Allen Ginsberg, LSD poetry and sacrificing chickens: the birth of the ’60s hippie underground revealed

Uncut celebrates the International Poetry Incarnation

Trending Now


John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Dan Richter met Yoko Ono in Japan after he left America in 1963 and later lived with John and Yoko for four years from 1969. Lennon was said to have attended the Royal Albert Hall reading in disguise. He met Yoko at the Indica Gallery, founded by Albert Hall organiser Barry Miles.

Bob Dylan
Met Ginsberg in 1963 and the two formed a close relationship. A photograph of Ginsberg appears on the back of Bringing It All Back Home and the two recorded together in 1971. Ginsberg also toured with the Rolling Thunder Revue.


Leonard Cohen
When Trocchi fled America on drugs charges in 1961, he was met in Montreal by Cohen, then a poet. Trocchi almost killed Cohen with opium; Cohen later wrote a poem called Alexander Trocchi, Public Junkie, Priez Pour Nous.

Stan Tracey
Legendary British jazz pianist who was house pianist at Ronnie Scott’s in the 1960s and recorded 1964 album Jazz Departures with British beat poet Michael Horovitz. Also did settings of longer poems like Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood.

Pink Floyd
Pete Brown, who read at the Albert Hall, organised the Spontaneous Underground, a series of happenings at London’s Marquee Club as a direct response to the Albert Hall gig. Performers included Donovan, Graham Bond (then backed by Cream’s Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker), and early sets by Pink Floyd.


Paul McCartney
After the 1965 reading, Miles and Hoppy founded London’s first alternative newspaper, the International Times. Guests at the launch party at the Roundhouse included Paul McCartney, who dressed in an arab headdress. Soft Machine (accompanied by a motorbike) and Pink Floyd played sets. Hoppy went on to found the UFO Club, where Pink Floyd regularly performed.


Latest Issue