There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here DVD
Label: MondayMedia

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When Bukowski arrived here to read in 1979, it was for the second time. Unfortunately there was no record of the first reading. I thought there was. One day I arranged for that reading to be shown to me and several friends. It never happened. That tape, which I thought existed, was nowhere to be found. What could I do? I decided to write Bukowski and tell him and ask if he would be willing to come back and try it again. Would he do another reading? My friends would get to see him live, I could film it and make sure that this visit would be recorded. He answered; said yes, he would come back. I organized flights and hotel, rented a hall and advertised. I set the date for Friday, October 12, 1979.

Hank and Linda Lee Beighle (later to become Mrs. Bukowski) arrived the night before. There was a dense fog that night and they were rerouted. They had to be bused to Vancouver. I was in a frenzy. They came through arrivals several hours late — but, they were here! We took them to their hotel where they freshened up and we went out on the town and got to know each other.

The reading was at an old hall in the Downtown Eastside on Hastings Street. It was a hall used for weddings and dances mostly. Perfect! Since it seemed to me laden with the overtures of many lives. We set up chairs, put Hank in front with a bank of microphones and filmed it. It was raw, raucous, and raunchy. But also sublime. 650 people came. There was plenty of yelling, screaming, and applause. There was also plenty of tears and shouts resounding with love and adulation for this man. It’s all here. I hope you enjoy it. It was the last time he performed outside the United States. It was and remains a testament to a great poet and writer.

FOOTNOTE: It’s worth noting this film sat in Bukowski’s archives for close to 25 years. Time and circumstances had shuffled it off to a forgotten corner shelf. Luckily, John Dullaghan made the documentary Born Into This based on Bukowski’s life and found this film. He used some of the footage and then this film miraculously came back into my life. So thank you John. And you Linda. And Jon and Anna Monday.

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