Two Hundred Dollars Bought Three Beats

Fred McDarrah Could Kick Some Ass

Here's to Fred and all the young photographers he Rabbi'd at the Village Voice

We're sitting Shiva for Fred.

Here's to Adam, Linda. and Sandra-Lee Phipps for introducing me to Fred.

here's my favorite part of the NY Times obit:

Mr. McDarrah, who by this time knew hundreds of Beatniks (a few scrubbed and all needing cash), happily complied, and a going concern was born. Shortly afterward, he placed the following advertisement in The Voice:

add zest to your tuxedo park party ... rent a beatnik. completely equipped: beard, eye shades, old army jacket, levis, frayed shirts, sneakers or sandals (optional). deductions allowed for no beard, baths, shoes, or haircuts. lady beatniks also available, usual garb: all black.

Calls flooded in. For $15, The New York Mirror reported in 1960, the client got one Beat and a half-hour of poetry. Two hundred dollars bought three Beats, who read poetry, answered questions, played the guitar and, of course, the bongos. Mr. McDarrah, who took a small commission and let the artists keep the rest, supplied Beats for school groups, photo shoots, meetings and catered affairs in and around New York for about two years, till the early 1960s.

full obit here

No comments: