William Burroughs and Brion Gysin blazed a trail of wild experimentation across the Twentieth Century. Their Cut Up Method changed the course of modern fiction and had a profound effect on film and rock music. Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Keith Richards, Genesis P Orridge, and Patti Smith are just some of their musical disciples. Their obsession with the wild heretical actions of Hassan I Sabbah bear witness to their truly rebellious nature. Their love of the Joujouka panic music was total. They challenged conventional notions of morality and paid no attention to the rules of society.
This is the only study of the artistic collaborations between these two good friends. It was written by me, Frank Rynne, and Terry Wilson. Frank and I met Terry at a Notting Hill Arts Gallery early in 1992 - by the end of the year we were exhibiting Gysin, Hamri, and Burroughs paintings at the Project Arts Gallery in Dublin and holding copies of Man from Nowhere in our hands.
In addition to a text by the three of us, and loads of previously unseen photographs of Burroughs and Gysin, it contains specially written texts by Iggy, Burroughs, Paul Bowles, Marianne Faithfull, John Giorno, Hamri, Bill Laswell, Ira Cohen, and Anne Waldeman,
Burroughs wrote us an Introduction in which he said, "Brion Gysin said that he had asked for not being. Request denied. He was called to play the most difficult of all roles, that which only he could play."
Short quotes from Man from Nowhere
William Burroughs on The Here To Go Show: I have seen the Dublin videos and they look great. I am sure that the real performances must have been a knock out.
Timothy Leary on Hamri the Painter of Morocco: Hamri was a Napoleon painting.
Keith Haring on Brion Gysin: I feel honoured to have known Brion and to have shared a brief but timeless moment of our lives. He was my teacher.
Iggy Pop on Brion Gysin: Brion Gysin. What a beautiful guy. I met him in Paris, he had red apple eyes like Maurice Chevalier, a head of white hair and a cool blue blazer and eyes too,
John Giorno on The Master Musicians of Joujouka: The Master Musicians are a secret society or spiritual brotherhood. They play for themselves, seldom allowing in outsiders, and almost never white people.
Marianne Faithfull on Brion Gysin: He was my only friend and I love him.
Hamri on Burroughs and Gysin: I was the one who brought William Burroughs and Brion Gysin together because after noticing William around Tangier with all his magic and ability to become invisible he seemed to be the perfect complement to Brion.
William Burroughs on Hamri: The djnounn spirits of Morocco ripple and frolic through Hamri's paintings, scattering light over fruit trees, sunflowers, walls and fields, pelting the streets of Tangier with winter rain.