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