Walking in Kerouac’s boots my wild years

If you’ve not seen yet  finally a film version of Kerouac’s on the road is finally being made after more than 20 years of false starts it reaches our screens in the summer .I first heard of Kerouac as a fourteen year old when my friend Andy loaned me some Doors music, but also Jerry Hopkins AND Danny Sugerman’s wonderful biography of the Doors lead singer Jim Morrison “no one here gets out alive “.early on in the book  Jim’s  describes his reaction to reading “on the road “and how it led to him following the rest of the Beat group of writers figure such as William Burroughs ,.Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti .So me as bookish young teen and in some ways looking for something to mean something to me , made my first move it to the world of the beats  he’d read and got a copy of Burroughs’ naked lunch I know not the best first choice but I lapped it up in a couple of days and then moved on to On the road and lived in Jack’s footsteps and his friends as I found out the book is as much about Kerouac’s real life at the time .At this time I had a very tense home life I don’t get on well with my stepfather and there was a constant sense of unease at my home.So these books gave me great escape but also as Jim and Jack had both hitch-hike I start missing college and hitch-hiking round firstly in Cheshire and Manchester as I spent my days escaping the impending doom of coming home at night to an unsettled feeling at home I found beauty in the world whether it seeing the world moving or a bird  or plant as I waited for a ride .I became a more open person due to this as Hitch-hiking forces you to talk to the person  who has  picked you up .Well this  carried on even after I left and moved to Northumberland to live  with my father. I read more and more Burroughs and Kerouac thanks in two ways to the newly opened Barter books in Alnwick where I lived and the wonderful stock Alnwick library which even thou a small Library  had a number of William Burroughs books so cities of red night ,nova express and others fell through my hands as I tried to live as a beat in a small way ,drinking, seeing the world  , writing poetry (bad poetry looking back but loved typing on an old typewriter I’d been given ) and maybe in some way trying to  escape impending  adulthood in a way , this I did till well in my twenties and managed to  reached Germany as I still had wanderlust and now a romance , had a ball with my German girlfriend seeing different places and cultures first hand was something I’ll never regret  .I know look back and have fond memories of what one small book has brought to my life and also a tinge of sadness as it must be over ten years since I read a beat writer but with a new collection of william Burroughs letters out by Penguin this month I feel a summer dive into some beat writing is called for ,I m sure I said that two summers ago but this summer I m going get on the road again anyway in my mind as I know have a wonderful home life with my dear Amanda and Winston ,so the need to run has gone some what .I ll leave you with the trailer for on the road .

March 2012


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