December 17, 2003

I'm just a feather on your breath

* Lester Bangs interview:

"cs: Do you see Rock’n’Roll as being young peoples music?

Lester: I don’t know, I mean everybody seems to think so I’ve always wondered about that because. For instance The Velvet Underground, I keep harping on them cause they’re about my favourite group ever. I mean those are really adult songs, about adult things and I think that’s really great.

cs: Can you just expand on that?

Lester: Sure, a song like ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ is a song about adultery, it’s about somebody, it doesn’t say what sex or any of that but it’s about somebody having an affair with someone else’s wife or husband. Which is not quite the same as wanting to take your girlfriend parking, and seeing how far you can go. And there have been a few other things in rock n roll that has been as adult, some of Van Morrison’s work and. I don’t know, on one hand. . . . . see I guess one thing I don’t buy is that in your life there‘s this one adolescence surge of rebellion and then everybody calcifies and drops dead, I just never believed that. I know that speaking in terms of my own life that as I’ve grown older I’ve actually felt better, more in touch with myself and the world, and less confused."

* Interview of Lael Morgan, author of the award-winning book, Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush, an engaging account of the women of the demimonde during that time.

(Q) "Good Time Girls leaves one with the impression that the women you wrote about -- many of them prostitutes -- were considered an integral part of their community.

(A) The prostitutes were pretty much left alone. In addition to the fact that married women -- even as Fairbanks and Dawson began to settle -- did not object to the red light district. And the prostitutes had really great amounts of money. People didn't trust banks and they [prostitutes] were trustworthy: miners would leave their stuff with them. And the prostitutes were great about investing in the community. They bought locally. If there was a fire and a house was burned out, the girls on the line would take up a collection to get that family on its feet again. They staked a lot of businesses. So they were somebody you didn't mess with: they were a real economic power and socially they behaved themselves. But they had to, it was too small a town to be outrageous."

* Interview of John Cage by Ted Berrigan:

"INTERVIEWER: How does Love come into all this?

CAGE: It doesn't. It comes later. Love is memory. In the immediate present we don't love; life is too much with us. We lust, wilt, snort, swallow, gobble, hustle, nuzzle, etc. Later, memory flashes images swathed in nostalgia and yearning. We call that Love. Ha! Better to call it Madness.

INTERVIEWER: Is everything erotic to you?

CAGE: Not lately. No, I'm just kidding. Of course everything is erotic to me; if it isn't erotic, it isn't interesting.

INTERVIEWER: Is life serious?

CAGE: Perhaps. How should I know? In any case, one must not be serious. Not only is it absurd, but a serious person cannot have sex.

INTERVIEWER: Very interesting! But, why not?

CAGE: If you have to ask, you'll never know."

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