“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…”

Three years after Jack Kerouac coined the term “The Beat Generation” a group of Beat poets gathered at the Six Gallery on Fillmore Street in San Francisco for a poetry reading. The date was October 7, 1955 and Kerouac was there. So were local Beat celebrities Gary Snyder, Phil Lamantia, Michael McClure and a then … Read more

The Birth — and Death — of “the Hippies”

Credit for the origin of the term “hippies” is generally given to San Francisco journalist Michael Fallon. Fallon coined the term in an article published in the San Francisco Examiner on September 5, 1965. It was the first of a series of articles he wrote about the “new generation of beatniks” who hung out in … Read more

Kerouac’s “mad ones” continue to “burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles…”

On September 5, 1957, the first edition of Jack Kerouac’s seminal book On the Road was published by Viking Press. This semi-autobiographical novel, written in a loose, stream-of-consciousness (and sometimes probably semi-conscious) manner, had a profound and lasting effect on American literature and culture. It’s not one of those books that generated a lot of … Read more