Dick Barnes | John Wallace Carter II, 1929 – 1991

Dick Barnes in his office at Pomona College, Claremont, California | March 11, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber

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John Carter at Little Big Horn, Pasadena, California | December 1976 | Photos by Mark Weber

John Carter at Little Big Horn, Pasadena, California | December 1976 | Photos by Mark Weber

John Carter at Little Big Horn, Pasadena, California | December 1976 | Photos by Mark Weber


John Carter & his beloved yellow Porsche | June 16, 1984 | Photo by Mark Weber

9 Comments

  1. Deep! Digging influences is amazing.

    Thanks…

  2. Dick Barnes was my mentor when it came to poetry. I met him in 1970 but didn’t started hanging with him ’til around 1974 till his passing 2000.

    And then, John Carter was a mentor, too. Him and Bradford directed my jazz studies for many years.

    Please feel free to leave a note in the Comments Box at bottom of the page, it’s always nice to try and build up the page with additional comments.

  3. Inspirational, Mark. Nice to see what John Carter looks like, so hip! Clarinet Thing plays some of his music and we played with Bobby Bradford at Yoshis, Oakland on a tribute to him after he passed on.

  4. Notice that John is on soprano — probably his last year with the soprano — between 1973 and 1976 he played only soprano sax and clarinet — finally realizing that the clarinet was his instrument, he played it exclusively from then onward —

    Also, notice my painting on the wall behind him — my Jackson Pollack period — the “canvas” was beer cans nailed to plywood and prepared with spray paint — then the dripping began —

    I did maybe 50 of those paintings in that manner 1970-1973 — only have a few of them remain, in my own collection — not sure where that particular one is — coincidently, another from that period hangs on the wall right behind me here in Janet’s office —

  5. Nice poem and photos. I only saw John play one time. It was in Portland, with Bobby, Richard Davis and I think Andrew Cyrille. He was an amazing clarinetist.

  6. I am indebted to my production team: Cal Haines (JAZZ drummer) who has been scanning & digitzing my old negatives. AND webmaster & designer of these pages: Klaus. And both of them are versed in PhotoShop so they make my pictures look picture perfect. I am humbled by their attention to detail.

  7. Dick was a scholar of ancient literature and languages. He knew about 6 languages besides Latin, among others. When I flew out to sit with him at his deathbed, I had read yet another version of BEOWULF on the flight out, and knowing Dick had taught that book, stupid me, I asked which were his favorite translations of BEOWULF. He was patient, and kind, as always and said, “Well, Mark, I read the Anglo Saxon.” Which is the original manuscript. WHICH, if you want to impress people at your next Literary soiree you can blithely let it slip that you were scanning Cotton Vitellius A15 that morning and noticed the beer at Heorot was probably quite tasty — or something — Heorot is the meeting house/mead hall in that story — and Cotton Vitellius V15 is the actual name philologists refer to BEOWULF manuscript.

    Dick asked his wife Pat if she could find the photostat copy of Cotton Vitellius V15 in his library. An actual photostat copy of the surviving manuscript! with the burned edges from the 18th century fire that it slipped through.

    Geezus, I still get goosebumps.

    Dick was one of those guys.

    Stanley Crouch learned a lot about literature from Dick. Him and Dick were close for years — Stanley having taught at Claremont. Bradford still teaches there.

    Dick drove out here for a vacation at the end of his life and did my radio show with me. And then that night I took him into a production studio and recorded a gang of his poems and I also interviewed him. AND then, driving back to my pad that night, he mysteriously pulled over to the side of the road — I still can’t pass that spot of road here in Albuquerque and not remember this — and told me that he was dying. Cancer.

    All things must pass. His poetry is very special to me. And he spent so many years helping me with mine, I can’t even begin to explain. WHY did he take such time? I was just a scruffy kid from Okiesville the next town over from upscale Claremont. He and Bradford were close, too. I donated all of my letters from Dick — he wrote me as I traveled the states after I left SoCal in 1986 — gave them all to Honnold Library archive at Claremont Colleges. And I kind of wish I had saved them. Not that I can’t still access them. This manuscript of John Carter poem is a photocopy of the unpublished poem he sent me. Google Dick and see what I’m saying. I intend to write more about him as time permits.

  8. John Carter loved that Porsche. He kept it impeccably clean and waxed it himself. I wonder where it is now. When I met John in 1974 he already had that car. I know he had an MG before that in Fort Worth, but he was in a road accident with it, and after it was restored it never tracked right. Alas, one day driving across Texas it caught fire. John told me, “I just very casually picked up my briefcase and saxophone and stepped out and watched it burn on the side of the highway.”

    He didn’t try to save it. Presumably he found the yellow bathtub Porsche after that? (He & Gloria & kids moved to Los Angeles in 1961 — I think it was.) Later, he added to his collection one of those boxy 1970s Porsches (my brother Brian was John’s mechanic, I’ll have to ask him what the model was). This photo is from artists parking lot at Hollywood Bowl Playboy Jazz Festival where he was performing with James Newton Quartet that day.

  9. Julian D. Russell, jr.

    September 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    John Carter was my uncle. He was always just uncle JW to us. What a musician. Excellent teacher. He could play every instrument.

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