Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Good things happened this week, but the passing of Gary Stewart put a dark cloud over many people.  Suicide is dumb when young, but when someone my age commits suicide, it becomes a profound gesture that is scary, depressing, and of course, frustrating.  Especially when someone like Gary, who seems to be well-loved by everyone in the record geek community.  For those who don't know, Gary Stewart is very much part of the Rhino Records world.  A visionary fellow, a man of taste, and used his talent to make and distribute fantastic music.  His death disturbs me.  I can sense others feel the same way.  

Today, I went to the Printed Matter Art Book Fair at Geffen MOCA in Little Tokyo.  My well-known secret is that I'm very uncomfortable in large rooms, such as at Geffen MOCA.  I have to keep moving from getting dizzy.  The thing is with museum places; it is very much like a maze, or at the very least a room within a room.  Different size cubicles and I feel like I'm being sucked into a void. There is a fear that I will not make it out.  Alternatively, being trapped.  I never look up to the ceiling, because I feel my knees are buckling, and about to fail me.  

On the other hand, it's a terrific book fair.  I didn't buy anything because I felt everything was too good.  The energy in the rooms was ten maximum, and in actuality, I went twice to the festival. Gagosian Gallery had a room set up for artist Spencer Sweeney.  He was making music directly into a 7-inch single using a record lathe.  That was interesting of course, but also he had his favorite books displayed, including my dad's book "Semina Culture."  It's an important festival, and one has to applaud Printed Matter to organize such a magnificent presentation. 

Yesterday I spent the morning at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, in which I was on a panel discussion on the subject matter of Los Angeles, which is a vast subject matter for a discussion that can only last for an hour.   The dialog was between yours truly, Lynell George, David Kipen, Lili Anolik, and the moderator was William Deverell.  My only regret is that it couldn't last for three hours or so.  Lili wrote a book on Eve Babitz, and her subject matter is close to my book "Tosh," but I don't mention Eve.  Still, when I did the reading of my book, I focused on the chapter on Marcel Duchamp's retrospective at the Pasadena Museum, which took place in 1963.  Eve is famous (besides her writing) for posing in the nude and playing chess with Duchamp.  She couldn't go to the opening of the exhibition because her boyfriend, Walter Hopps was with his wife at the show.  So, as a revenge of sorts, she posed naked with Marcel.  My experiences at the time were that I did go to the opening and met Duchamp.  Although I did not take my clothes off to play chess or with the bicycle wheel that was displayed so beautifully in the show.   I met Eve numerous times when I was a child and teenager, but those were just fleeting moments. 

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