Episode One: Neal Cassady

SoundBytez Episode One: Neal Cassady

OK, the first soundbytez podcast is the gonna be the very same item I was listening to when I decided to start SoundBytez.

Neal Cassady (February 8, 1926 – February 4, 1968) was many things, a heretic, a prophet, a drug addict and even a hero to some. Most probably he was unknown to most.

My exposure to Casady came through my interest in books like Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" and Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", both of which played a strong role in my drug induced upbringing. Kerouac's indispensable side kick, partner in crime was indeed Neal Cassady (aka "Dean Moriarty") a persona filled with a 90 mph stream of consciousness that championed the Merry Pranksers as one of the strongest mythical icons to many of us psychadelic drug users. especially the ones who came onto the scene well after the height of Haight Ashbury and were looking for guidance form the "elders". Neal has stayed in my unconscious, and I was quite interested when I found this audio file.

Cowboy Neal at the Wheel + Acid Test Filler
Neal Cassady
San Francisco, CA.

It is mostly a fast paced run on monologue with Neal talking about cars, LA, cars, booze, cars and lots of less than intelligible ramblings. The clip I chose is Neal signing along and making up on the fly lyrics to "The William Tell Overature"

I Wiki'd Neal and this is certainly worth noting before listening to the Soundbytez.

"After a party in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico in 1968 he went walking by a railroad track to reach the next town, but passed out in the cold and rainy night wearing nothing but a T-shirt and his jeans. In the morning he was found in a coma by the track and brought to the closest hospital, where he died a few hours later. Kesey retells the story of his death in a short story named The Day After Superman Died (in his collected short stories published as Demon Box) where Cassady is quoted with mumbling the number of nails (sixty-four thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight, 64928) in the rail he'd counted so far, as his last words before dying"

I Soundbytez follower sent me this comment on Neal:

"On the Neal Cassady piece you described Kerouac as one of the Merry Pranksters. This is incorrect. Kerouac distanced himself from the Hippie movement. Neal was Dean Moriarity in On The Road (as well as other characters in Kerouac's books)."

Thanks for listening,

You can listen the show in your browser HERE!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your soundbytez! Where else would could I have heard Cassady.


interactivehank said...

Thanks for the feedback, just what it takes to get me into putting another show out.


Anonymous said...

that made me laugh. i love his stream of consciousness. how delish-

Adam Luebke said...

Neal Cassady is really the modern day Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett. His life has become the great Myth, and is heralded like a tall tale.