Did Vesuvio Cafe make Kerouac stand up Miller? (And other tantalyzing “what if’s…”)

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Vesuvio Café is our favorite bar in San Francisco. Just across the street from the Beat Museum, it is a temple to counter-culture misfits, Beats, etc.

It has a nifty photo of David Crosby by the bathroom and the pitchers of Anchor Steam are crisp and delightful.

But is Vesuvio also the reason why Kerouac never met Henry Miller? Apparently so:

There’s a famous story of Kerouac holing up in the bar, getting incredibly wasted, and missing an important meeting with Henry Miller. Nowadays the bar has become a quirky tourist attraction, catering specifically to book lovers who want to soak up this era of San Francisco history.

That’s news to me, and if true, it’s wild stuff. Because a) Miller didn’t like the Beats and b) Kerouac, whilst living in Big Sur, never crossed paths with Miller. So if they did meet – and they never did, alas – it would have been cosmically epic. Butterflies would give birth to twins in India, etc..

Also, what if Miller and Grace Slick had a kid?

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  • http://twitter.com/piotrbrencz Piotr Brencz

    Kerouac wrote in “Big Sur” about planing some meting with Miller and even a phone call with him if i remember correctly… Also Miller wrote kind of enthusiastic reviev about “On the Road” in letter to Durrell because they argue a little about that novel. Not so wild stuff for me!

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