Harvard-professors-turned-psychedelic-explorers Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary often interjected the virtues of human evolution and technological advancement into their lectures and writings on consciousness alteration. Now it is exactly that technology — Internet technology — that allows Alpert (now known as Ram Dass) to continue his teachings of heightened consciousness and spiritual enlightenment years after a stroke left him partially paralyzed and unable to endure the rigors of travel. Ram Dass will headline Omfest, an event in Santa Monica, via live Internet feed from his home in Maui. Omfest, a mini-retreat and workshop based on the teachings of influential 20th century Indian guru Neem Karoli Baba is scheduled from 3 to 10 p.m. Sunday, October 28th, at the Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica. Tickets are $54, and proceeds benefit the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram and Hanuman Temple in Taos, New Mexico, a facility dedicated to the guru whose message was, “love everyone — serve everyone — remember God.” Ram Dass, along with Leary, is credited with introducing LSD and psilocybin into the consciousness of a generation of young Americans in the 1960s. After being dismissed from his post at Harvard once the research became too controversial and involved student participation, Alpert went on a quest for personal discovery, wound up in India, and was led to a reclusive guru whose teachings were to have a profound...Read More
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…. — Jack Kerouac A three-day 50th anniversary celebration of Beat generation luminary Jack Kerouac’s On the Road has been planned for Friday through Sunday, October 19th to 21st, at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice. General admission is $7 and students and seniors are $5. Breaking literary boundaries in a three-week frenzy of writing in 1951, Kerouac typed what was to become one of the most innovative and revered novels of the 20th century on 119 feet of taped-together graph paper. On the Road was to become the defining literary work of the Beat Generation. “I read it in 1968 as a senior in high school and it changed my life,” says Richard Modiano, a member of the Beyond Baroque board of trustees and organizer of the event. “Since then, every half generation it seems, I meet seniors in high school, in the 1970s and 1980s through the present, who tell me that the book changed their life.” After many rewrites, edits and resistance from agents and publishers, Kerouac’s masterpiece was published in 1957 by Viking...Read More
An annual show of rare classic Shelby Cobra and Mustang muscle cars, normally held across town at the Petersen Automotive Museum, has shifted to the Santa Monica Pier this year. The Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club Car Show, dedicated to the memory of the late car club member Tony Sousa, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 22nd, on the Santa Monica Pier, at the ocean end of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. Spectator admission is free. The show is open to all Shelby designs, including Cobras and Mustangs, and all cars manufactured by Ford. Registration is $25 to $55 and includes a T-shirt and a dash plaque. An awards ceremony for all of the car classes involved in the show and for best of show is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Santa Monica Pier location for the show was secured through the efforts of Greb Barbiera, a local Shelby club member. Barbiera is also a Santa Monica police officer who patrols the area, says Steve Beck, a Shelby specialist who is the past president and a current member of the club. Aside from owning a Shelby Mustang, Beck has for the last 16 years cared for and maintained a rare 1963 Shelby Cobra (said to be the sixth Cobra ever built) owned by jazz legend Herbie Hancock. Less than ten Cobras were offered and...Read More
Venice poet laureate Philomene Long, who had ties to the original Venice Beat poetry scene and counterculture, died Tuesday, August 21st. She was 67 years old. In addition to being an active poet on the Venice scene for decades, Long was the lover and muse of Beat Generation writer Stuart Perkoff up until his death in 1974, and later was married to the late Venice Beat poet John Thomas. “This is a huge loss for Venice and to poetry,” says Fred Dewey, director of Beyond Baroque, Venice’s nonprofit literary arts center, where Long had a history of doing readings and was actively involved. “She was a fierce partisan for poetry and for those who she was close to. She was a dear friend to Beyond Baroque and to the historical subculture of Venice,” Dewey said. Long had lived in San Diego, New York City and later wound up in Venice in the 1960s, where she lived until her death. She joined a convent in the late 1950s, but later left and migrated to Venice. Long and Thomas were said to have practiced a lifestyle of beatitude and “poverty as a state of grace” based on traditions of ancient Zen recluse poets. “The Venice Beats upheld the dream of salvation through creativity, wrote poems for the act of writing itself, had no mind for publishing,” Long once observed in an...Read More
The Summer Strummer Festival, a rock ‘n’ roll jamboree with four stages of live musical acts, returns for its second year to the local Santa Monica arts mecca Bergamot Station with a hodgepodge of punk rock, alternative, psychobilly, singer/songwriter, pop rock and emo sounds. The end of the summer concert event will feature approximately 40 bands from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 2nd, at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $40 for general admission and $60 for VIP tickets. A portion of VIP ticket sales benefits the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and the Los Angeles Ballet. All ages are admitted to the festival. Bergamot Station is a cultural center and enclave of nearly 40 fine art galleries in an area that was once a train station for the Red Cars that ran from Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier. Confirmed musical acts at the Summer Strummer Festival this year include Brett Dennen, Jesse Malin, Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers and Friends, Deadbolt, Whitestarr, Ian Moore, Charlie and the Valentine Killers, Speedbuggy, Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz, Stonehoney, Dead Rock West, and Dusty Rhodes and the River Band on the Lucky Brand Haybale Stage; Mat Kearney, Augustana, One Republic, Test Your Reflex, Jeremy Fisher, Kate Voegele, The Tender Box, Astra Heights, Mandi Perkins, Dirty Harry, Jay Clifford, Drive-A on the Star Lounge Stage;...Read More
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