“Material Wealth” in Variety’s Round-Up of Top Music Books of 2023

Material Wealth: Mining the Personal Archive of Allen Ginsberg” compiled and annotated by Pat Thomas is featured in Variety’s round-up of 2023’s best music book!

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Contributor A.D. Amorosi wrote an excellent overview of the book: “Material Wealth: Mining the Personal Archive of Allen Ginsberg” Pat Thomas — Along with having witnessed the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked and burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night (yes, I read “Howl” a million times), Allen Ginsberg was something of a packrat who kept seemingly everything that passed through his hands. Along with being an archival music producer and liner-note writer, Pat Thomas has delved deep into the psychedelic culture of Ginsberg’s angel-headed hipsters by penning books like “Listen, Whitey! The Sights & Sounds of Black Power 1965–1975” and a Jerry Rubin biography. Here, he has dug deep into Stanford University’s Ginsberg collection and came up with a wealth of worthy goods. That means everything from a 1974 concert ticket for Bob Dylan and the Band — with Yoko Ono’s telephone number scrawled on the back — to a poster for Patti Smith’s first-ever poetry reading from 1971 at St. Mark’s Church. There are corny but still-relevant Yippie political rants, from John Sinclair of the MC5 to a rare dissertation on Dylan’s “Idiot Wind.” As Ginsberg was something of an amateur photographer and all-around gadfly, there are photos of Iggy Pop, Marianne Faithfull, Lou Reed and more among his souvenirs. And because Thomas can’t resist a good CD tie-in, he produced and is releasing (in March 2024) “Material Wealth: Allen’s voice in poems and songs 1956-1996” featuring Ginsberg backed by Dylan on “Do the Meditation Rock” (1982), by Paul McCartney, Lenny Kaye and Philip Glass on “The Ballad of The Skeletons” (1996), and more. — A. D. Amorosi

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