the only truth is music…

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

jack kerouac was a very  intense and prolific voice of the beat generation.  celebrating almost fifty years ago, his famed novel *on the road* proved to pave a path along a yearning of discovering, experimenting and challenging oneself to take powerful chances. whether the symbolic lessons learned grew to be absolutely painful or energizing, it was the process of the searching and realization that there wasn’t anything more important to gain than the actual journey itself.

living in lowell, massachusetts, jack grew up very spiritually attracted to nature. by pushing his own boundaries, he was able to create a style of writing that emotionally brought out controversy over art, drugs, music, sex and borderline behaviors. known for a love of being able to write to the feeling of jazz music, throughout his life, jack was very motivated into the world of buddhsim and carried on stream of consciousness writing and poetically reading his drunken heart out in hopes of finding possible enlightenment.

on october 21, 1969, jack kerouac excessively drank and hemorrhaged himself into an untimely death at the age of 47. during his lifetime, his work unfortunately never received the praise that it deserved.  however, today he is well known to have inspired the music of the beatles, jim morrison, tom waits, simon & garfunkel, bob dylan and the writings of such authors as lester bangs and tom robbins. 

I read On the Road in maybe 1959.
It changed my life like it changed everyone else’s.

– Bob Dylan –

bob dylan‘s subterranean homesick blues was known for its lyrical amalgamation between jack kerouac and allen ginsburg.  while the song attributed to the beat generation, it was also believed to be in reference to jack kerouac’s 1958 novel the subterranan.

tom waits and primus recorded on the road, a song that jack kerouac created himself after finishing the famous novel.

the title of the smith‘s pretty girls make graves was taken from jack kerouac’s novel the dharma bums, one of morrissey’s favorites. 

::In Remembrance::
March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969

the producer and nephew of jack kerouac’s wife, jim sampas, created kerouac: kicks joy darkness, an experimental tribute showcasing recordings of jack’s unpublished poetry and unforgotten essays by various well-known artists such as michael stipe, eddie vedder, steven tyler and jeff buckley.  released in 1997, each musing truly provided a different mixture of smokey beats, jazz pop and bongo drums that layered expressively in the background.

kerouac :: morphine
bowery blues :: lydia lunch
madroad driving :: johnny depp & come

although many people still to this date share a love & hate relationship for what jack kerouac shared, there still will always remain a gift that he opened up for the world to see — the true meaning of many personal, heartfelt poetic experiences and an unbiased realistic wish for gaining sometype of joyful freedom.

22 Responses

  1. musicisart

    wow… thankyou so much for all the beautiful and kind comments. it really means so much to me! kerouac’s really have inspired me over the year.. and im glad he has done the same for you!

  2. bulut

    i know this aint going to be the gold comment, but, all i know is i just open mia and love looking at the pictures. Sometimes i download one or two melody, and music is the only truth, at least that’s it for me.

  3. audrey

    i loved this.

    i never knew very much about kerouac, but knew that i liked him from what i saw and read. you’ve given wonderful tidbits, and i savored them completely.

    you astound me, by the way.

  4. colin

    Hi D, Sorry I haven’t visited in a while. Just wanted to say that you capture this all so perfectly – the header for the post says it all and the words below, and the music choices, fit snuggly together. The thing that always amazed me about K was that his words ‘spoke’ to so many people – people far removed from, and outside of, America even. He was someone that shifted literary paradigms, no question about it – and I don’t much care if that sounds a little grand. Much love as ever and hope this finds you well, C.x

  5. urbangypsy

    This is easily your best post ever (coming second only the the Marylin-Mason one!)
    Love-love-love Jack, and your words were astute and inspiring. Thanks for making my day!

  6. M!

    one of my favorite guys.
    one of my favorite quotes from On the Road.
    thanks for this post.

  7. Ample Sanity

    […] over the art. But return again and again for the intensity, emotion. Black holes and rainbows. And the only truth is music…. Nothin’ gets my motor runnin’ quite like the blues. Yesterday, on the drive to and from Olcott, […]

  8. Jen

    Love this post. Love it! I never knew much about JK before, but you nicely summarized him and his presence. Best history lesson I’ve ever had!

  9. Frank

    Cool, thanks!
    My art history teacher at CCS was from the east coast and actually told a surreal story about Jack Kerouac showing up at his parents house with entourage. They stayed the night.
    And somehow Jack’s mom had the phone number to that house and called wondering and worried about where he was.
    My teacher said he was shocked to see how the entourage was so nervous about Jack’s mom calling! And Jack had a long talk with her there.. many wild stories like that come from my old art history teacher whom has been living that unique life!

  10. AC@44

    Thanks for these .. On the Road and Dhrama Bums are two of my favorite books, I’ve always felt that Kerouac should be considered the great american novelist.