About The Bash


About The Bash

The Neal Cassady Birthday Bash is held each February to celebrate the birth and life of Neal Cassady – who described himself as “Denver’s unnatural son.”

Neal Cassady’s influence on literary and pop culture is well documented. He was the archetype Beat writer, the protagonist of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” muse for Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe, and driver of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters’ bus “Furthur.”

Throughout his life Neal exuded a style and distinct Denver, western “cool” which secured his stature as a true American original.

What Happened at the 2016 Bash:
The Ballroom upstairs at the Mercury Café sets the tone for the Saturday evening Bash, it’’s an intimate setting with its own authentic “cool.”

The Bash is organized with the cooperation of the Cassady Estate and features Neal’s kids Jami Cassady and Robert Hyatt reading and sharing memories. They’ll be joined by Denver poets Ed Ward, Molina Speaks, Jennifer Dunbar Dorn,  and others reading and remembering Neal and his impact on pop culture.

PLUS: The cornerstone of the 7th Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash will be the only area  performance in 2016 by the David Amram Quartet. Close friend and collaborator of both Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac, Amram will discuss time spent with Neal and perform with his stellar quartet. Not to be missed!

Others in Denver Take Note:
In 2011 and 2013 Mayors Hickenlooper and Hancock, noting how, “Cassady’s unique outlook, philosophy, and worldview shaped by his Denver upbringing, still interest and inspire new generations,” proclaimed the date of the Bash as “Neal Cassady Day” in Denver. In conjunction with the 2012 Bash, Denver East High School granted Neal his high school diploma citing “Cassady’s major impact on American literature,” and overlooking his attendance record in 1941-42.

Cassady, who died in 1968, would have been 90 years old on February 8th, 2016.


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Feb. 6, 2015 – Denver, CO