break from shoveling snow, it was a treat to see you honoring our dear Lucien!!!


    All cliched crap about the murder (as if that’s why anything was important) has an appeal to post-modern nouveau philistines but little to do with anything that we all love and cherish!!

    It was a horrible tragedy lime all the violence in our society, PERIOD!

    In one week, I dash off to Denver Feb 4th for my marathon there, with the pre-release of the new cd of two of my classical compositions “THIS LAND: Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie” and “Theme and Variations on Red River Valley for Flute and Strings” with me conducting the Colorado Symphony, which will FINALLY be available this February 23 , celebrating the 75th anniversary of when Woody completed the song.

    Here is the art work, which Woody’s daughter Nora Guthrie had her designer create.If you click the cover TWICE, , the art work and program notes become legible without having to use a microscope. I gave you a burnt test copy a year or two ago and now it is finally being released!!!

    The CD is being released by Laurence Kraman’s company Newport Classic Ltd. Recordings and Films.

    Laurence is also the director-producer-creator of the doc feature film David Amram:The 1st 80 Years”, which is FINALLY available for the world to see, and it is being shown on line at Vimeo on Demand.

    The link for viewing the film is

    For five bucks you can see it and for ten bucks, you can buy it on line (in HIGH DEF) and own it.I believe i gave you a burnt copy of this as well, but the online version is in Hi-Def!!!

    Eventually a DVD will be made available. Below is a final draft copy of the art work for the DVD, and the back cover has photos of Pete Seeger and my three kids, who are all in the film.

    Hopefully, the film will encourage young people who dream of doing something creative during their lifetime to HANG IN THERE, never give up trying to improve, and find a way to continue be creative no matter what!!

    And I know you will do that!!

    And i am sure you won’t have to wait until you are 84 to get all your work out there!!

    (But keep eating a lot of health food , just in case things move a little slower than expected. And don’t forget to have a glass of Retzina!!))

    Laurence Kraman, the man who made the film about me had never made a film before, and after 5 years of work, ended up with something good enough for him show as an example of what he could do, and has now just been hired to make SEVEN documentary films about medical malpractice.

    So instead of getting a Phd in how to become a Hollywood Colossus he made this nice feature film and is using it it as his CALLING CARD to get some gigs as a film maker that are PAYING HIM!!!

    So as Admiral Perry would have said, if he were alive today and interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine….”Damn the career councilors….Full speed ahead!”

    2015 is already a killer year, and I am lucky enough to still be able to go full speed ahead!

    Fifty nine years after I met Woody Guthrie (1956 on the Lower East Side in New York City) the symphony I composed in his memory THIS LAND Symphonic Variations on a Song By Woody Guthrie is being released Feb 23 as a CD, documenting a live performance which I conducted with the peerless playing of the men and women of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Denver in 2012.

    With the guidance of Woody’s daughter Nora Guthrie, whose family commissioned the piece back in 2002, the release date of Feb 23 2015 is also the 75th anniversary of the date that Woody completed his classic anthem This Land is Your Land

    The events in Colorado are a prelude to a series of celebrations of the new CD’s release.

    They will all take place in Denver and Boulder, during a week of events where I will be honoring the literature as well as my own musical collaborations with Jack and his road companion, Denver’s own Neal Cassady, whose Annual Birthday celebration will be held in Denver on February 6th, which is now an annual event!!

    Having met Kerouac and Woody within a month of one another, part of my hopes are that this fine recording can celebrate the egalitarian yea-saying spirit of the artistic community of the 1950s where spontaneity and formality were both the joyous ingredients of the polycultural landscape that made it possible for so many of us to spread our wings, and be supported by one another, and to also celebrate our shared love of the classics of European culture while incorporating all the beauty that surrounds us all here every day in this country.

    Now, in 2015, this spirit and those who share it seems to be burning bright again. I see it all the time with the new generation of gifted people who realize that those who choose the dedicated honest and sincere path will often face a lifetime of flying beneath the radar but have a more rewarding life by creating work that is built to last.

    The enthusiasm and energy of this new generation is rewarding to be around, and everyone who is able to see and hear the young folks creating exciting new work in all genres of the arts feels rejuvenated. After forty years in the desert, this new generation seems to concentrate more on excellence than on celebrity.

    My hope is that this composition and how I came to do it, and Woody’s own non-stop creativity can inspire this new generation to build new bridges, form enduring friendships, work tirelessly at what they love, share their blessings with others and tell their stories in their own way, just as Woody Guthrie, Kerouac and all the giants of jazz, country, Latin, Native American and World music did long ago. They were joined by the innovators in the theater, dance, film, classical concert music, opera and literature whom I was also blessed to know and work with.

    During my fun evening in Chatauqua on Feb 8th, as well as everywhere else I go during my mini-marathon of events in the Rockies, I’ll try to share a little of that spirit and look forward to returning! And on Feb 13th, my last day in Colorado I’ll be on the national radio show E-Town , doing a concert with Steve Earle!

    Here is the information which Chautauqua just sent out to people in Colorado about my appearance there to perform in Boulder as well for the release of the new CD and the announcement of David Amram: The First 80 Years being available online ‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’” > Sunday, February 8. 8:00 PM. Chautauqua Community House. >

    > > David Amram’s America > > Composer, multi-instrumentalist, author and all around genius, David Amram, will present a very special and eclectic evening of music, readings and narration from the iconic works in which he has collaborated as a composer; “Splendor in the Grass,” “The Manchurian Candidate”, Jack Kerouac’s “Pull My Daisy” and Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall” > > Amram will also discuss his most recent project with the Colorado Symphony—the recording and release of his new symphony “This Land: Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie.” Before you join us for this special evening, listen to Amram’s > > interview with Colorado Public Radio on the release of the new album. > > In addition to these exciting events in Colorado, Lawrence Kraman’s documentary feature film “David Amram:The First 80 Years” is now available for the world to see, being shown on line at Vimeo on Demand. > > The link for viewing the film is

    When I first met Dizzy Gillespie way back in 1951. he told me “Son, Bop til you Drop”

    He encouraged me to keep on keeping on and now it is my turn to do that for others.

    After Denver, I’m off to Kansas City and other ports of call.

    So until our paths somewhere sometime someplace somehow soon…

    With wishes to you for high energy (and low carbs)

    I send cheers.


    Now back to shoveling snow and dreaming about sitting by the brook on a warm summer night.

    But at the moment….duty calls!!!

    Dave the Smiling Snow Shoveler

    David (promising young composer) home 845.528.4305 cell 914.299.3497 (New Address) 28 Hammond Plaza Beacon, NY 12508

    Best YouTube selections

    URL for trailer of the film “David Amram: The First 80 Years”

    Link for viewing the film “David Amram: The First 80 Years”

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