Excerpt from Interview with Ken Nordine
RE/Search: Were you part of the beatnik movement?
Ken Nordine: I was a great memorizer of poems by T.S. Eliot, Omar Khayyam--all kinds of things. I was working in a little joint and ran out of poems I'd memorized so I had to make up new ones. The jazz pianist, bass player and I would get up and ad-lib stories because the same people came all the time and you couldn't keep repeating yourself. But the beatnik movement happened in San Francisco. I met some of the people when they passed through Chicago, but I never considered myself a beatnik.
R/S: You do a stream-of-consciousness reflection upon society-
Right now I'm re-doing an album of mine called Colors.
The idea came from a series of radio commercials I did for the Fuller
Paint Company in San Francisco. They said, "Do whatever you want--just
mention our name." So I wrote, "The Fuller Paint Company invites you to
stare with your ears at Yellow." And then you'd hear very strange music,
and I'd continue, "In the beginning--no, long before that--when
light was deciding who'd be in--or out--of the spectrum, Yellow was in
serious trouble. Green didn't want Yellow in--some primal envy, I guess.
Things like very bad for Yellow until Blue came along and said, 'What's
the trouble?' and Yellow explained...so Blue went to see green and told
him, "Look--if Yellow and I get together, we can make our own Green. We
won't need you.' 'Oh.' So Green saw the light, and Yellow got in. It worked
out fine: Yellow got lemons and Green got limes." I liked this project
so much I thought, "Hey--I'll do these colors as an album."
Other excerpts from Incredibly Strange Music II :
Excerpts from Incredibly Strange Music I: