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

Steve Young: Seven Bridges Road (1969)

Steve Young: Seven Bridges Road (1969)

When Steve Young died in March last year at 73, there were hardy headlines about it. Young's many albums – about a dozen more in all – had rarely been in any country collection but... > Read more

The Avengers: Waterpipe (1968)

The Avengers: Waterpipe (1968)

Warwick Freeman's useful book New Zealand Top 20 Singles of the Sixties confirms – using his formula – that Wellington's Avengers were one of the most successful bands of the decade.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BRIAN EPSTEIN: Behind the music (2002)

BRIAN EPSTEIN: Behind the music (2002)

When Brian Epstein died in August 1967 at the age of 32, he was one of the most famous men in Britain. His death by an accidental overdose of prescription drugs made the front page of newspapers at... > Read more

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Bobbie's a girl (Merge/digital outlets)

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Bobbie's a girl (Merge/digital outlets)

Earlier this year I had a very knowledgable young American student in a couple of my music classes. He knew the Velvet Underground and minimalists, a lot of the Band and Bob Dylan but also... > Read more