- Released: June 7, 1994
- Label: Rhino
Personnel: Charles Bukowski (spoken vocals).
Recorded live at The Sweetwater, Redondo Beach, California in April, 1980. Includes liner notes by Kenneth Funsten.
Liner Note Author: Kenneth Funsten.
Recording information: Sweetwater, Redondo Beach, CA (04/1980); The Sweetwater, Redondo Beach (04/1980).
Editor: Denny Bruce.
Photographer: Michael Montfort.
The cover of this disc shows a laissez-faire Bukowski unself-consciously guzzling a beer in front of a graffiti-covered wall. It's this heavy-drinking, hard-living image that's perpetuated throughout this poet/novelist/short-story writer's work. For decades Bukowski combined an imagistic, Beat-influenced sensibility with the no-nonsense existentialism of Hemingway in an entirely original approach to the written (and in this case spoken) word. Bukowski's captured live here before a Redondo Beach, CA audience. There was nothing ol' Hank loved more than baiting an audience with curses, threats, and insults, and the hostile-but-good-natured interaction between poet and listeners adds a high degree of energy to the reading (and consequently, to this recording). Despite his hard-bitten style, it's ultimately Bukowski's humanity and genuine affection for the important things in life (besides beer) that give his already impressive work its significant depth.