A World of Peace Must Come


Stephen John Kalinich

A World of Peace Must Come

Light in the Attic Records (CD/digital download)


People throughout the world are taking in the results from yesterday’s election, discussing the implications of an Obama presidency on the economy, healthcare, and foreign policy. One goal I hope will be on the agenda in 2009 is promoting peaceful solutions. That’s why I’d recommend that president-elect Obama consider putting the recently released A World of Peace Must Come, by poet and musician Stephen John Kalinich, in heavy rotation on his Ipod; it’s been frequently playing on mine.


Recorded in 1969 and co-produced by Kalinich and Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the recording was slated to be issued on the Beach Boys’ Brother Records imprint. Somehow, it got lost in the shuffle. Nearly forty years later, Light in the Attic has given World of Peace its first formal release. Kalinich is well-steeped in the Beats; his combination of spoken-word and musical accompaniment shares an affinity with some of Ginsberg’s later efforts.


World of Peace is certainly a work of its time, with a trippy psychedelic aesthetic, countercultural rhetoric, and a questioning of business as usual and the powers that be. That’s part of what makes its long-belated release so poignant: Plus ca change… But in many ways, Kalinich’s poetry is fascinating in spite of the recording’s easily apprehended aural ‘carbon-dating.’ He eloquently espouses peace, compassion, and tolerance in a time when these virtues have been sorely tested both at home and abroad.



3 thoughts on “A World of Peace Must Come

  1. spot on, sir.
    (though i’d cite different poet references)
    and more eloquently put than my meandering words
    - ‘of its time’ is a phrase
    i, too, choose to describe this album.
    i have the extremely good fortune
    to consider stevie kalinich as a good friend
    and to facilitate a project that is, in effect,
    a ‘bookend’ to ‘a world of peace must come’.
    recorded in england 39 years later
    (when we knew not that ‘a world of peace must come’
    would get a release)
    ‘galactic symphonies’ is a suite of sonic landscapes.
    guitars -quiet classical and live electric loops,
    composed by englishman richard durrant,
    envelop 6 of mr kalinich’s poems
    (revisiting 2 of them now found on ‘a.w.o.p.m.c.’,
    in a very different stylee).
    the poet retains
    that sense of seeking,
    that search for the ecstatic,
    that questioning…
    though having to come to terms with a physical aging,
    which, at times, is reflected in his words,
    stephen john kalinich
    has not lost that sense of optimism
    and still embraces the optimistic
    and the ‘oneness’.

    after yesterday’s presidential result
    i wrote to stevie to hope that
    there will now, indeed, be a change within the usa
    and that the release of and the sentiment of
    ‘a world of peace must come’
    is, indeed, timely.
    he may now even be able to recite
    ‘america i know you’
    with the awe and optimism
    with which it was written!

    so glad you picked up on stevie’s work.
    from sunny brighton

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