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  • By Will Brady
  • Release 01/07/2003
  • Music Genre Spoken
  • Media Format CD
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Price: £14.85

Product Notes

My name is Will Brady and I have produced a CD of 'Beat' poet Bob Hare, former owner of 'The Insomniac.' I wrote integral music (as well as sound EFX) for this stunning collection of poetry. From 1958-1963 'THE INSOMNIAC' was a very happening coffeehouse in Hermosa Beach, California. Just up from the pier and across the street from the already legendary Lighthouse jazz club, The Insomniac presented folk music of all sorts, blues, world music (that term was probably nonexistent), poetry and silent films. The coffehouse was open 7 days/nights a week and, for a while, 24 hours a day. A typical marquee might list Bessie Griffin and the Gospel Pearls, Mel Carter, The Fabulous Wayfarers, The Virgin Island Steel Drum Band with Limbo Dancers, Jazz Goes to Church and silent movies nightly. The list of celebs and noteworthy people that hung out and/or performed there is unbelievable. The Insomniac Book and Art Fair, next door to the coffeehouse, sold obscure poetry and world religion books as well as best sellers; original paintings; non-mainstream records; incense; flowers; art supplies. The surrounding festivities included a sidewalk espresso bar; a caricature artist; a guy with a typewriter strapped to his chest that would 'write a personality sketch' for 50 cents; even a booth run by a 'witch' that sold graveyard dust, monkey brains, etc.; get the picture. This was 1958-63 remember. The inspired mastermind behind this music scene and 'Supermarket of Culture' was a 24 year old fellow named BOB HARE. Let's let Bob describe it: 'On November 28th, 1958, I opened a coffeehouse in Hermosa Beach called The Insomniac. It was a wild ride after that. Of course I had chosen my location well, right across the street from The Lighthouse, a great jazz club, already 13 years old. The Insomniac opened in an old Hudson Shoe store going out of business, and the rent was $150 per month. Somehow my life has always been involved with the word Hudson, and I still drive a 1951 Hudson, but that's another story. The room was very different, about 40 feet wide and 120 feet long, with a large stage 7 feet off the floor at one end. The kitchen was underneath the stage and a large dry cleaners boiler I had turned into an espresso machine looked very tall and dramatic. My opening act, a banjo playing folk singer, didn't show, so 30 minutes before we opened I found a 5-piece band getting gas in a local station. They didn't know what kind of music they played. As I remember, it turned out to be dance and polka music. But it didn't make any difference, because the crowd was so large and loud I knew we had a tiger by the tail. It didn't take long before The Chambers Brothers, Lord Buckley, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Dave Van Ronk, Don Randi, Linda Ronstadt and so many others were knocking them out on that weird 7 foot high stage. One night Bessie Griffin and her Gospel Pearls came crashing through the floor, landing in the kitchen. Soon I had taked over the whole half-block on Pier Avenue, complete with the largest selling bookstore and largest art gallery on the West Coast, sidewalk café, sketch artist, you name it. We are now in the 60's and I was sure I could save the world with this 'Supermarket of Culture.' The quality of art was exciting and the times, they were a changing.' In the years since The Insomniac closed, Bob has been busy with many adventures, including: becoming a minister; working as a bartender; owning and running 'The Colonial Inn,' an old, wooden, two-story 'rooming house' in Huntington Beach; operating a fresh orange and carrot juice business (1960's); becoming an authority on the 'I-Ching,' the ancient Chinese book of synchroncity and wisdom; and, all the while, writing savory, funny, challenging poetry. I hope you will check out the audio examples from the totally zany variety on the CD. DIG IT!


Artist: Will Brady
Title: Insomniac
Genre: Spoken
Release Date: 01/07/2003
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 656613878620
This product is a special order