[NY]: Full Court Press, .
Hardbound in dust jacket. First edition. Wonderful presentation copy inscribed to Ginsberg's mentor, close friend, recurring house guest, and ultimate polymath, Harry Smith: "for Harry / Smith / from / his observer & / pupil / Allen Ginsberg / September 5, 1976 / Chelsea Hotel, / N.Y.C." Ginsberg has added a small drawing of an eye with an arched eyebrow above his inscription. Additionally, Ginsberg has used the entire verso of the last page to write out a song, "Gospel Noble Truths," that doesn't appear in the book. He has also made hand corrections to the book throughout. A terrific association as Harry Smith was a seminal figure in post-war avant-garde art and counterculture making his mark as a filmmaker, musicologist, painter, mystic, ethnographer, drug-experimenter, collector of curious objects, and graphic designer. His pioneering experimental films greatly influenced the underground film movement of the sixties. In a 1971 interview Jonas Mekas proclaimed Smith to be "one of the four or five greatest living filmmakers," and "a genius." Likewise Smith's landmark multi-record Anthology of American Folk Music influenced a generation of folk musicians who brought about the folk music revival of the '50s and '60s. Ginsberg states in his introduction that Smith's anthology influenced his own songwriting. Smith also recorded Ginsberg's First Blues, the LP record that Folkways made of the songs in this book, and he designed the dust jackets for a few of Ginsberg's books. Smith lived at the Chelsea Hotel, but when he couldn't pay his bills Ginsberg would invite him to stay at his apartment for prolonged periods over the years. The numerous instances where their lives intersected, and the depth of their relationship, is well documented in various accounts of the period. One of the finest Ginsberg associations we've handled---Ginsberg's book of songs, including the handwritten manuscript of a song, deferentially inscribed to the preeminent musicologist who recorded them and who was also one of Ginsberg's closest friends and an influential artist in a wide range of endeavors. Fine.