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Patti Smith and Oliver Ray perform Stardust at the Gregory Corso Memorial

Excerpt from the Lower East Side Biography Project

Steve Zehentner: Producer, Director of Photography

The song Stardust was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish in the late 1920's and performed March 11, 2001 at the Gregory Corso Memorial held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on New York's lower east side.

THE GREGORY CORSO MEMORIAL - March 11, 2001 Gregory Corso was a key member of the Beat movement, a group of convention-breaking writers who were credited with sparking much of the social and political change that transformed the United States in the 1960s. Corso's spontaneous, insightful, and inspirational verse once prompted fellow Beat poet Allen Ginsberg to describe him as an "awakener of youth." Although Corso enjoyed his greatest level of popularity during the 1960s and 1970s, he continued to influence contemporary readers and critics late into the twentieth century. Writing in the American Book Review, Dennis Barone remarked that Corso's 1989 volume of new and selected poems was a sign that "despite doubt, uncertainty, the American way, death all around, Gregory Corso will continue, and I am glad he will." - Poetry Foundation poetryfoundation.org/bio/gregory-corso

Gregory Corso died on January 17, 2001. A Memorial was held in New York at The Angel Orensanz Center on March 11, 2001.

The event was produced by Paola Igliori, Jeremiah Newton, Clayton Paterson, James Rasin, Elsa Rensaa, Roger Richards and was filmed by The Lower East Side Biography Project. Speakers and performers PROGRAM ONE: James Rasin, Roger Richards, Sheri Langerman, Francis Kuipers, Anne Lombardo Ardolino, Peter McCabe, Lucy McCabe PROGRAM TWO: Janine Pommy Vega, Martin Matz, Debbie Harry, James Rasin, Anton Rosenberg, Edgar Oliver, Ira Cohen, Marilyn Meeske PROGRAM THREE: Maggie Estep, Filippo Chia, Andy Clausen, Steve Dalachinsky, Paola Igliori PROGRAM FOUR: Raymond Foye, David Greenspan, Taylor Mead, Herschel Silverman, Perry Robinson PROGRAM FIVE: Patti Smith & Oliver Ray, Robert Yarra, Brigid Murnaghan, Penny Arcade, PROGRAM SIX: Hal Wilner, Laki Vazakas, REPEATS Raymond Foye, Patti Smith & Oliver Ray

The Lower East Side Biography Project was created in 1999 by performance artist Penny Arcade and video producer Steve Zehentner as an ongoing biography series and oral history archive. The LES Bio Project’s biographies and archive work to ensure that future generations have access to the mad souls of invention and rebellion that built the Lower East Side’s international reputation as an incubator for authenticity and iconoclasm in art, culture and politics.


The project seeks to stem the tide of cultural amnesia by bridging the cultural gap between long time residents and newcomers to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side. To this end, the LES Bio Project has a community-media training component where young filmmakers are trained in production and post-production technologies and then become shepherds of an individual oral history that they edit into a 28-minute biography. Since its inception, the LES Bio Project has trained over forty individuals, completed over sixty 28-minute programs, and videotaped dozens more interviews and live events.

The completed biographies cablecast and stream live every Monday at 11 p.m EST, in Manhattan on Time Warner 34, RCN 82, FIOS 33, and live stream on Manhattan Neighborhood Network Community Channel One.
mnn/community-channel-1

View the current cablecast and livestream schedule on the project's Facebook page.
facebook.com/LowerEastSideBiographyProject