Jack Kerouac Plays Pool, 1967

Kudos to How to be A Retro­naut for find­ing this great clip of Jack Ker­ouac play­ing pool in ear­ly 1967. We bet he was the coolest play­er in that par­tic­u­lar room (at the Paw­tuck­etville Social Club, in Low­ell, Mass). But we’d also bet that he copied that cool, taut per­sona from Paul New­man’s turn as “Fast Eddie” Fel­son in the clas­sic movie The Hus­tler filmed six years ear­li­er.

For more great moments in Beat his­to­ry, check out Ker­ouac and Gore Vidal meet­ing William F. Buck­ley, Alan Gins­berg’s Tug­boat Ride and William S. Bur­roughs Shoot­ing Shake­speare, all oth­er­wise found in our col­lec­tion of 275 Cul­tur­al Icons.

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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  • jim says:

    Thir­ty years sep­a­rate these words from the images. Jack bled for his vision. He should not be made a dig­i­tal event, a remix along the spec­ta­cle high­way. He believed in what he wrote, but by the time he played pool sweaty with syco­phants and fans in the sweaty Flori­da night, Amer­i­ca had desert­ed him and lam­pooned his pure art with its TV night­mare war.

  • Dave says:

    I’m pret­ty sure the “And Every­thing is going to the beat” is sam­pled in Pas­sion Pit’s “Sleepy­head.”

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