John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

 |   |  1 min read

John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

An important warning before you listen: Do not push play if you are suicidal, off your medication or are having a really hard time of it right now. Especially don't push play if you have access to a firearm.

This disturbing piece was written by New York poet John Giorno (born 1936) and appeared as a piece on his Dial-A-Poem phoneline which he founded in the late Sixties. People could ring in and hear poems by many writers, aomg them William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Ed Sanders, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Amiri Baraka, John Cage, Anne Waldman, Jim Carroll and Laurie Anderson. Over a million calls were logged in the five months it ran in New York.

sugaralmeatYou can still hear some of the readings here.

There were a number of albums released of the poets, many of whose work was political.

There were also cutting edge sonic experiments and readings to music.

Needless to say many of them pushed the boundaries of language and so there was inevitable controversy.

This seven minute piece would certainly be upsetting to some of fragile emotional disposition.

Hence the warning.

And you have been warned. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Elton Motello: Jet Boy Jet Girl (1978)

Elton Motello: Jet Boy Jet Girl (1978)

Most people have heard Belgian faux-punk Plastic Bertrand's one-off single Ca Plane pour moi of '77 (see clip). Fewer will have heard this bastard half-sister version by the UK rock'n'roll punk... > Read more

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

And it's a belated happy birthday to the former British model Pattie Boyd who turned 74 on March 17. Boyd is something more than a footnote in pop culture – she was only a model for a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

DOUGLAS LILBURN CONSIDERED (2013): Are friends electronic?

DOUGLAS LILBURN CONSIDERED (2013): Are friends electronic?

Most musicians with any intellectual integrity or curiosity -- unless they happen to be in Status Quo or ZZ Top -- will change direction or style at some point in their career. Maybe - as in the... > Read more

Gary Numan, The Studio, Auckland. May 23 2014

Gary Numan, The Studio, Auckland. May 23 2014

Many many years ago, I interviewed the British musician Thomas Dolby who had enjoyed a big hit with She Blinded Me With Science in '82. It was notable for having spoken word samples from the... > Read more