Charming. Gritty. Flat-out. Excitable. Real. Those are words that describe poet Charley Plymell, a somewhat mythic creature who has always been resistant to labels or definition. He is said to have connected the Beats and the Hippies in his San Francisco apartment, although, even today, Plymell remains a rabble-rouser who pre-dates all that cultural branding and simply describes himself as a punk from Wichita. . . .
At age 84, Plymell continues to write, publish and perform—“doing nuttin”, as he says—from his home in Cherry Valley, New York. His activities keep Plymell in steady correspondence with a crowd of like-minded hellions, including rockabilly’s Bloodshot Bill, Sonic Youth founders Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, bassist Mike Watt, filmmaker Mark Hanlon, guitarist Bill Nace, photographer Philip Scalia and musicologist Byron Coley. Plymell and his wife, Pam, first happened upon Cherry Valley in late 1969 in coming to visit Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky at their East Hill farm. Moving there for good in early 1970, the Plymells have set into adding to their immense creative legacy. — Benito Vila