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"She gave me two choices, and five days to decide. Either Britta would leave Luna or I would pack my things and move out."
January 25, 2008 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Dean Wareham (of the bands Galaxie 500 and Luna) writes openly about his affair with Luna's bassist, Britta Phillips (best know in some circles as Jem from Jem and the Holograms).

Excerpted in Men's Vogue from Wareham's upcoming autobiography Black Postcards: A rock & Roll Romance.
posted by item (82 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very cool! I was a huge Luna fan back in the day. I imagine Dean Wareham's autobiography will be an interesting read.

Also, Dean & Britta have released more albums than I realized.
posted by pombe at 11:53 AM on January 25, 2008


He's a self-absorbed ass, but he makes great music.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:53 AM on January 25, 2008


previously. I've been having deja vu (view?) here lately and knew these two had been here before.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:58 AM on January 25, 2008


It's interesting that, after all of these years, the members of Galaxie 500 are now making music with their significant others.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 12:03 PM on January 25, 2008


Best band ever.
posted by billysumday at 12:05 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that, after all of these years, the members of Galaxie 500 are now making music with their significant others.

I'm always amazed at how the output of all three bands (Damon and Naomi, Luna, Dean and Britta's band) still sound pretty much like a Galaxie 500 album.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


played a show with 'em once. good band. can't say i approve of infidelity as a general rule (and especially since it broke up my last band), but life chooses its own course sometimes, i guess. cool post! i'd like to see more "self-absorbed" rockers write about their experiences.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:14 PM on January 25, 2008


I count myself as a big Gal500/Luna fan, but sometimes I really don't care what the artist actually thinks. I wonder if this is a complete extract or there is some text missing in between as it reads rather poorly.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 12:16 PM on January 25, 2008


We found several. Which 'Jem and the Holograms' did you mean?
  • Angel Holograms by Tiamat
  • World of Holograms by Danny Cohen
Too bad. That would have been the best Pandora station ever.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:16 PM on January 25, 2008


I can still sing the Jem theme song. It came on right after G.I. Joe and just before Thundercats.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:26 PM on January 25, 2008


"Listen," I said. "No hanky-panky. If anyone gets involved with her, they're out of the band."

Translation: she's mine, so stay away. Ha. I have heard that one before and it always ends up exactly the same way.

Also, Dean & Britta have released more albums than I realized.

They're mostly indistinguishable from one another, so you haven't missed much.
posted by psmealey at 12:27 PM on January 25, 2008


There's a Men's Vogue?!
I need to get away from my 40 cats and stacks of old newspapers and get out more.
posted by willmize at 12:28 PM on January 25, 2008


Claudia and I had been in denial about the state of our marriage—we loved each other, somewhere, but we had lost the romantic connection. Our life together was about diapers and chores and being sure not to wake the baby. We were irritable and sleep-deprived, and becoming parents seemed to highlight latent differences in our personalities
Welcome to adulthood, motherfucker. Such trite emotions.

I hated reading that. Few things (violence, torture, maybe) bother me more than adultery. I don't know why.
posted by psmealey at 12:36 PM on January 25, 2008 [19 favorites]


Years ago my brother took me to a show at a tiny georgia club; i hadn't seen him in a while, so we had some drinks and got caught up on stuff. It was still early, so the place was kinda empty, and there were these guys standing around next to our table. I wanted a smoke, so I got up and asked them if anybody had a light. I'm a friendly guy; there's room enough for everybody at my inn; but despite asking three or four times, these guys didn't go as far as acknowledging my presence. I was having a nice time and didn't think much of it, until they took the stage and I realized they were luna. I felt dumb for a couple seconds, til it occurred to me that, one, they were presumptuous enough to think I was some adoring fan trying to get all up in their faces--I had never heard them, despite their apparent rise to renown on the back of some gap commercial or such--and two, that this is how they treat adoring fans.

So yeah, this banal tale of feeble yuppie-band love just adds to the picture, and it's fitting that the story, like the band itself, is destined to be celebrated in something called 'men's vogue.'
posted by troybob at 12:36 PM on January 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


I wonder how his ex-wife feels about all this being in Men's Vogue.
posted by josher71 at 12:36 PM on January 25, 2008


This story is outrageous! Truly, truly, TRULY outrageous!
posted by picea at 12:42 PM on January 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ah, sanctimony
posted by dydecker at 12:43 PM on January 25, 2008


I asked my mother what she thought about having affair. She said she thought it was a great idea, and proceeded to give me the name of some caterers, florists, and a band I might consider hiring.

Does that joke even make sense anymore? Is there anyone who remembers when parties were called afairs?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Claudia and I had been in denial about the state of our marriage—we loved each other, somewhere, but we had lost the romantic connection. Our life together was about diapers and chores and being sure not to wake the baby. We were irritable and sleep-deprived, and becoming parents seemed to highlight latent differences in our personalities.

Welcome to parenthood, bonehead.
posted by mecran01 at 12:52 PM on January 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Welcome to adulthood, motherfucker. Such trite emotions.

Amen -- this is such a selfish, immature, shithead statement that it makes me sick. May Dean Wareham suffer a life of perpetual selfish affairs, depriving him of a true sense of accomplishment in his life, thereby resulting in more of his trademark boring, middle of the road, anglo-urban-psuedointellectual yuppie-angst, safety rock.
posted by FuturisticDragon at 12:56 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


As a new father going through the exhausted disconnection that a baby can bring, I completely agree with you psmeasley. You have to fight for a relationship. Relationships take tenacity and care. Sounds like this guy just wanted to go off and screw a hot girl and escape from the harsh realities of life. Way to go, hero.
posted by papercake at 12:59 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


and, also, what mecran01 and FuturisticDragon said.
posted by papercake at 1:00 PM on January 25, 2008


But it's easy to justify an affair when the mother of your child is weighed down with responsibility and the temptress is so hot. How could he resist?
posted by Foam Pants at 1:08 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree with all you guys. How dare a human being make mistakes! The gall!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:10 PM on January 25, 2008


I agree with all you guys. How dare a human being make mistakes! The gall!

Ha! Anti-sanctimony sanctimony! I love it!
posted by saulgoodman at 1:12 PM on January 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Damn, there's a whole autobiography of this stuff coming out? 'Black Postcards,' indeed. Keith Richards on a slow weekend snorted more heartfelt epiphanies than this guy could write about in a lifetime spent clicking away in trendy internet cafes.
posted by troybob at 1:16 PM on January 25, 2008


The gall
posted by psmealey at 1:16 PM on January 25, 2008


Instead of slipping into an anti-anti-anti-anti-sanctimony-induced rift in the space-time continuum, let's just pretend I wasn't being sarcastic. Okay, saul?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:18 PM on January 25, 2008


So, is Men's Vogue going to have lots of these how-to articles? Like, "How to seduce your kids' nanny and screw your wife on the settlement while sculpting fantastic washboard abs"?

Cause that's a magazine I would totally subscribe to.
posted by sacre_bleu at 1:19 PM on January 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've never cared for anything anyone in Galaxie 500 did after that band broke up - Luna, Damon & Naomi, Dean & Britta - but man, those 3 Galaxie studio albums have held up really, really well.

I also don't really care for Wareham as a person. Around ten years ago, my college roommate worked for the radio station. He called me one afternoon, saying that Wareham was in the studio and need some gear to play an on-air set. I dragged my best guitar (a '65 Vox), amp, and a good selection of pedals down to the station for Wareham to use. When I got there I was expecting to be briefly introduced and then I planned on hiding in the shadows to listen to his set and to be there to gather up my gear when he was done.

The fucker wouldn't even say hi to me - he walked past me and my crap and went into the station's office and shut the door. My friend said Wareham had told him to leave the gear by the chair he'd be sitting in and to then take off. I spent the next hour waiting outside the station for him to finish up. The door opened, Wareham walked right by me without saying a word and left. He'd somehow managed to put a nice big scratch near the tailpiece of my Vox.

Nice guy.

I don't know why I felt the urge to post the link to his tale of infidelity. He certainly comes off as a jerk in his own words, all cocksure rock star attitude for someone who really isn't even the indie world's Keith Richards. It's an interesting read, though, and as I said those 3 Galaxie 500 albums are still fine works of art.
posted by item at 1:20 PM on January 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


I can see why he fell for this Claudia female--she is stunning--but though I can't fault him or blame him for not being able to control his emotions and passions, there is a different issue when you start talking about acting upon them in a deceitful way. It's great that it sounds like it sort-of worked out, but that is likely the exception to the rule. For most people, submitting to weakness usually just leads to an all around clusterfuck.
posted by dios at 1:20 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Erm, I of course meant Britta, not Claudia above. Sorry.
posted by dios at 1:21 PM on January 25, 2008


his trademark boring, middle of the road, anglo-urban-psuedointellectual yuppie-angst, safety rock

I'm usually more charitable. Luna is, to me, Easy Listening Jazz for the alt-rock set. It's not terrible music to listen to with coffee on a Sunday morning, but it's pretty unremarkable otherwise. Galaxie 500 does indeed hold up, however. I totally agree.

she is stunning

She is indeed stunning... but she's 3 foot 9. It's a good thing Dean is 4 foot 6, otherwise it might never have worked out.
posted by psmealey at 1:24 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: Is there anyone who remembers when parties were called affairs?

There's an old Andy Griffith Show episode where an excited young Opie Taylor is running around town telling everybody about this big party that's going to happen, breathlessly describing it as "a REAAAAL ORGY!!"**

Some things get funnier with time. Some things, less so.

** I tried Googling for "Andy Griffith" and "orgy" and, well... while I learned a few things, I didn't find what I was looking for.
posted by LordSludge at 1:26 PM on January 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


The first time Britta was portrayed as a cartoon it was with far greater depth and subtlety than this. God only knows what the editorial practices of Men's Vogue might be, so I will chose to believe that her husband spared even one word for his wife's musical talent in the sea of those celebrating her hair, eyes, legs, and visible panty line but it got cut as a pointless digression.

PS. Double-dog fuck the music PR industry.
posted by melissa may at 1:26 PM on January 25, 2008 [11 favorites]


See, I told you this would happen when coed bands were legalized.
posted by dhartung at 1:39 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


melissa may: I understand your point, and I'm sure the writer would agree with you. But as someone who has never heard of either of these people or this band, I kind of appreciate that they didn't make this story about some mythologizing of Music. That is, to me, this story could have been any two co-workers at any random job that just fell for each other. I would not have liked the story as well had it been spun into something about how he fell for her because her playing touched his soul and let him see the face of god or somesuch. Or that he chose Britta to stay in the band because he chose his art over all. I've read overly lugubrious or excessively fanciful articles about the overwheliming beauty of music or suffering of musicians for their music. In this case, the story worked better for me by being abstracted for who these people are and realizing it was just two co-workers who fell for each other.
posted by dios at 1:46 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I like how the only pictures of his ex-wife and child are black and white (drab! mundane!), so that they contrast as much as possible with the pictures of Britta. They also appear to have chosen a supremely unflattering photo of the ex-wife, just to get the point across even better.

Seriously, this is like a love letter to infidelity. "I fucked around on my wife...and it was the best thing I ever did!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:52 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


item: yeah, while i don't have any anecdotes as compelling as yours, i can vouch for the fact that when my band opened up for luna, they never once even bothered to introduce themselves to us and generally avoided mingling with the other performers before and after the gig. that's not all that uncommon with some of the bigger acts (the walkmen were another really aloof bunch), but hell, enon crashed with us both times we played with them. and even a legend like dave shouse (grifters, those bastard souls, bloodthirsty lovers) has the decency to stop in for tea whenever he passes through town. so fuck luna, the snobs. (not really.)

In this case, the story worked better for me by being abstracted for who these people are and realizing it was just two co-workers who fell for each other.

that's actually a good point. rock literature tends to get high on its own fumes sometimes, which only further perpetuates the mythologizing we tend to do around rock stars. better to see them as real people, see their accomplishments and their failures in a more realistic light.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:55 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I interviewed Dean and Sean for my college radio station during the Penthouse tour. Dean was one of the more rude people I encountered during my tenure at the station (and that includes Damon Albarn), Sean one of the more affable. It's interesting how he [Sean] is painted in a negative light in the Luna documentary and how Dean comes across as The Talent. In both the case of the interview and DVD you certainly knew who was in charge of that band.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 2:01 PM on January 25, 2008


This story fills me with rage. A guy who's married and has an infant son starts working with someone hot and infant-less, has an affair, was given a HER OR ME ultimatum, and chose her. FINE. But this passage makes my head asplode so much I'll quote it AGAIN:

Claudia and I had been in denial about the state of our marriage—we loved each other, somewhere, but we had lost the romantic connection. Our life together was about diapers and chores and being sure not to wake the baby. We were irritable and sleep-deprived, and becoming parents seemed to highlight latent differences in our personalities.


Jesus Christ you just had a baby. Also - note the "life together". CLAUDIA'S life was about diapers and chores, your life was about rock and roll and hotel sex. Argh. I don't care when strangers cheat on each other, but this particular cliche - where the person who destroyed the relationship calls the person who was taking responsibility for the life they chose together a drag - makes me murderous. Betraying someone who trusted you is a bad thing, and in all that "poor me" about how much he cried and how sick he felt he never admits that that's the simple fact of what happened. It's beyond gross to blame the baby.
posted by moxiedoll at 2:07 PM on January 25, 2008 [17 favorites]


I'm not sure what the point of the article was, ego-stroking aside. It's worth mentioning that Wareham (and, I suspect, some of the other primaries) is largely living on vast inherited wealth. So the whining about the difficulties of being in an low-level band comes across as rather self-serving. Being incredibly wealthy also makes a lot of other stuff (like cheating and divorcing and affording "babysitters" for the kids) a lot easier. Most people I know, if they were to commit adultery, probably couldn't afford a hotel to do it in! And talking about these things is pretty tasteless.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:18 PM on January 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


posted by moxiedoll It's beyond gross to blame the baby.

Not at all. We should blame the baby. None of this would have happened if the baby wasn't involved. The whole thing is the baby's fault. The baby named Dean Wareham, that is.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:20 PM on January 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


It's beyond gross to blame the baby.

Clearly, if he cared about the baby, he wouldn't have been so gleeful in relating how he and Britta had their affair. It doesn't take a genius to imagine the details, but it's kind of a drag that this kid'll grow up and read all about it in public forums. And, as has been noted, I can't imagine the kid will think too highly of a father who couldn't be bothered to suffer through at least the first few (very difficult) years of child-rearing. Claudia sounds like a cool lady though.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:22 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dean Wareham apparently believes that his utterly banal predicament is worthy of public reflection—and ripe with "rock and roll" insight, no less. ...Oh Dean, you're an absolute caution!

Personally, I'd have preferred an indepth feature on neckwear. (Guys--level with me--is the fat 1986 Windsor making a comeback?) That would’ve been more useful and less pretentious than this embarrassing and selfish diary entry steeped in all the pedestrian conceits that have already been satirized by a band so much less boring than Luna:

"Hand in glove, the sun shines out of our behinds/No it's not like any other love/this one is different because it's us."
posted by applemeat at 2:41 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


After a long career as a music critic and an even longer career as a music fan, I've learned from bitter experience that the less I know about the personal lives of my favorite artists, the better it is. I mean, I love On Fire and Penthouse, but Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Rangeboy at 2:51 PM on January 25, 2008


Betraying someone who trusted you is a bad thing, and in all that "poor me" about how much he cried and how sick he felt he never admits that that's the simple fact of what happened.

i hear you, moxiedoll. now imagine being in the middle of such a situation, watching it all happen, seeing through the lies, and then watching your band collapse just as its on the verge of releasing its first record (not to mention losing a substantial number of friends and acquaintances because you weren't "understanding enough" about the situation). that's what happened to me and my wife. (not to keep making this about me, but i think this is a topic that can't really be depersonalized in some ways.)


Instead of slipping into an anti-anti-anti-anti-sanctimony-induced rift in the space-time continuum, let's just pretend I wasn't being sarcastic. Okay, saul?

done. no offense intended. i just love irony, is all.

After a long career as a music critic and an even longer career as a music fan, I've learned from bitter experience that the less I know about the personal lives of my favorite artists, the better it is.

amen, brother. well, woody guthrie excepted ("bound for glory" stands up pretty well as a work of literature, IMO--but then, he probably had some skeletons in his closet i don't know about, too).
posted by saulgoodman at 3:01 PM on January 25, 2008


Affairs sound like a big hassle. The hell with that.
posted by everichon at 3:12 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meh. Human beings are not inclined toward monogamy, and never have been. Modern marriage evolved from the ancient form in which women were exchanged from father to husband as property to the current form, where both spouses are seen as property. It's equal now!

The institution is at fault here; it places unreasonable expectations on married people -- they're expected to ignore millions of years of evolved instinct to favor a social system that barely functions.

If Dean's account is truthful (and since, as many have pointed out, he includes much that incriminates him, then there's no reason not to believe him), he didn't want to leave Claudia, and didn't decide to do so until he was given an ultimatum. What if Claudia had reacted differently, like: Fine. be with her when you're on the road, but she doesn't come around or call when you're at home ?

We have no account from Claudia, who seems to be more at peace with it than a lot of the people in this thread who know none of the parties personally, and notice that, aside from his very poorly-written summation of the breakdown of his first marriage, Dean does not say anything negative or incriminating about Claudia. But no one is a saint. I find it very hard to believe that the situation is as simple as Dean = bad, Claudia = good.
It find it more likely that Dean chose not to provide intimate details about his first marriage, opting instead for the clichéd statement everyone focused on. Instead he focused on himself and his story, leaving Claudia to tell hers. But I would bet that both Claudia and Dean were not perfect in the relationship, and that the ease with which she was willing to give her ultimatum suggests that she agreed with Dean that it was over.

But, ignore human biology, and the actual facts of the story, and by all means, cast your stones. 40-50% of you will be divorced at some point in your life, and 25-50% of you (not necessarily the same set that will get divorced) will have an affair, and you will be judged by people you least expected judgement from, and it will hurt, and when that happens, remember this thread.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:17 PM on January 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Eustachiantubes: That's a good point. Having seen a handful of friends and neighbors get divorced, there are at least eight or nine narratives attached to each separation, and it's hard to figure out what really happened.

Unlike Wareham, I choose to neglect my wife and children for the sweet, sweet embrace of metafilter.
posted by mecran01 at 3:26 PM on January 25, 2008


I like how he works in that he went to Harvard. Classy.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:37 PM on January 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


But... but... honey, Human beings are not inclined toward monogamy, and never have been, baby. I had to sleep with my assistant... because it's the institution and the unreasonable expectations that it has place in me that are at fault, not me, man!!

Yeah, that'll work.

Marriages fail all the time, sometimes because of adultery, more often for other, less salacious reasons (professional jealousies, squabbles over money, etc.) Nothing wrong with ending a marriage that's poisoned and/ornot working. Still it's not that I specifically set out to judge Wareham... I just read the story and had a visceral reaction to the whole thing. (Possibly because I have been cheated on in a previous relationship, and also because I personally know another Harvard dickhead that abandoned his six months pregnant wife and their two year old child because he fell in love with his 23 year old assistant, so I'll admit to projecting).

I guess the heart wants what it wants, but if I ever find myself similarly tempted, I hope I would have the balls to end my marriage (and provide for my kids) before I walked down that path.
posted by psmealey at 3:49 PM on January 25, 2008


I don't fault the guy for having an affair, specifically--just his assumption that the predictable, boring, uncreative way he went about it--and went about talking about it--is somehow magically rendered fascinating to us because it happened to him.
posted by troybob at 3:56 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


woody guthrie excepted

I don't want to burst any bubbles, but the documentary Man In the Sand paints Guthrie in a not-entirely-flattering light.
posted by Rangeboy at 4:02 PM on January 25, 2008


I like how he works in that he went to Harvard

I think that's required once you graduate. Or maybe that's Princeton?
posted by cell divide at 4:10 PM on January 25, 2008


Princeton. If you went to Harvard College it's considered poor form to volunteer that you attended Harvard by name, you should always say that you went to school in Boston, and when pressed, admit Cambridge, MA. Similarly if you went to Yale, you may only state that you went to school in New Haven. Princeton grads are required to lead off every conversation with some version of "At Princeton, we...".
posted by psmealey at 4:14 PM on January 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


not ivyist
posted by psmealey at 4:28 PM on January 25, 2008


And the Harvard people never realize that half the people they say that to assume they went to Boston College because they didn't get into Harvard but don't want to admit it...
posted by Maias at 4:42 PM on January 25, 2008


I forgot something though. If you went to Harvard (or Yale) and are in a social situation where you have an expectation that others may have gone to Harvard (or Yale), then it's okay to say that you went to Harvard. But to constate as such in "mixed company" is considered boorish.

Princeton rules still apply in either case, however.
posted by psmealey at 4:48 PM on January 25, 2008


Hah! You guys are on it!

I was engaged to a woman once who'd gone to Harvard over a decade before (it didn't work out). One day I pointed out to her that she'd mention going to Harvard at least once a day for the last two weeks.... it didn't go down well.

I knew someone who knew this guy and hero-worshipped him. Strangely, however, all his stories about Dean were seedy, gross ones like this one, and yet he just couldn't see it.

Galaxie 500 was a reasonable but ultimately forgettable band. Musicians should get over themselves.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:15 PM on January 25, 2008


Human beings are not inclined toward monogamy

Human being are also inclined to go through a lot of pain if their spouse/life partner/etc. sleeps with other people. The deal you make with monogamy, the dean Dean Wareham made, is that you sacrifice potential future mates for a non-wandering mate of your own. Along with this comes the benefits of long-term planning and stability for your children. (Emphasis on your for roughly half the population.)

People are free to make other arrangements. Supposedly, there are people in happy and successful open relationships. I've heard about them on the internet. (Although everyone I know personally ever involved in one has some serious misery.)

What if Claudia had reacted differently

If he didn't know how she'd react ahead of time, then he'd still be an ass, but luckily we wouldn't be reading about it.

After a long career as a music critic and an even longer career as a music fan, I've learned from bitter experience that the less I know about the personal lives of my favorite artists, the better it is.

I've found that I'm quite willing to look past artist's flaws or major personality disorders if I like their work. But I'm glad I never read an essay by Leadbelly about stabbing people, or by Chuck Berry about videotaping girls in the bathroom, or who knows what else that contained the line, "Was I just immoral and selfish? Perhaps."
posted by hydrophonic at 5:17 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


(And what's interesting is the truly Great musicians I've had the privilege to hang out with for a few moments are completely self-uninterested. Almost all the conversations I've had with them have been about music and musical gear, though Gibby did ask a lot of questions about how various magic tricks were done...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:20 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Comparing Dean Whatsie to Leadbelly, let alone Chuck Berry, is rather silly.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:21 PM on January 25, 2008


Most of my Gibby memories involve him smoking crack, which is kind of like a magic trick.
posted by item at 5:25 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


...and interestingly enough, I had a friend that bought a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 from Gibby Haynes back in the mid 90's.

THREAD OVER
posted by item at 5:26 PM on January 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


What if Claudia had reacted differently, like: Fine. be with her when you're on the road, but she doesn't come around or call when you're at home ?

Yeah, that would work.

Do you have any kids? I'm guessing no. But doing that hard work at home while your partner frolicks with his hawt bass player on the road would test the patience and self-respect of a saint.
posted by jokeefe at 5:27 PM on January 25, 2008


Shorter Dean Wareham: Dick get hard; brain get soft.
posted by rdone at 5:33 PM on January 25, 2008


Yeesh, crack. I tried it again late last year and hated it every bit as much as back in the day. "Hope you don't mind, I'm just going to stand next to the sink in case I throw up."

Gibby is refreshingly not taking hard drugs (or at least not too many) while still drinking in moderation, and smoking.... I admire someone who's still keeping up with their vices but not murdering themselves.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:38 PM on January 25, 2008


Honestly, I think someone who raised your child while you were busy generally trying to hold on to nineteen forever could be forgiven for stabbing your fucking eyes out when she realized you couldn't even be bothered to not fuck anybody else. I mean, as far as I can tell, that was really all that was expected of him in this relationship. Now mind you, that's a lot, but there were ways around it -- his family could have toured with him, which admittedly would surely be a lot harder than it sounds (and it doesn't sound easy), or he could have chosen to not tour. That sounds like a drag, perhaps, but I'm sure his wife had all kinds of things she would rather have been doing than wipe their kid's ass. It's amazing to me that he wrote this account and doesn't actually seem to understand it, or that he's the villain of the piece.

Shorter: Christ, what an asshole.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:45 PM on January 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


Comparing Dean Whatsie to Leadbelly, let alone Chuck Berry, is rather silly.

As is comparing attempted homicide to adultery, yes. My point was I'm willing to forget about a lot worse sins than Dean's when the music's good, and maybe I'd prefer not to know about it.

When it comes to whatever Chuck Berry's done, I really don't want to know about it.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:53 PM on January 25, 2008


Yes, I'm willing to ignore sins much worse than Dean's if the music was simply super.

Because I'm somewhat drunk, I'm now going to throw in a link of me playing and singing with Gibby.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:02 PM on January 25, 2008


Can't wait until Dean starts screwing someone else behind Britta's back, or vice versa.
posted by gcbv at 6:49 PM on January 25, 2008


I don't want to burst any bubbles, but the documentary Man In the Sand paints Guthrie in a not-entirely-flattering light.

oh, i know guthrie probably wasn't perfect--i just think his writing in "bound for glory" seems to come from a much more decent, sympathetic and humane point of view than wareham's thing. in fact, wareham's narrative voice kind of sounds like the anti-guthrie--urbane, self-consciously elegant, navelgazing, slyly manipulative--while guthrie's in contrast is unsophisticated, colorful, outward-looking and bluntly honest.

I admire someone who's still keeping up with their vices but not murdering themselves.

amen to that.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:52 PM on January 25, 2008


Princeton grads are required to lead off every conversation with some version of "At Princeton, we...".

Veterinarians who went to the University of Pennsylvania are known in the field as "Pennwees" because every sentence they utter begins with "At Penn we did it like this..." or "At Penn we had..."
posted by Rock Steady at 6:57 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


That was cool. Who was the guy on stage reading metafilter?
posted by mecran01 at 7:53 PM on January 25, 2008


I admire someone who's still keeping up with their vices but not murdering themselves.

What about those of us that have dropped a couple vices but are still involuntarily manslaughtering ourselves. Is that admirable?

That's what I'm shooting for, at any rate.
posted by psmealey at 8:02 PM on January 25, 2008


What a pompous weenie. His wife's hot though.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:36 PM on January 26, 2008


joekeefe, to answer your question, I have two kids.

hydrophonic: Human being are also inclined to go through a lot of pain if their spouse/life partner/etc. sleeps with other people

I disagree; I think that human being are taught to go through a lot of pain if their spouse/partner sleeps with someone else. The social convention of monogamy is fighting against human biology, and while I would agree that Dean acted outside an agreement he made with Claudia, and that such deal-breaking causes pain and (in my set of morals) is therefore wrong, I don't think that it makes Dean a bad person. Like about half of the married couples in our culture, Dean and Claudia discovered that the agreement they made, which was borrowed from a broken, sexist, exploitative tradition, did not account for reality and made unreasonable demands on at least one, and probably both of them.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:11 PM on January 27, 2008


The social convention of monogamy is fighting against human biology,

eustace: i'm afraid the jury's still out on that one. recent research has tended to support the idea that monogamy is biologically rooted in humans, or at least, it's by far the dominant mating pattern--something like serial monogamy is the most common pattern, but it's monogamy nonetheless. humans in general actually don't see to be t inclined to carry on with multiple partners at a time, although of course there is that not statistically insignificant minority who do.

but even so, why not put it another way: the human moral ideal of life-long monogamy is fighting to overcome the biological predisposition toward serial monogamy? why regard the biological status quo as any more desirable, morally laudable or realistic than any human ideal with which it comes into conflict? biologically, we're adapted to physically assault anyone who gets our goat. should i start punching everybody who ticks me off in the face? i think it'd make me a lot happier (but here's a hint: it might not be a very socially adaptive thing to do)...
posted by saulgoodman at 1:39 PM on January 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"see to be t inclined" = "seem to be that inclined"
posted by saulgoodman at 1:48 PM on January 27, 2008


biologically, we're adapted to physically assault anyone who gets our goat. should i start punching everybody who ticks me off in the face?

I think that if society as a whole favored settling disputes with physical violence, then death by homicide would become a norm, which would raise the likelihood that you (and I) would both have already been murdered by someone bigger and stronger than us when we were brash young smartmouths.

And the fact is, you don't physically assault anyone who gets your goat, and relatively few people do, but in spite of our social conventions, somewhere between a quarter and half of us cheat, and around half of those of us who marry divorce. Laws and/or social conventions do keep us from hurting/killing each other, but they don't keep us from sidestepping lifelong monogamy.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:49 PM on January 27, 2008


I disagree; I think that human being are taught to go through a lot of pain if their spouse/partner sleeps with someone else.

Are human beings taught to be angry when they're punched in the face? How about when a rival takes away their domestic and economic security and introduces a risk of STDs? I don't think the level of pain people go through when their lives fall apart is due to cultural expectations. "Oh no, my previously traditional relationship is now untraditional! I will now write a country song about my tragic circumstances!" Jealousy, sneaking around, and the same old pain happen in open relationships too.

Dean and Claudia discovered that the agreement they made, which was borrowed from a broken, sexist, exploitative tradition...

How about giving monogamous people some credit? I don't know anybody who got married with the idea of shoring up the crumbling patriarchy, and for some couples that would be completely impossible.

...did not account for reality and made unreasonable demands on at least one...

More like Dean and Britta found the agreement he'd made to be inconvenient for them. There were no unreasonable demands on Dean. The "reality" of him being unfaithful didn't exist (as fas as we know) until he chose to sleep with Britta.

...and probably both of them.

As you yourself pointed out, there's nothing from the essay to indicate Claudia did anything wrong, aside from being tired from raising their child. So probably nothing. From her ultimatum you conclude that she thought the relationship was unsalvageable, but it's actually the opposite. If there were nothing to save she wouldn't have made the offer.

in spite of our social conventions, somewhere between a quarter and half of us cheat...

We also have a contradictory social convention that says cheating is okay, especially for men. There was a major tourism campaign to that effect, and it's now a meme that shows up in the essay.

...and around half of those of us who marry divorce.

Is anybody arguing against divorce?
posted by hydrophonic at 8:38 PM on January 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


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