Neal Cassady is a name that is synonymous with the counterculture movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He was a key figure in the Beat Generation and influenced many of the writers and thinkers of that time. Neal Cassady was a man who lived life to the fullest and his story is an inspiring one.
Neal Cassady was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1926. His father was a railroad worker and his mother was a schoolteacher. Neal grew up in a very strict Mormon household and he rebelled against this upbringing from an early age. He dropped out of high school when he was just 16 years old and began hitchhiking around the country. It was during this time that Neal developed his love for literature and he began to write his own poetry.
Neal’s travels eventually led him to San Francisco, where he met Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. These two men would have a profound influence on Neal’s life and work. Neal became friends with Kerouac and Ginsberg and they would often go on road trips together, which served as the inspiration for Kerouac’s famous novel On the Road. Neal was also the muse for Ginsberg’s poem “Howl.”
Neal Cassady lived a life of excess and adventure. He was a heavy drinker and drug user and he was often in trouble with the law. Despite all of this, Neal was a charismatic and likable person. He had a gift for words and he was always the life of the party. Neal’s wild lifestyle eventually caught up with him and he died of drug-related causes in 1968.
Neal Cassady was a complex and fascinating person. He was a man who lived life on his own terms and left a lasting impression on those who knew him. Neal Cassady was truly one of a kind and his story is an inspirational one.
This individual, on the other hand, would no doubt rise to become one of the most important personalities of the 1950s and 1960s. For a while I was unique: there was no other youngster among the hundreds of lost souls who prowled lower downtown Denver’s streets.
I alone, as the recipient of their age-old way of life, could offer a replica of childhood to which their vision might daily be directed and in this manner become the unnatural son of a few score beaten men among these dreary individuals who had committed themselves for their own good reasons to the task of completing their days as pennyless drunkards.
Neal’s difficult childhood would shape the rest of his life. Neal dropped out of high school when he was just sixteen years old and began hitchhiking around the country. Neal’s travels took him all over the United States and Mexico. It was during these travels that Neal began experimenting with drugs. Neal also began to develop his own unique style of writing which would later become known as the “stream of consciousness” style.
Neal’s travels eventually brought him back to Denver where he met a man named Jack Kerouac. Neal and Jack became fast friends and began sharing their stories with each other. Neal also introduced Jack to the world of drugs and the two began to experiment together. Neal’s wild lifestyle and unconventional writing style would serve as a major influence on Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation. Neal continued to travel all over the country, often hitchhiking or riding trains.
Neal’s travels would eventually bring him to New York City where he met Allen Ginsberg. Neal and Allen also became fast friends and Neal introduced Allen to Jack Kerouac. Neal’s friendship with the two writers would help to shape the Beat Generation. Neal’s life was a wild one and he continued to experiment with drugs, women, and crime.
Neal was arrested several times throughout his life and even spent time in jail. Neal’s tumultuous lifestyle eventually took its toll on his health and he died of an apparent drug overdose in 1968. Neal Cassady was a wild man who lived life to the fullest. He was a major influence on the Beat Generation and his unique style of writing continues to inspire writers all over the world. Neal Cassady was truly a man who set the world free.
With him as not only the renowned motorist of On The Road, but also the bus with the Merry Pranksters aboard, this great man, this damaged angel, Neal Cassady, effectively linked the two generations. His impact was felt by many different writers and artists, notably the Grateful Dead and prominent personalities during that era.
After moving to Denver with his father, Neal started getting into trouble with the law. He was first arrested at the age of sixteen for car theft and was sentenced to three years in reform school. It was here that Neal met David Kammerer, a man who would have a huge impact on his life. Kammerer took Neal under his wing and taught him how to read and write, as well as introducing him to the world of literature. The two men developed a close relationship, one that would eventually lead to tragedy.
In 1944, Neal was arrested again, this time for vagrancy and sent to prison. It was here that he met Jack Kerouac, another man who would change his life forever. The two men struck up a friendship and started exchanging letters, with Neal becoming Kerouac’s mentor. Neal taught him about jazz and poetry, and Kerouac was fascinated by Neal’s free-spirited lifestyle. The two men would go on to become the core of the Beat Generation, with Neal serving as the inspiration for many of Kerouac’s characters.
Neal continued to move around America, living a nomadic lifestyle and getting into trouble with the law. In 1947, he married his first wife, Lu Anne Henderson, and the two had a son named Cody. The marriage didn’t last long, however, and the two divorced in 1950. Neal then met Carolyn Adams, better known as Carolyn Cassady or “Mama Cass”, and the two started a relationship that would last for many years. Neal and Carolyn had three children together: John, Jami, and Paula.
In the early 1950s, Neal started working for Ken Kesey, a man who would later become famous for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Neal worked as a driver and caretaker for Kesey, and it was during this time that he met the Merry Pranksters. The Pranksters were a group of young people who shared Neal’s love of adventure and exploration. They would go on to have many wild adventures together, including taking acid and driving cross-country in a school bus painted with psychedelic colors.
Neal’s life was full of adventure, but it was also full of darkness. His drinking and drug use led to many brushes with the law, and his relationships often ended in tragedy. In 1960, Neal’s close friend David Kammerer was murdered by Neal’s protégé, Lucien Carr. This event would haunt Neal for the rest of his life.
Neal continued to write and influence the counterculture movement until his death in 1968. He was found dead in a San Francisco hotel room, and the cause of death was ruled as accidental overdose. Neal Cassady was one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and his legacy continues to this day.