Join the Kicks Books crew in celebrating the publication of BENZEDRINE HIGHWAY by America's last standing, guns-blazing, full throttle roadmaster versificator Charles Plymell at a very special evening at NYC’s historic Jefferson Market Library NYPL on Friday, November 8, at 7:30 PM.
Charles Plymell will be introduced by his friend, fellow legend, poet, artist, and photographer, Gerard Malanga, who's been there and back. We're gassed to have him aboard.
Admission to this event is free to the public. Books will be available for purchase. Come meet Charles and Gerard!
Poet/author/artist/small press publisher (legend!) Charles Plymellroared out of Kansas with tires blazing while the Beat scene was still in training wheels. Weaned on jump blues, true grit and Dr. Gimmy Gommy’s Goodies, Plymell redefined the fast track with blunt force, map zap and brute strength forged of desperation and attitude.
Born on the high plains in Finney County, Kansas in 1935 in a converted chicken coop during one of the blackest dust storms of the day, he would spend his sprouting years kicking up even more sand. His father was a cowboy born in the Oklahoma Territory; his mother was of Plains Indian descent. Life on the loose held more appeal than classrooms for young Charles, who dropped out after ninth grade. He worked at various laboring jobs throughout the western states, then racing the highway between Los Angeles and Kansas City during his hipster years, stoked on hillbilly howls and race music-- R&B, blues, and jazz.
Charles Plymell lived in San Francisco in the early 1960’s, sharing a house with Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady. His writings from this period were published in his first book APOCALYPSE ROSE, which appears complete in BENZEDRINE HIGHWAY, along with his killer roadmaster autobio THE LAST OF THE MOCASSINS.
Plymell raised a lifelong ruckus with a wild bunch that included friends Ginsberg, Cassady, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac-- and a cast of thousands.
Charles Plymell eventually settled in upstate New York. He has published, printed, and designed umpteen underground magazines and books with his wife Pamela Beach. He put Ray Bremser and Herbert Hunke, whom he identified with from the hipster 1950s, into print, and was influential in the underground comix scene, establishing artists such as Robert Crumb and S. Clay Wilson, whom he first published in Lawrence, Kansas. Plymell was the first printer of Robert Crumb's Zap Comix.
Charles Plymell opposes the National Endowment for the Arts and has criticized it in print, claiming it has become a politicized, unjust system feeding on its own mediocrity and self-contradiction. His views were mentioned in the New York Times in "Notes on People" and again in "Washington Talk". He was subsequently blacklisted and has never received any funding from any federal, state, or academic agency to pursue his creativity.
PLYMELL IS ON THE AIRWAVES OCTOBER 26!
RADIO BALLYHOO! Dig honkin' rhythm & blues sounds "Picked By Plymell" as he chats live with Fool's Paradise Show host Rex and the Kicks/Norton crew at WFMU on Saturday Oct. 26. The show begins at 1 PM (EST), and Charles is scheduled for a 2 PM call-in. We are EXCITED! Tune in for this segment -- direct from the Wichita Vortex!
Kicks Books is the world's only publisher to issue a fragrance with each book. Two fragrances are available for BENZEDRINE HIGHWAY . LOSER represents LAST OF THE MOCASSINS and is aimed for gents. The fragrance, APOCALPYSE ROSE is available in four different floral packages for the ladies, one for every mood.
Kicks Books now presents BENZEDRINE HIGHWAY, which includes the first ever republication of Plymell’s long out of print first book of poetry, APOCALYPSE ROSE, his first prose book, LAST OF THE MOCASSINS, and a new autobiographical introduction which speeds you into the wild world of Charles Plymell where his words warp one’s horizontal, and stand one’s vertical on its pointed little head.
Benzedrine Highway is published by Kicks Books, Box 646 Cooper Station, NYC 10276
Apocalypse Rose, Dave Haselwood Books, San Francisco, CA, 1966. Neon Poems, Atom Mind Publications, Syracuse, NY, 1970. The Last of the Moccasins, City Lights Books, San Francisco, CA, 1971; Mother Road Publications, 1996. Moccasins Ein Beat-Kaleidoskop, Europa Verlag, Vienna, Austria, 1980. Over the Stage of Kansas, Telephone Books, NYC, 1973. The Trashing of America, Kulchur Foundation, NYC, 1975. Blue Orchid Numero Uno, Telephone Books, 1977. Panik in Dodge City, Expanded Media Editions, Bonn, W. Germany, 1981. Forever Wider, 1954-1984, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ, 1985. Was Poe Afraid?, Bogg Publications, Arlington, VA, 1990. Hand on the Doorknob, Water Row Books, Sudbury, MA, 2000; Some Mother’s Sons, Cherry Valley Editions, Cherry Valley, NY, 2005; Mindeater, Verlag Peter Engstler, Germany, 2009; Eat Not Thy Mind, Glass Eye Books/Peace Eye Library, Northampton, MA 2010