William S. Burroughs And The Cult Of Rock 'n' Roll
July 27, 2019 9:16 PM   Subscribe

This Clark-Nova speaks to me.
posted by vrakatar at 9:29 PM on July 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh, I'm straight on this! Words of advice for young people!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:34 PM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Never read that '74 Burroughs/Bowie interview before and loved almost all of it. So easy to read the early, earnest, idea-fizzing Bowie stuff in his voice. Not applauding Burroughs' late-article couple of asides about Chinese people being all the same(?) quote, "the personification of one character" though.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:12 PM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

As much as I've admired Burrough's and Dylan's and Bowie's work (and I really do!), I've increasingly seen them as vestiges of a romantic notion of "fully realized men" in the mold of Picasso, Hemingway, Mailer, Rodin, and (just to make this fun) Sinatra. On the one hand, there's a total commitment to their craft and artistic vision. On the other hand there's a preternatural aloofness as if they were just deigning to visit us from a different plane of existence. There's something about it that just sticks in my craw.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:07 AM on July 28, 2019 [6 favorites]

The author is one of my oldest buds... so cool to see him on the blue! Thanks for posting....
posted by brand-gnu at 5:45 AM on July 28, 2019

all that and no Steely Dan?!
posted by chavenet at 6:40 AM on July 28, 2019 [6 favorites]

Thanks to I'm always feeling, Blue for the shoutout on Words of Advice!

"If you're doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing; his word isn't worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal."

Truer words, etc...
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 6:44 AM on July 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

When I was in college, the most post-modern thing ever happened: Burroughs sold sneakers for Nike. Anytime anybody says "the new technology" I immediately hear it in Burroughs' voice, and it's been years since I'd heard that ad (until just now).
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:59 AM on July 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Burroughs is one of those authors I suppose I know too much about for anything short of my own version of a long read. I will say that one of the deepest, longest, wrongest creative detours I've ever taken was the time I decided that what the world really needed was a horror novel that deftly fused the urgency of Stephen King with the resolute deconstructed strangeness of Burroughs. They say a writer needs to find their boundaries before they can really find their "voice", but do they really need to spend three-five years extricating themselves from the thorns and quicksand and whatever else of those boundary zones? I did apparently.

Anyway, my fave quick Burroughs anecdote concerns a friend of mine (call him JB) who got a chance to throw a few questions at him during a big deal (for edge city underground circa 1985) press conference. Most of the others posing questions were deadly serious students of Burroughs' work and as such, were going after dense and almost absurdly specific stuff, which Mr. Burroughs was not enjoying. The longer the question, the shorter his answer. Then JB got his chance and he started with, "What's your favorite handgun these days?"

BAM!!! The Great Man (TM) was suddenly interested and engaged and quickly honed in on JB as the only person in the room really worth talking to. And yes, there was resentment all around.
posted by philip-random at 8:31 AM on July 28, 2019 [11 favorites]

Language. IS A VIRUS.
posted by HunterFelt at 4:44 PM on July 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

philip-random, I don't want to encourage any more detours if you think they're wrong, but let me just say, I would read the shit out of that.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:12 PM on July 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

I’d ask what Burroughs’ favorite pistol was but considering what happened to Joan Vollmer I’m afraid of what the answer would be.
posted by um at 9:21 PM on July 28, 2019

what happened to Joan Vollmer

Yeah, that was some fucked up shit for sure, ole Billy skated on that one.
posted by e1c at 8:37 AM on July 29, 2019

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