A friend warned me not to read any more Kerouac in college or I’d end up dropping out. I guess he saw warning signs. I thought he was projecting his own weaknesses on me. I could keep my experiments with mysticism separate from daily duties, merge a search for truth with institutional learning. What’s a couple more years of school, it’s all I ever knew anyway. Life is more stable than that, I’m more conformist than that. The copy of The Dharma Bums on my desk could not actually alter my life – only a sap would fall for that. But then, along came a girl the same week I started reading it. Sapped.
(Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar)
The 40th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s death approaches, and marking the date will be the documentary, “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur.” Presented by F-Stop/Atlantic Records the film is a journey through the places and soul searching that inspired Kerouac’s 1962 novel, Big Sur. Sam Shepard, Patti Smith,Tom Waits, John Ventimiglia and poets Lawrence Ferlinghette, and Aram Saroyan among
others, help piece together the trip.
An album, the result of a collaboration between Benjamin Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt), will accompany the film. During an initial soundtrack recording session they discovered some mutual Kerouac chemistry and decided to create an album using Kerouac’s text as lyrics for the songs.
I never actually dropped out of college, but that year, though one of the most gorgeous of my life, wasn’t pretty on paper. I never finished The Dharma Bums. I closed it up one day, put in in a box, and have not looked at it since. I hear they are making a movie about it too.
“One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur” opens for one night only in New York and Los Angeles on Thursday, October 15th. A limited release in top 40 markets on Tuesday, October 20th follows. You can pre-order the film as well as the music (cd, digital and vinyl) here.