Collection of material related to the recording and marketing of First Blues (John Hammond Records, 1983).

V.p., chiefly New York and Boulder, CO: ca. 1971-1986.

Price: $30,000.00

About the item

Condition generally very good, with some signs of use and prior folding. Provenance: Hank O'Neal.

Item #303185

A collection of autograph, printed, and audio material concerning the production of the 1983 John Hammond Records release of Allen Ginsberg's rock 'n roll album, First Blues. The collection was assembled by Hank O'Neal — photographer, author, record producer, and Executive Vice-President of Hammond Music Enterprises — and includes autograph letters, notes and postcards from Ginsberg to O'Neal, drafts and proofs of the linear notes ("The Ginsberg Gallimaufry"), lyric and chord sheets, fourteen cassette tapes of early mixes and unreleased tracks, and an extensive file of press clippings assembled and annotated by Ginsberg. Ginsberg's frequent letters and postcards to O'Neal exhibit an intense interest in the publicity and press coverage surrounding the album's release.
Ginsberg started work on this album as early as 1971, following a jam session with Bob Dylan — who praised Ginsberg's ability to improvise lyrics. Ginsberg recorded with Dylan shortly thereafter and again in 1976 with Dylan and members of his Rolling Thunder Review. John Hammond's attempt to release the record on CBS in the mid-'70s went nowhere, as label executives feared the album was too controversial (some song titles: "Everybody Sing (Gay Lib Rag)" & "You are My Dildo"). More tracks and overdubs were recorded in 1981 following the formation of Hammond Music Enterprises, and the album was finally released in 1983.
The collection also includes a baker’s dozen of large format photographic portraits of Ginsberg with William Burroughs, Joe Strummer, and other participants, by Hank O’Neal.
A full cataloguing of the collection is available on request.