Sunday, August 12, 2012

TamTam Books' Tribute to Glenn O'Brien


Its not easy to find men of great taste, but as a teenager I was a huge fan of "Interview" magazine, not really because of Andy Warhol (who's pretty good), but the monthly writings of Glenn O'Brien and his column "Glenn O'Brien's Beat."   I enjoyed his work because his take on music was super interesting to me at the time, and also he was a man who seemed to be well-read and knew culture from the bottom to the top.

Just recently I discovered his cable show from the 1970's "TV Party" which is an incredible snapshot of Manhattan being truly Manhattan.


First episode of Glenn O'Brien's "TV Party" (December 18, 1978)


TV Party "Halloween Show" (October 1979)


Survey of music guests on Glenn O'Brien's "TV Party" (with Blondie, Klaus, etc)


Jean-Michel Basquiat (SAMO) on Glenn O'Brien's "TV Party

O'Brien also wrote about the visual arts, and very recently on fashion.  Again, it is his character that makes his work so appealing to me - and the fact that he's very good on the page.


Glenn O'Brien's interview regarding fashion and his book "How To Be  A Man"


Glenn O'Brien on how to wear a pocket square


Interview with Glenn O'Brien

Here's a book review i did on his collection of essays: "Soapbox."

Soapbox: Essays, Diatribes, Homilies and Screeds 1980-1997Soapbox: Essays, Diatribes, Homilies and Screeds 1980-1997 by Glenn O'Brien



Whenever I see the name "Glenn O'Brien" in a magazine I usually buy that issue. I first discovered him during the highlight years of Andy Warhol's Interview magazine. He always struck me at that time as the perfect Manhattan journalist. He had good music taste, loved the visual arts, and was super urban witty in that classic Algonquin Round Table mode. One would think he would know Dorothy Parker, but alas, different generation and perhaps taste.So what we have here are a collection of essays originally published in Interview and Artforum and other locations. They deal with big issues like gender, art, music, sports, and culture among other subject matters. But the genius of O'Brien is that he makes these subjects personal and he is also peppered the writing with his good nature. Christopher Hitchens without the emotional up and down, just straight forward clear thinking yet a touch odd point of the view look at the world. Also buying this book in the used section at the Strand made it kind of an essential type of purchase in New York City.


Wikipedia on Glenn O'Brien:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_O'Brien

Glenn O'Brien's website and blog (with an incredible interview with Gore Vidal) /http://glennobrien.com/
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