Chileans are very much like their country in a certain way. They are the most pleasant people on the continent, they like being alive and they know how to live in the best way possible and even a little more; but they have a dangerous tendency toward scepticism and intellectual speculation. A Chilean once told me on a Monday, “No Chilean believes tomorrow is Tuesday,” and he didn’t believe it, either….
Around four o’clock in the afternoon, Major General Javier Palacios managed to reach the second floor with his adjutant, Captain Gallardo, and a group of officers. There, in the midst of the fake Louis XV chairs, the Chinese dragon vases and the Rugendas paintings in the red parlour, [Pres. Salvador] Allende was waiting for them. He was in shirtsleeves, wearing a miner’s helmet and no tie, his clothing stained with blood. He was holding the sub-machine gun but he had run low on ammunition.
Allende knew General Palacios well. A few days before, he had told Augusto Olivares that this was a dangerous man with close connections to the American embassy. As soon as he saw him appear on the stairs, Allende shouted at him: “Traitor!” and shot him in the hand.
According to the story of a witness who asked me not to give his name, the president died in an exchange of shots with that gang. Then all the other officers, in a caste-bound ritual, fired on the body. Finally, a non-commissioned officer smashed in his face with the butt of his rifle.
Gabriel Garcia Márquez (RIP), on the 1973 coup in Chile.(The New Statesman, March 1974).
Cameron Crowe: You’re not noted for cordial relationships with other artists. Yet there was the rumor that you flew to Europe to spend a sabbatical with Bob Dylan. What about it?
Bowie: That’s a beaut. I haven’t even left this bloody country in years. I saw Dylan in New York seven, eight months ago. We don’t have a lot to talk about. We’re not great friends. Actually, I think he hates me.
CC: Under what circumstances did you meet?
DB: Very bad ones. We went back to somebody’s house after some gig at a club. We had all gone to see someone, I can’t remember who, and Dylan was there. I was in a very, sort of…verbose frame of mind. And I just talked at him for hours and hours, and whatever I amused him or scared him or repulsed him, I really don’t know. I didn’t wait for any answers. I just went on and on about everything. And then I said good night. He never phoned me.
CC: Did he impress you?
DB: Not really. I’d just like to know what the young chap thought of me. I was quite convinced that what I had to say was important, which I seem to feel all the time. It’s been quite a while since somebody really impressed me, though.
Cameron Crowe, Playboy interview with Bowie, September 1976.
"I’ve always been a screen writer," Bowie says, his pale eyes scanning me for the faintest hint of scepticism. "My songs have just been practice for scripts."
Tina Brown interviews Bowie, The Sunday Times Magazine, 20 July 1975.
The most 1975 image to appear in 1975
Toppermost Of The Poppermost
The best #1s of each year, based on Popular reader votes. Only goes up to 1997 because that’s as far as I’ve got.
forgot “Space Oddity” won the Popular ‘75 list, which is as much an indication of how weak and odd ‘75 was, chart wise, than anything
So, yes, there is a tie between Zora Neale Hurston and David Bowie (& if you’re in Seattle on Sat. Apr. 26, come hear my talk).
The rest of the 33 1/3 series?
I’m kind of the wrong person to ask. I mean, music criticism is not really my bag. I love reading it because I think it’s a ways ahead of other popular criticism, and I just don’t have a ton to add. I’m not a huge music person. I’ve tried, and I know what I like, and every few years I get into music for a few months, but honestly, I just don’t enjoy things that are outside the topmost 1-2% of stuff I like that much. I put on Pandora stations based on songs I love and get annoyed after twenty-five minutes because nothing has caught my ear. I lack the patience for what I find merely pretty good. Which sets it apart from, say, superhero comics, where I quite enjoy stuff that’s far from my favorite.
What I love about music criticism, in other words, is largely stylistic. It’s that it’s been around long enough to have real debates over what its job is and what approaches are or are not valid. The music part of it I can often take or leave.
Which is to say that I’ve not read a ton of the line, and given that I’m part of the line, I’d rather not give reviews of the rest when it’s outside my wheelhouse.
That said, the Let’s Talk About Love one is hugely acclaimed for a reason.
of those i’ve read, i give high marks to:
the aforementioned Carl Wilson book, which is the masterpiece of the whole series.
Douglas Wolk’s Live at the Apollo.
Andy Miller’s Kinks are the Village Green Society.
Hugo Wilcken’s Low.
Geeta Dayal’s Another Green World
and the one on TMBG by the industrial music guy and the Doctor Who guy
October 1990. This is what it looked like, people (well, probably not everyone had Pistols posters in their dorms or wore oversized Swedish army coats).
Standing between Kether and Malkuth