drinking, the fame that grew after On the
Road was published, the battles with his family, these parts of
Jack Kerouac's life, which made him a cultural icon of the American 50's are well
known to many. But there is another part of Kerouac that only a few villagers
from the quiet hamlet of Northport on Long Island had the chance to see up close.
This is the Kerouac presented in an original play by Patrick Fenton, Kerouac's
on more than 12 years of research unearthed while reporting about Jack Kerouac's
Queens and Long Island lives for the New York Times, New York Newsday
and others, Kerouac's Last Call
opens in 1964 as he is packing up his Northport home to head to Florida with his
this last night we meet the shy, sensitive, complicated Kerouac who fled to Northport
in 1957 after On the Road was published. There he spent his days and nights
drinking his fill of beer and whiskey at Gunther's
Tap Room on Main Street with the locals, the clam diggers, and the bay
men, as he tried to hide from a fame he wasn't comfortable with, a fame that gave
him the unwanted title "The King of the Beats."
Last Call gives the audience an opportunity to meet Jack Kerouac
and the many important people who shaped his work just at the moment when his
life was beginning to toll down to its end. Featured characters include his mother
Memere, father Leo, daughter Jan, brother Gerard, friend Neal Cassady and many
Fenton and Larry Smith,
friend of JK at Gunther's Tap Room
Fenton, is the son of an Irish immigrant who arrived in America via
Boston's South Side. He was born in the Irish working-class tenements of Windsor
Terrace, Brooklyn on St Patrick's Day, 1941. Fenton has worked as a New York City
cab driver, bartender, and radio host. After dropping out of high school at 16,
he spent much of his youth working in the factories of "Industry City"
that lined Red Hook's waterfront.
20, Fenton pushed up his draft and served in the US Army in Germany for two years.
After being discharged in 1963, he eventually went on to study under the GI Bill.
While working as a Court Officer in Manhattan's Criminal Court, he pursued a second
career as a writer.
stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including the New
York Times, New York Newsday, and The Daily News. His much acclaimed,
1973 account of working as a cargo loader at Kennedy Airport, "Confessions
of a Working Stiff", was published in New York Magazine
and has since been republished in numerous anthologies.
work has also appeared in other anthologies including, The
Irish, a Treasury of Art and Literature, and The
Book of Irish Americans.
With Jack Kerouac in a Rockaway Bar"
a new short story by Fenton was recently published in the London magazine,
Beatscene, and in Eve Berliner's
literary e-magazine, Eve's Magazine.
1999, after conducting extensive research at Columbia University, Fenton, a noted
Kerouac scholar, convinced the New York Historical Landmark Preservation Center
to place a plaque on the Ozone Park, Queens building where Kerouac wrote his first
book The Town and The City
and started his On the Road journey. Fenton wrote the dedication for the plaque.
has recently completed a collection of short stories about a lost part of Irish
working-class, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn where he grew up, titled, "Stoopdreamer
and Other Brooklyn Stories," and is working on bringing these
to the stage.
has already mounted workshop readings of Kerouac's Last Call
- one was in Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts and another in Northport,
New York. Both readings were staged in local bars known to have been frequent
Playing on PRX!
New & Of Note! - "Jack's Last Call:
Say Goodbye to Kerouac" premieres on PRX -
The AudioPlay adaptation of the Patrick Fenton StagePlay, "Kerouac's
Last Call" premiered April 2, 2008 on PRX
- the Public Radio Exchange.
Here To Learn More and Listen to Jack's
Last Call: Say Goodbye to Kerouac."
New & Of Note! - Jack's Last Call Now Available
on CD! - Now you can get the Audio Play of Jack's
Last Call: Say Goodbye to Kerouac on CD from ZBS On-Line!
Here to order!
Note - World Premiere of Kerouacs
Last Call - Patrick Fentons new play Kerouacs
Last Call received its World Premiere production in Jack Kerouacs
hometown of Lowell, MA on February 15th, 2007 in a limited run that included
Feb 15,16, 22, and 23 upstairs at The Old Court Tavern, 29-31 Central
Street in downtown Lowell.