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Episode Info:

“To me the term Beat was like, “Hey man I’m beat,” after all night on Benzedrine. I never considered myself a Beat. But my first book was published by Ferlinghetti and they all arrived at my doorstep when I lived at Gough Street, so I guess I became a Beat by osmosis.” —Charles Plymell

Charles Plymell is a poet, novelist, and small press publisher. Plymell has collaborated with and published many poets, writers, and artists, including principals of the Beat Generation. Benzedrine Highway, published in 2013, is an anthology of his best-known poetry and prose, including excerpts from his 1971 City Lights novel The Last of the Moccasins.

In this episode of Deviate, Charles and his wife Pamela Beach Plymell discuss their memories of (and interactions with) Jack Kerouac (4:55); Charley’s upbringing in Dust Bowl-era Kansas, and his early road-trips to California (11:05); life as a young hood and hipster in Wichita (14:40); meeting and interacting with the Beats in San Francisco (19:20); rooming with Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg when Cassady was trying to write his own book (23:55); hosting Ginsberg during the poet’s Wichita Vortex Sutra journey to Kansas in 1966 (30:50); publishing the first issue of R. Crumb’s Zap Comix just before the Summer of Love (35:35); working at a teamster on the San Francisco docks, and getting his own novel published (39:50); and interacting with William S. Burroughs in the later years of the author’s life (46:00).

For more information on Charley, check out his fan page at http://hipsterfansite.blogspot.com/.

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The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber.

Note: We don’t host a “comments” section, but we’re happy to hear your questions and insights via email, at deviate@rolfpotts.com.

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