When you hear people talk about The Beats, it’s typically Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg mentioned first and most frequently, but it was William S. Burroughs who was on the cover of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was the cut-up method, a writing technique that he and Brion Gyson developed, that inspired and was adapted by David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Joy Division, Iggy Pop and used throughout the entirety of Radiohead’s Kid A.

“My lyrics are total cut-up. I take lines from different poems that I’ve written. I build on a theme if I can, but sometimes I can’t even come up with an idea of what the song is about.”


– Kurt Cobain

Fantastic listen here below – BBC Documentary/podcast about Burroughs that aired on This American Life (narrated by Iggy Pop.)