From Reggie to Patti via the Chelsea Hotel

Patti Smith turned her show at the Cadogan Hall in London into a William Burroughs celebration on the 100th anniversary of his birth. As she reminisced about loitering in the Chelsea Hotel lobby in order to pounce on him when he left the bar next door (‘My dear, I’m homosexual,’ he had to explain) it struck me that she’s just three degrees of separation from Reggie de Veulle, the louche anti-hero of Dope Girls.

It goes like this: In London during the First World War Reggie knew (and maybe bought cocaine from) the mysterious Don Kimfull, who I believe was ‘Joseph Dean’, the legendary proprietor of Dean’s Bar in Tangier, who met (and took a dislike to) William Burroughs, who became friends with Patti Smith in New York.

Oh, and she did ‘Birdland’ like it had just come to her, in a vision.


2 thoughts on “From Reggie to Patti via the Chelsea Hotel

  1. Cliff Mark says:

    And Reggie was an old friend of the memoirist Gerald Hamilton who also spent time in Tangier after the war. ‘Joseph Dean’ sent Christmas cards to Gerald in the 1950’s. I bet they had lots to reminisce about!

  2. marekkohn says:

    It was Hamilton who identified Dean as Kimfull.

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