To that end, hell be hosting the second annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash, an official fete supported by Cassadys family members, including his children, Jami and John Allen, who will both be here when the party and reading begins tonight at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, along with musician David Amram and many others.
It means so much to the family to see Neal get long-overdue recognition in the city that carved him, Bliesener says. The whole event, to me, is an opportunity to say, Wake up, Denver: Lets be aware of the incredible literary history that flowed through the streets of this town.
I dont want to be highfalutin' about it, Bliesener continues, but it is important to be aware of the major cultural impact Neal had as an archetypal Beat pop-culture influence, and so much of it is pure Denver, pure Western. San Francisco might be more important to Beat history, but Denver and the West were places for those guys to escape to, where they found freedom and openness and the wide-open spaces you need to put the pedals down and really go on the road.
Admission to the party, which includes birthday cake, is free; for more information, visit www.mercurycafe.com or call 303-294-9281.
Fri., Feb. 4, 8 p.m., 2011