Produced on October 20, 1932, in Marysville, Kansas, Michael McClure took part in San Francisco’s notorious Six Gallery poetry reading. As a figure in the Beat movement, he continued to compose poetry and plays. McClure has befriended musicians, such as the Doors’ Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek. McClure studied in the University of Wichita, the University of Arizona and San Francisco State School, where he received his B.A. in 1955.
When he was 22 years old, McClure took part in San Francisco’s notorious Six Gallery poetry reading, the occasion at which Allen Ginsberg first openly read “Howl.” The crowd in the reading contained Neal Cassady and a drunken Jack Kerouac, who’d later immortalize the function in his 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums. The reading is usually credited as the arrival of the Beat movement.
Following the Six Gallery occasion, McClure continued to read his poetry on a regular basis. In 1965, McClure wrote the play The Beard, about an imaginary sexual exchange between Billy the Kid, a violent bad boy, and Jean Harlow, an attractive movie star. An disturbed crowd member present throughout the performance additionally hit McClure in the facial skin. The Supreme Court eventually dismissed the charges in 1967.
As well as its critics, The Beard garnered many fans, including Jim Morrison of the Doors, with whom McClure became good buddies. McClure motivated Morrison’s poetry writing, as well as the two gave readings collectively, as well as drinking and doing drugs. Prior to Morrison’s departure, they collaborated on a movie script titled Saint Nicholas, that was based on among McClure’s unpublished novels, The Adept.
McClure can also be a close friend of Ray Manzarek, keyboardist of the Doors, as well as the two normally perform together, improvising with piano and voice. They’ve released several records in their cooperation. McClure songwriting credits also include “Mercedes Benz,” a tune made popular by Janis Joplin.
McClure continues to compose poetry. His style and subject matter reveal his Buddhist practice and reveal an appreciation for the natural world. McClure has also released several novels, including 1970’s The Mad Cub, which he describes as an autobiography. McClure now resides in Oakland along with his own wife, sculptor Amy Evans McClure.