Two sided postcard published in conjunction with the New York premiere of The John Giorno Band at The Bottom Line held April 1, .
The poet John Giorno has for many years experimented with using serious poetry in various popular art contexts. The latest venture from the man who created Dial-a-Poem in the 1960's and who now runs his own independent record label is to align poetic recitation with rap music, intoning his verses in a heavily electronic pop- funk setting.
And at the Bottom Line, the John Giorno Band - the poet backed by a polished white funk quartet - made a persuasive case for blending the two.
Mr. Giorno's poetry weaves slangy truisms, popular slogans, candid snatches of autobiography and 'found' poetry into metaphysical meditations that use incantatory repetition for rhetorical emphasis. While they have their light moments, Mr. Giorno's poems deal with the bitterest facts of human life, often moving between the extremes of personal confession and detached observation. The two main influences on his work are William Burroughs's lacerating satire and Buddhist scripture.
'Nothing recedes like success,' 'life is a killer,' 'it's a mistake to think you're special,' 'everything you think is deluded': these were some of the slogans that the poet drove home in Monday's early show with an almost vengeful intensity. With the phrases broken up into catchy chant-hooks arranged by the composer-keyboardist C. P. Roth, Mr. Giorno's bleak, scary sentiments took on a nightmarish resonance." -- "MUSIC: GIORNO'S POETIC POP," by Stephen Holden, The New York Times, April 4, 1985.