Good news for Charles Bukowski poetry fans, especially for those who are also lovers of vinyl. The 1980 Bukowski poetry reading album Charles Bukowski Reads His Poetry, is receiving a vinyl re-release by Real Gone Music.
The record will be released on July 31st, 2012, and is currently available for pre-order through Amazon.com. (Update: the album has been released, and the link will bring you to where you can buy it.)
For those who don’t have access to a record player, fear not, the album is still available in CD form as well.
Charles Bukowski Reads His Poetry is a recording of a September 14, 1972 poetry reading. Real Gone Music described the album in a recent press release:
“This is Charles Bukowski. Well, let me just sit here and drink beer.” Thus begins the September 14, 1972 poetry reading from which his 1980 release on John Fahey’s Takoma label is drawn. Charles Bukowski Reads His Poetry is quintessential Bukowski, from the rude ‘n’ crude drawing that adorns the front cover to the belches that punctuate the poems. As for the work itself, it’s not really what one might commonly conceive of as poetry, but rather observations and vignettes drawn from life’s darker side, focusing on perversions, poverty, drunkenness, gambling, and bodily functions. But Bukowski’s bemused air and self-deprecating humor blunt the shock value of the words and emphasize the universality of the themes. “I want you to hate me,” he says to the audience, but it’s hopeless — he is one of us. Real Gone has rescued this recording from the clinical, digital world of the CD, restoring it to a proper vinyl format. The album contains explicit material.
With more and more releases like this one, it’s a good time to be a Charles Bukowski fan.
A few years ago, for instance, two of Bukowski’s last readings were given DVD releases by director Jon Monday. The first, There’s Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here, is a reading Bukowski gave in Vancouver on October 12, 1979. This was followed by The Last Straw; a reading given at The Sweetwater in Redondo Beach, California, on March 31, 1980.
These were then followed by a box set release, Charles Bukowski: One Tough Mother, featuring both readings in full (the individual releases are edited to avoid duplicate poems) as well extra featurettes and bonus material.
Then there are the many posthumously published books, which are still coming at a fairly rapid rate for a man who has been dead for 18 years. Most recently, there was the publication of More Notes of a Dirty Old Man: The Uncollected Columns. (The editor of the collection, David Calonne, stated in an interview that he’d like to release another collection, if sales of More Notes… warrants it, so click on that link and get yourself a copy if you haven’t already.)
Most of us never had the chance to see Charles Bukowski read his work, and many fans weren’t even born yet when he published his last work during his lifetime, the novel Pulp. But with these new releases, it helps to keep the old man alive, introduce him to new generations and re-introduce him to older ones. Here’s hoping for many more.