Colorado Public Television and Mother Mind Studios to Premiere Original Documentary, Neal Cassady: The Denver Years

Denver (December 16, 2014) – NEAL CASSADY: THE DENVER YEARS, a documentary about beat icon Neal Cassady, who was introduced to the world in Jack Kerouac’s classic, On The Road, will premiere on Colorado Public Television (CPT12, PBS) on Monday, December 22 at 8 pm. The film is directed and produced by Heather Dalton and produced by Joshua Hassel in association with CPT12, the presenting station.

NEAL CASSADY: THE DENVER YEARS is a documentary based on the autobiographical accounts of Neal Cassady, his troubled youth in Denver and the crucial role that it played in the germination of American beat culture. Neal Cassady was a charismatic, larger then life character. His charm, manic energy, sexual swagger, and free flowing verbosity made him the authentic ‘hero’ of the beat generation.

“Neal Cassady’s influence on literary and pop culture is well documented,” said Heather Dalton. “As the protagonist for Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, driver of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters bus and through his own writing and lifestyle – Neal exhibited a style and distinct “cool” that cemented his stature as a true American original.”

What shaped the most infamous 20th century muse? A love affair between Denver, a culture in transition, and some of the most influential writers of our time. He was introduced to the world as Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s classic, On The Road and for controversial literary figures Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson, Cassady was more then a friend – he was their muse and inspiration.

Just by being himself, Neal Cassady created a foundation for the beat generation and set the wheels in motion for the counter culture revolution that would open up the floodgates for decades of free thinkers to follow.

The film features interviews with prominent and historical figures including Carolyn Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, David Amram, John Allen Cassady, Jami Cassady Ratto, Cathy Cassady Sylvia, Jerry Cimino, Tom Noel, Ed White and Al Hinkle.


  • Director: Heather Dalton
  • Producers: Joshua Hassel (E) and Hina Chowdhry (E), and Mother Mind Studio’s Daniel Crosier, and Norman Dillon.
  • Music: Geoff Cleveland, Chris Carrington and Derek Banach.
  • Narration: Paulie Lipman and Rodney Franks.