Irish American Writers & Artists

October 5, 2009

SPOTLIGHT ON: Jack’s Last Call

Filed under: Theater — by tjenglish @ 4:13 am


October 21, 2009 will mark the 40th anniversay of the passing of one of America’s great literary figures: Jack Kerouac, best known for his seminal novel “On the Road.” In honor of Kerouac, Gunther’s Tap Room in Northport, L.I. where the writer drank and played pool in his later years, is staging a return engagement of JACK’S LAST CALL: SAY GOODBYE TO KEROUAC, a poignant and wonderfully atmospheric play by journalist, playwright and IAW&A member PAT FENTON. For nearly a decade Fenton has honed and staged the play in various venues and formats, including an expertly produced broadcast radio version that is available on CD. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this heartfelt tribute to an American original.
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, 2 to 3:30 pm.
WHERE: Gunther’s Tap Room, 84 Main St., Northport, NY
ADMISSION: Free. Seating is limited. No reservations required.
FOR ADDITONAL INFO: Visit or call 516-658-0423. E-mail:



  1. Listening to a tape again of a small farewell party for Jack Kerouac that took place on a late summer night in 1964, a tape I based a newspaper article on for Newsday, and a play, I realized that this was what Jack Kerouac’s life had sadly, finally come down to: sitting around Northport, Long Island at a farewell party he threw for himself, drinking beer and whiskey, playing jazz, acting silly as he occasionally bursts out giggling at something he’s said about having sex, and talking about what ever comes into his head. He longs to go down to Gunther’s Bar on Main Street and play one last game of pool with Peter Gunther.

    Long after the party is over he continues drinking by himself as he talks to the audience about how he doesn’t know how to drive a car, and how down at the White Horse Bar in Greenwich Village someone wrote over the bathroom urinals, “Kerouac Go Home.”

    He’s waiting for morning to come when he will catch a train to St Petersburg, Florida with his mother, leaving behind forever in New York a crown he always refused to wear as “King of the Beats.”

    Ken Kesey was headed over the great American plains on a psychedelic bus whose destination was “Further”, dropping LSD and throwing beer cans out the window as he plowed through an America that Jack Kerouac once viewed when it was all raw and chaste. It was a time that marked an uneasy change coming to America. And on that last night in Northport, I think he finally knew that his time, his generation had come and gone. He was headed into the darkest days of his life, and he knew it.

    The one thing I wanted to do in my play about Jack Kerouac is not write the story of “The King of The Beats“, but the story of a sensitive writer who loved America, and caught much of its beauty and innocence in his books.

    So, if you can, join me on the 40th anniversary of his death at his old saloon hangout in Northport to celebrate a great American writer.

    Pat Fenton

    Comment by Pat Fenton — October 5, 2009 @ 4:27 pm |Reply

  2. Amen, Pat.

    Comment by T.J. English — October 6, 2009 @ 4:19 pm |Reply

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