Real Gone Music
“This is Charles Bukowski. Well, let me just sit here and drink beer.” Thus begins the September 14, 1972 poetry reading from which this 1980 release on John Fahey’s Takoma label is drawn. This 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 you’d 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 Music is rescuing this recording from the clinical, digital world of the compact disc and restoring it to its proper vinyl format. If there were ever an echo of the analog world, this album would be it.