“The only truth is music . . . Music blends with the heartbeat universe and we forget the brain beat.”

Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels (1965)

Jack Kerouac’s influence is not limited to literature, as different genres of music from the 1950s through today reflect on the author’s life, works, and legacy. This list is but a sampling of artists, songs, and albums influenced by Kerouac.

Ella Fitzgerald “Like Young” (1959)
Bob Dylan “Desolation Row” (1965)
Paul Simon “A Simple Desultory Philippic” (1965)
The Doors “Moonlight Drive” (1967)
Al Stewart “Modern Times” (1975)
Bob Dylan “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (1963) (at 10:33 Dylan dedicates the song to Kerouac)
Jethro Tull “From a Dead Beat to an Old Greaser” (1976)
Tom Waits “Medley: Jack and Neal/ California, Here I Come” (1977)
Marc Murphy with Richie Cole “Parker’s Mood” (Album Bop for Kerouac (1981))
Blue Oyster Cult “Burnin’ For You” (1981)
King Crimson “Neal and Jack and Me” (1982)
Pierre Flynn “Sur la Route” (1987)
10,000 Maniacs “Hey Jack Kerouac” (1987)
Van Morrison “On Hyndford Street” (1991)
Gathering Field “Are you an Angel?” (1996)
Patti Smith “The Last Hotel” (1997)
Hot Sauce Johnson “Kerouac” (1999)
Belle and Sebastian “Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie” (2000)
Our Lady Peace “All for You” (2000)
Jimmy LaFave “Bohemian Cowboy Blues” (2005)
The Hold Steady “Stuck Between Stations” (2006)
Jolie Holland “Mexico City” (2008)

Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur (2009):
California Zephyr
Big Sur
San Francisco

Brooke Fraser “Jack Kerouac” (2010)
Lana Del Ray “Ride” (2012)

Esperanza: Songs From Jack Kerouac’s Tristessa (2013) by Various Artists:
Joshua James “Esperanza
Will Dailey “Broke My Calm
Tony Dekker “Last Page of Kerouac’s Tristessa

The Mynabirds “Wildfire” (2015)
Katy Perry “Firework” (2016)

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