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A book BY
Roy Kotynek and John Cohassey

 
Articles and Excerpts
 

Book Tops Hemingway Society List

The Hemingway Society has issued a list of recent Hemingway-related publications and John Cohassey's "Hemingway and Pound: A Most Unlikely Friendship" is at the top.

Click here for the link to the list

Hemingway Review Fall 2015

Read Joseph M. Flora's review of "Hemingway and Pound: A Most Unlikely Friendship" in the Fall 2015 issue of "The Hemingway Review."

Click here to read the review

 
 

This page features written material and art work by the authors and guest contributors. Keep checking back for updates.

Co-author John Cohassey has signed a new book deal with McFarland and Company to create a new work that explores the friendship between Ernest Hemingway and poet Ezra Pound. This book is scheduled for publication in 2013. Keep checking here for details as the publication date approaches.

John Cohassey's Hemingway's Michigan and Winter of His Discontent: Jack Kerouac in Detroit are available at saltandcedar.com. Click here to visit their website.

John Cohassey's Hemingway and Pound is available on Amazon.com. Click here to visit the website. It is also available through McFarland Books. Click here to visit their website.

 

Now Available for Sale! "Hemingway: The Last Good Country " a new historical booklet for sale by John Cohassey

 

 

Coming Soon! "The Radio Tower"
an online book by John Cohassey
The Radio Tower Set in metro Detroit, The Radio Tower, is the other story of the 1970s. As the sixties counterculture receded into memory and the rise of punk rock emerged--a defiant if not bleak alternative--many young people found themselves once again rebelling against suburban life. Beyond the disco era’s stereotypical glitz, The Radio Tower traces the lives of two friends. Thomas, a son of evangelical parents, caught up in drugs and youth rebellion, struggles in his friendship with boyhood companion Jack, who seeks a more meaningful path after encountering an inspirational college instructor. A regional story with a national resonace, The Radio Tower captures fast times that still resonate, times when young people encountered a rapidly changing America.


Interested in other works by the authors? Click here to read a short story by John Cohassey.

Click here for a complete listing of articles written by John Cohassey.

Click here to read how RoyKotynek was introduced to the "Beats" just before the Christmas of 1959.

Click here to read John Cohassey's article in Metrotimes "Kerouac in Detroit." Click here to read this article as it appeared in Beat Scene.

Click here to read John Cohassey's article in Metrotimes "Hemingway's Last 'Good Country' (Northern Michigan as He Knew It)."

Click here to view some photographs taken at the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, including shots of Muddy Waters, Archie Shepp, Jimmy Garrison, Houndog Taylor and Robert Junior Lockwood. Photographs are by Ira Lax.

We are honored to spotlight the art our gifted painter friend David Einstein, a former Detroit-area resident now living, creating, and teaching in Southern California. Click here to read his biorgraphy and articles featuring David in different magazines.

 
 

Co-author John Cohassey is used as a source for biographies throughout the internet. Click one of the below links to look up articles that use him as a source:

encyclopedia.com - Read his articles on John Coltrane and Eddie Harris
answers.com - Read his articles on Art Tatum, Max Roach and Horace Silver
enotes.com - Read his articles on Charlie Parker, Hank Jones, Elvin Jones, Thad Jones, Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Yusef Lateef

 
 

-The Rebel Call-


Offbeat on Campus
By John Cohassey

In Dharma Bums (1958) Kerouac’s semi-autobiographical character Ray Smith condemns colleges as “nothing more than grooming schools for the middle class non-identity.” No longer exclusively upper-class places of higher learning, post-World War II universities provided interaction between creative people and became battlegrounds for youth protest and countercultural activity. As sixties activist Jerry Rubin observed, the university was “a fortress” besieged by a drug-using hippie contingent “who were using state-owned university property as a playground.” Yet there were students who engaged in serious campus cultural activities at a time when the arts--not just popular music--were central to their experience.

Click here to read rest of article

Bohemianism in Vietnam? :
Excerpts from an American Musician Blogger
By Tim Brockett

There is a neo-Bohemianism which is developing in Vietnam, which I suspect is a continuation of the Bohemianism ethic the Vietnamese encountered during the country’s extended period as a French colony. The booming economy is beginning to create the wealth which inevitably begets leisure, and leisure goes hand in hand with having the time for creative pursuits. And this Bohemianism has for its current backdrop a setting akin to the world in which the American twentieth century avant-garde found itself, a world of imposed will and repression, a.k.a. the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Click here to read rest of article

Elvin Jones' Detroit Years
By John Cohassey

reprinted with permission
Oakland University Journal
Number 14 Winter 2008

Nearly a decade ago, a drummer friend of mine attended a Detroit music clinic and confessed to jazz great Elvin Jones: "Everything I learned to play on the drums I stole from you." Jones smiled and assured him: "You didn't steal anything. It's a gift." This gesture was indicative of Jones' willingness to share his art, a musical gift made unique through an uncompromising spirit that refused to "comply," said Jones, "to the standard form." Best known as the drummer with saxophonist John Coltrane's group (1960-1966), Jones had, before his death on May 18, 2004, awed audiences worldwide with his sheer musical power and improvisational brilliance. Throughout his life Jones credited his early Detroit years as preparing him for New York City's competitive jazz scene and for shaping his skills as one of jazz music's most innovative drummers.

Click here to read rest of article

My Friend Art Blakey :
Recollections of a Jazz Fan from Detroit
By Jerry "Tiger" Pearson

as told to John Cohassey

I had the privilege of meeting Art Blakey backstage at the 1984 Montreux/Detroit Jazz Festival. At this open air concert on a bright August day, I will never forget how Blakey’s band--trumpeter Terence Blanchard, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison,tenor saxophonist Jean Toussaint, pianist Mulgrew Miller, and bassist Lonnie Plaxico---took the stage on the Pontchatrain Hotel’s patio, wearing dark sunglasses and custom-cut gray suits. In the audience was Blakey’s longtime Detroit friend, Jerry “Tiger” Pearson, former Golden Gloves boxer and a man fervently devoted to jazz. Nearly twenty years after Blakey’s performance, I met Tiger while he was dee-jaying his jazz program in a downtown Pontiac bar. In our subsequent and lengthy conversations, Tiger provided a wealth of information that resulted in the following. This is Tiger’s story--his memories of some of the greatest musicians of modern jazz.

Click here to read rest of article

 

Hemingway's "Last Good Country"
By John Cohassey

Before Ernest Hemingway became obsessed with bullfighting, big-game hunting, and deep sea fishing, Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay region inspired his youthful imagination. In the woods beyond the family cottage and the opulent resort hotels, he eyed the wildlife, gun in hand, and cast his line in crystal clear streams and lakes, often making friends among the Algonquian-speaking Ottawa and Ojibwa, who lived in the shadow of a lumbering-era past.

Click here to read rest of article on the MetroTimes website

In Duchamp’s Shadow:
Dadaist in the City of Machines

In Detroit’s historic Scarab Club is Marcel Duchamp’s signature—thirteen small cryptic letters on a wooden ceiling beam. This talismanic autograph stirred my interest in finding out why and when Duchamp added his name to the collection of signatures in the club’s lounge. I was aware that Duchamp came to Detroit in November 1961 to speak at the Detroit Institute of Arts and receive an honorary degree from Wayne State University. This being the only information about Duchamp having visited Detroit of which I knew, I set out to find a link between the Scarab Club signature and his coming to Detroit in 1961. We may never know why Duchamp--who never spoke fondly of history, especially its art movements and isms and rejected all facets of aesthetic commercialism--accepted an honorary degree from an urban university so far from the powerful centers of the art world. But for an artist fascinated by the machine and mechanical drawings, Detroit may have been a fitting place for such an honor.

Click here to read rest of article

Paved Paradise
By John Cohassey

 

An absolute place of music legend and African-American culture, Hastings Street once stretched north from the Detroit River to East Grand Boulevard, basically where I-75 runs today. 

After Detroit's Jewish immigrant population left this area, Hastings became a thriving artery of African-American business and entertainment. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the street catered to shoppers by day and offered an array of music, stage acts and colorful folks walking the street at night. Most Hastings venues were Jewish-owned corner bars that booked small groups and bluesmen. 

Click here to read rest of article on the MetroTimes website

 

Down on Hastings
By John Cohassey

Cutting a sixty-foot wide path through Detroit's black and Jewish districts, Hastings Street served as a center of business and entertainment for over four decades. Like Memphis' Beale Street, Dallas' Elm Street, and Chicago's State Street--celebrated in song and poetic verse--featured a thriving blues scene. Until its demise in the early 1960s, the eastside Hastings district remained the main gathering place for black Sourthern migrant musicians and modern urban jump bluesmen who displayed their talents in white and black-owned nightclubs along the thoroughfare.

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Remembering Sunnie Wilson
By John Cohassey

Sunnie Wilson, Detroit's celebrated nightclub and music impresario, once told me that "During my day, musicians and entertainers were the closest fraternity in the world." A one-time song-and-dance man in the 1930s, Wilson, without finding success on stage, ventured into the promotion business, and befriended such legends as Joe Louis and the who's who of the jazz and blues music scene.

Click here to read the rest of the article

 

Answering Whitman's Call
By John Cohassey

reprinted with permission
Beat Scene
Number 66 Autumn 2011

Nearly a hundred years after Walt Whitman's 1855 publication of Leaves of Grass, the Beat circle took up its author's call for the poet to embrace and express every aspect of their native land -- its various people and landscape. In assessing Whitman's pervasive influence on the Beats, Allen Ginsberg once described the good grey poet as a "mountain too vast to be seen." The Whitman of the Beats defied the gentleman poet's role as maker of genteel parlor verse, who cultivated, as his biographer Justin Kaplan observed, the role of "Poet Prophet of the people, a man of the people, simple, unschooled, coarsely garbed, who spontaneously in unrhymed verse would speak for his century."   Boldly taking on the taboos of the unadorned body, copulation, and childbirth, Whitman, America's first free-verse poet, balanced his transcendental reverence for nature and the city, seeing in a spear of summer grass or a simple time-worn face, the particular in the universal. Whitman's passion for true democracy and love for comradeship served as a guiding light from the past, extolling the virtues of the open road and in finding a cosmos within the everyday, the everyman, what the good grey poet termed the.....

"Divine average."

Click here to read rest of article

Earth Blues and Astral Visions:
Another Side of Jimi Hendrix

By John Cohassey

Jimi Hendrix stated that artists can make their “own mythology”--an inner world of countervailing forces, heroes and anti-heroes. Self-proclaimed music messenger, deliverer of a new consciousness, Hendrix struggled to carry out his vision within a mass-music industry and for fans demanding the sensual freak-out performer of “Wild Thing,” playing guitar with his teeth, hip-thrusting a stack of amplifiers—the virtuoso destroying his instrument. Away from the crowds and behind the self-styled flamboyant image, there was the artist deeply absorbed in creating new avenues of expression.

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Roaring Twenties, Troubled Times:
Writer's Impressions of Detroit

By John Cohassey

Before Detroit’s image in the national media became synonymous with blight and crime, many writers and novelists offered differing accounts of its 1920s prosperity and the troubled Depression era that followed. Detroit’s industrial might—depicted in Diego Rivera’s mural, Detroit Industry and Charles Sheeler’s photographs and precisionist paintings—earned the praise and scorn of prominent writers, pitting those city-of-thefuture advocates against those condemning it as a power center of exploitive capitalism. These literary voices greatly attributed to Detroit’s reputation in early times of boom and bust as a place of industry and order, Prohibition crime and labor unrest. Literary lights from Ernest Hemingway to John Dos Passos to Gertrude Stein visited and recorded their impressions: some tributes, others expressions of fear and hostility.

Click here to read the rest of the article

 

 
 

America’s Cultural Rebels is now on sale by McFarland & Company Inc., Publishers.

 
   
 

About the authors

Professor Roy Kotynek of Oakland University in southeastern Michigan has been a History Department faculty member since 1967.

John Cohassey is an arts historian, and writer of both fiction and non-fiction, including Toast of the Town (Wayne State Univ. Press, 1998).

 
 
 

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