Bukowski at Bellevue
In 1970, Charles Bukowski, then little-known, packed his overnight bag, locked the door of his tumbledown East Hollywood apartment behind him and took his first plane ride to the state of Washington to read at Bellevue Community College. This pioneer reading (only his fourth ever) was videotaped in black-and-white using two cameras by students and the footage lay forgotten for eighteen years. While the technical aspects of this document are shaky, all of this one-hour reading comes through loud and clear. Here is Bukowski, at mid-life but at the beginning of a great career, reading powerfully and with grit and humor. As a once-in-a-lifetime moment, the less-than-remarkable picture quality is forgivable.