[Tony Scherman & David Dalton, in Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol (Harper 2009), describe the opening night of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable (a multimedia spectacle centered on the Velvet Underground) at the Dom in the East Village, 8 April 1966:]
A reporter from New York University's newspaper, the Washington Square Journal, corralled Ginsberg in the opening-night audience. The poet was in tiptop rhetorical form: "We're living in an expanding universe," he said, or shouted, to the young reporter. Ginsberg loved the show, whose "multiple association symbolically represents the LSD experience, but we need some flesh orgies and copulation on the stage." In the coming weeks, Barbara Rubin would arrange for Ginsberg to join the Velvets onstage and chant Hare Krishna while [Gerard] Malanga did his whip dance. (It may have been shortly after this that [Paul] Morrissey finally drove Rubin out: she "left the Factory one day screaming, never to return.")
Few incidents better illustrate the shift from New York's fifties artistic subculture to the new sixties version than the reaction of Ginsberg's fellow poet John Ashbery, recently returned to New York after almost a decade in Paris. Standing in the midst of the strobe lights and guitar feedback and biomorphic slide-projected shapes, Ashbery was traumatized. "I don't understand this at all," he said and burst into tears.