January 21, 2015

Six Six Sixties

“ … went to England from Spoleto and stayed in style with Panna Grady and ran around a lot, finished proofs small book now published Cape-Goliard, yakked on TV and sang Hari Krishna in Hyde Park pot picnic, spent evening with Paul McCartney (He says “We are all one” i.e. all the same mystic-real being), spent a lot of evenings with Mick Jagger singing mantras and talking economics and law-politics during his court crisis – found him very delicate and friendly, reading Poe and Alistair Crowley – on thick carpets with incense and wearing ruffled lace at home – later spent night in recording studio with Jagger, Lennon and McCartney composing and fixing voices on pretty song Dandelion Fly Away” everybody exhilarated with hashish – all of them drest in paisley and velvet …” Allen Ginsberg to Robert Creeley, November 28, 1967, from The Letters of Allen Ginsberg, edited by Bill Morgan.     

“The Maysles brothers aside, this is the Altamont movie. We have to deal with Altamont – and of course Jagger knew about Altamont even before it happened. Performance was shot nearly two years ago, long before the apocalypse at the Speedway, but it’s all here in final form – future tidings neatly catalogued and even pre-analysed. A line from Jagger’s song: ‘We were eating eggs in Sammy’s when the black man drew his knife.’ This is a weird movie, friends … Hence a witchcraft ritual, black magic, hallucinatory soul stealing, at the end of which . . . the apocalypse. Black magic is tricky stuff, and there is no free lunch; Turner pays the only price there ever was … One of the attributes of evil is its ugliness, and on one level Performance is a very ugly film. Hallucinatory though it may be, I would not recommend seeing it while tripping.Michael Goodwin in Rolling Stone, September 3, 1970.