Yes, there is a Beat Generation in the deep South of the Earth. Precisely in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is a decade younger in age than the US Beat Generation concocted by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Lucien Carr, Herbert Huncke, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and others. Inevitably, the South Beat Generation (I’m registering here that brand) received his first poems and nutrients from writings of the Beat poets of the North, fighting in resistance against the Vietnam War and in opposition to the racial discrimination against afroamerican people. The geographically small epicenter of this South Beat Generation was drawing itself along the Pueyrredón avenue, from the neighborhood of Recoleta (“La Cueva de Pueyrredón” between Juncal Street and French Street, now the entrance to a building garage), the Once neighborhood (“La Perla del Once”, Pueyrredón Ave. and Rivadavia Ave, today a rock sanctuary, offering concerts performed by musicians from the first and second generational “waves”) and then to the downtown (the Di Tella Institute in Florida between Santa Fe Ave. and Paraguay St., today replaced by commercial shops).
I hit my maiden flight in that circuit only in 1967, when I was a pre-teen fervently passionate for the Beatles, and without really knowing where I was dabbling, my mother, a visual artist herself, took me by the hand to the Di Tella Institute to have a glimpse of two exhibition-happenings created by Marta Minujin, and since then, those “The Menesunda” incenses and that strobe fluorescence of the “Importation-Exportation” Show dazzled my soul forever. I felt as a newcomer to that cloud that promised me a lifetime of art and psychedelia, when suddenly appeared in my house Robertino Granados, one of the members of the theater “Lobo Group” of the Di Tella Institute, to give body-expression classes to my older sister and one of her teenager girlfriends. That day was born a lasting friendship with Robertino, which today, after 47 years, continues to grow and strengthen with roots that reach the most subtle corners of existence. The following years came to me in a way Gurdjieff would have called “Meetings with Remarkable Men”, and thus came first in my hometown, San Martin, Sol, the drummer who passed from London to the barbiturate Heaven, Tango or Tanguito or Ramses, the legendary fellow also from San Martin; later came meeting my since then idol Luis Alberto Spinetta in Bajo Belgrano, and soon I got on “The Imaginary Express” bringing Jorge Pistocchi, Pipo Lernoud, Jorge Kaczewer, Bobby Curto, Alfredo Rosso, Claudio Kleiman and so many more, and almost immediately Miguel Grinberg and Mario Rabey.
From left to right: Miguel Grinberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg.
Of all these precious names I will try to gather around this blog, to those who are on this side of the sunset, and the words of those who already transcended the threshold. They’ll come with books, poems, sounds. That is my commitment: to congregate here with you, dear followers and visitors, the authentic and living South Beat Generation. Very soon!
Oh! I realize that throughout the post I didn’t mention the word “Hippie” .OK, here you are!