The Dylan-Kerouac Connection
with Michael Goldberg and Johnny Harper
Veteran music journalist Michael Goldberg is a former writer and editor for Rolling Stone and numerous other publications. His brilliant essay “Bob Dylan’s Beat Visions” appears as a chapter in the new book Kerouac on Record, which explores Jack Kerouac’s relationship to music—the music he was inspired by, and the many famous musicians who were inspired by his writing. Michael’s chapter explores in detail the influence of Kerouac and other Beat writers (Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, more) on Bob Dylan’s world-changing songs of the 1960s. Michael has written on Dylan for many years, and his chapter draws not only on a lifetime of study, but also on important new interviews with major figures like Ferlinghetti, D.A. Pennebaker, and John Cohen, who knew both Bob and Jack personally. The connections he makes between Bob’s songs and the specific Beat writings that inspired them are surprising and exciting.
Singer-guitarist Johnny Harper is a celebrated Bay Area musician who has performed and recorded with Barbara Dane, Maria Muldaur, Charlie Musselwhite, Katie Webster, Queen Ida, Tony Marcus, Ernie K-Doe, and other well-known performers. He is also a band leader, record producer, and an exciting solo performer. In this special event he performs live versions of the classic Dylan songs Michael discusses in his essay—“Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Desolation Row,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “It’s Alright Ma,” lots more!—and gives them new life with his powerful interpretive singing and his dazzling work on acoustic and electric guitars. Hearing the combination of Michael’s spoken insights with Johnny’s compelling performances makes for an exhilarating and thoroughly delightful evening.
This show was performed just once before, to a packed house in Berkeley six months ago, and this may be its only other performance! So if you love the works of Jack and Bob—try not to miss it!