Newstalgia Pop Chronicles with a documentary produced by KNX Radio in Los Angeles in 1959 entitled The Beatniks, narrated by noted Astrologer Sydney Omar and featuring recordings and interviews from local purported Beat Hangout The Gas House in Venice California.
July 2, 2011

The Gas House in Venice, California 1959 - the rumored epicenter of where everything went to hell in a handbasket.

If you think the Hippie Movement of the 1960's was the most parodied, lambasted, pigeonholed and marginalized era by mainstream media, you have only to listen to this documentary, produced by KNX Radio in Los Angeles in 1959 to know The Beat Generation won that dubious achievement hands down.

Titled The Beatniks, this one hour look at the Beat Generation as it was happening in Venice California was narrated by noted 60's and 70's Astrologer Sydney Omar and hosted an interesting cast of characters, headed by the somewhat self-appointed guru Lawrence Lipton who figures prominently as spokesman for all that is Beat and Bohemian in Los Angeles at the time, even to the point of proclaiming The (Greenwich) Village and North Beach (San Francisco) were no longer relevant, but now The Gas House in Venice was. Once you get around the rather quaint and self-conscious proclamations, there are some interesting people who were legitimately influential forces in the Beat Generation, among them Kenneth Patchen and Stewart Perkoff.

So it's an interesting listen, even if it is slathered over with a lot of marginalization.

But then, that's the 50's anyway, and mainstream always.

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