Tag Archives: On the Road

Kerouac Play Makes Big News

The world premiere of Jack Kerouac’s play “Beat Generation” made news coast to coast and around the world this week. Among the media outlets that published articles and reviews or broadcast reports were the Associated Press, Rolling Stone, WBUR and WGBH radio in Boston, the Sun, Howl in Lowell and WCAP and WUML radio here, the Globe and Herald in Boston, the Eagle Tribune of Andover/Lawrence, and more. The AP story ran in Kentucky’s Louisville Courier, the New Zealand Herald, the Guardian in the UK, and in hundreds of papers in between. The WBUR package was picked up by NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday today for national coverage.

Last week, Prof. Mike Millner of the UMass Lowell English Department was a guest on a BBC radio program, a talk show about Kerouac’s “On the Road,” which has been the subject of some “community reads” program in England. Last week, one of the major papers in England had coupons in its Sunday edition that could be redeemed at certain bookstores for a free copy of “On the Road” while supplies lasted. This was a tie-in to the movie version of the novel that opened in England this month.

Kerouac keeps making news.

Uncle Dave Does the Kerouac Thing

In his opinion column today, NYTimes writer David Brooks muses about his lifelong affection for the New York Mets baseball team. As he usually does, Brooks expands from particular to universal and winds up making an observation about what makes people truly happy. In his analysis he uses two American works of art to symbolize the choices one might make: “On the Road” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” His framing of this is a little too neat and simple, but he’s feeling nostalgic today. That he would make Kerouac’s book and story an illustration of “a core American debate” reinforces the position of that classic novel in our national culture. Something to note in the Lowell journal. Read David Brooks here, and get the NYT on your porch or online if you want more.

‘Howl in Lowell’

What do I think of “Howl in Lowell”…?

Just what the doctor ordered.

A huge push-back from the culture-makers and -consumers in the city who believe that more attention should be paid.

Logical next step, given the vast supply of cultural product in the city, and broad recognition that we have to be more intentional about boosting demand.

A not-to-be-overlooked consequence of the massing of creative people in one place (one cheer for public intellectual Richard Florida, and another cheer for Lowell City Hall leaders who went after the ”creative class” and made it City policy, people like John Cox, Armand Mercier, Grady Mulligan, Brian Martin, Bud Caulfield, Eileen Donoghue, Bernie Lynch, Adam Baacke, Colin McNiece, Jim Milinazzo, LZ Nunn, Rita Mercier, Matt Coggins, and others not listed here and to whom I send apologies because you know who you are. And let’s not forget the Lowell Plan Inc.’s sponsorship of the Creative Economy development plan a few years ago. Also, Karl Frey and Justin Mandelbaum of Vespera, who made Western Avenue an arts destination. Plus, the Parker Foundation trustees, who keep saying “yes” when seed grants are in critical need.)

Excited about the prospects for local cultural news in heavy rotation on the web.

When the influential but short-lived “Renovation Journal” published reviews of books by Lowell writers and cultural happenings in the city, I was encouraged to see the arts sector becoming more self-conscious. We cannot wait for a 21st-century Charles Dickens to stop by and write about the Space-Age version of “The Lowell Offering” in the “Next American Notes”—we have to report on ourselves for the world to see. Visiting journalists are always welcomed, like the two from France who were here this winter to do stories about Kerouac for tie-ins to the release of the “On the Road” movie in Europe.

When an ethnic enclave reaches a critical mass, you start to see the special grocery stores and restaurants; when an arts and heritage network expands to a certain size, maybe the ethnic market is a culture magazine.

Good luck to the Howlers. There’s no shortage of content.

Kerouac at the Super Bowl in Spirit, Reports boston.com

Kerouac played football like he wrote, with a lot of power and invention. He was an athlete at the typewriter who could compose with speed and accuracy. It is fascinating to see how he keeps popping up in the news stream. Today, boston.com and the Bos. Globe  include an arts note among the Super Bowl news from Indianapolis—the legendary scroll typescript of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is featured in a big museum display in the city along with other cultural treasures from the collection of Colts owner Jim Irsay. The scroll photo illustrates the news note. Read about it here.

Jack Kerouac in the 1938 Lowell-Lawrence football game.


‘Variety’ Writer Tweets About ‘On the Road’ Film

Jerry Cimino of the Beat Museum in San Francisco has an intriguing segment in his latest newsletter, which I’m reproducing in full because the effect would be lost in paraphrasing. So, courtesy of www.kerouac.com, here’s news about the now-completed “On the Road” film that is expected to premiere in France this spring. The tweets must be read from the bottom up.

In related news, a reporter from Radio France, the national public radio network, will be in Lowell tomorrow as a guest of the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitor Bureau to prepare a story about Kerouac and Lowell in connection with the film’s release in Europe.

B).  Variety Says On The Road is Gonna Be Great

JOSH DICKEY WRITES FOR VARIETY and he was at the Sundance Film Festival last week and as he was
boarding the plane for his flight back to LA he sent out the following excited five tweets on Twitter.  We copied them below and you need to read them from the bottom up:

27 Jan  Josh Dickey @Variety_JLD
        •       Reply
Retweet Favorite ·
And that’s all I know. (At least, that’s all I can tell you!) Hope it’s new to somebody; I don’t follow as close as some of you guys.

27 Jan  Josh Dickey @Variety_JLD
        •       Reply Retweet
Favorite ·
There were no problems w/ film; just awaiting the right moment to show & actively start seeking distribution.

27 Jan  Josh Dickey
        •       Reply Retweet Favorite ·
… it would not be a stretch to see it open Cannes. Producers are thrilled with the result & eager to at least have it there. More …

27 Jan  Josh Dickey
        •       Reply Retweet Favorite ·
OTR is finished. Took 1 year to edit, and is very, very good. According to a discerning and in-the-know viewer, it’s so good that …

27 Jan  Josh Dickey
        •       Reply Retweet Favorite ·
ON THE ROAD fans, I have some cool news to share with you. Just got to the airport so stand by…