Thursday, March 31, 2022

Rasa interviews Allen Ginsberg

YouTube video for Allen Ginsberg at the Iron Horse Cafe – 1986 Northampton, Massachusetts March 21, 1986 

Rasa once interviewed famed poet Allen Ginsberg for National Public Radio, although in those days Rasa wasn't "Rasa."

Rasa explains, "I worked for the National Public Radio affiliate for Western New England, WFCR, as a program producer. In 1986, Allen Ginsberg came to the popular Iron Horse Cafe, and I recorded his performance and interviewed him in the green room afterwards. 

"After the interview, he asked that I send him a copy of the interview once it was edited and aired. I did, and soon after I got a very nice letter from him – some nice words about the feature, and a general bit of well-wishing.

 "Notes: 

"– My name in 1986 was Rick Casreen – currently it's Richard Rasa. 

"– This video is not monetized, the graphics are all borrowed from the good Lord Google. 

"– I digitized the audio from a deteriorated old cassette, and tried to fix up the sound as well as possible. I'm guessing the feature is owned by WFCR, but I suspect my old cassette was the only existing copy. We produced a LOT of short features to accompany our news programs, and everything was recorded on expensive 1/2 inch audio tape. Because WFCR was a non-commercial station, with a public radio budget, we would routinely erase tapes once programs aired. Us producers saved our features on cassettes... not the best medium for long term storage."

The RAW connection is explained in Eric Wagner's An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson (still available as a cheap Kindle you can keep as a reference on your phone): "Wilson wrote an article about Ginsberg in Coincidance and Ginsberg makes a cameo at the 1968 C.E. Democratic convention in Illuminatus!"


2 comments:

michael said...

The academic Lewis Hyde, famous for his _The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property_, included RAW's essay on Ginsberg from _Coincidance: A Head Test_ in his edited collection of essays _On The Poetry of Allen Ginsberg_, viz:

_https://csu-sdsu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/fulldisplay/alma991006633259702917/01CALS_SDL:01CALS_SDL

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Nicely spotted, Michael.