Letters from My Friends

From Bill Krohn in Los Angeles on Phil Spector

Yesterday a friend showed me part of an interview he filmed with Phil
Spector the day before the verdict (nicely lit, recorded w. a boom in
the hall of the chateau). It’s about music, with Wagner as topic A,
around which are woven many insights about Spector’s own work and his
thoughts on what he refuses to call rock’n’roll – he says it should all
be called just “contemporary music” at this point. His start-off quote
is “Man was created in God’s image, but Wagner is greater than God.”
And he goes back and forth between Wagner and the Wall of Sound,
discussing specifics and making quirky comparisons.

He’s very bright, and his face is soulful. He’s funny in a fey hipster
way. I don’t know what happened the night that poor girl died, except
that whatever it was happened shortly after they arrived at the house,
but I think he’s crazy and I hope he gets to go to a hospital when he’s
sentenced on May 29. I’ve heard that some of the jurors were crying
when the verdict was read.

He says the Wall was always recorded on one track (“Artists have tomake a commitment”), and that’s how the Beatles always wanted to heartheir recordings, like they’d sound on the radio. If a song was longerthan three minutes, he’d lie about the playing time on the label, whichscrewed up deejays’ schedules no end. You get the feeling from watchinghim that wherever he’s coming from, it’s not from here anymore.

From Robin Saunders on Marshall McLuhan

In the late seventies, I attended an appearance by Marshall McLuhan at the Ontario Art Gallery. It was at an exhibition on glass. I was sitting in the front row, and someone from the Gallery asked me if the seat next to me was taken, and if I minded if Mrs. McLuhan sat there. I said no problem. A short time later, Mr. McLuhan himself appeared and took the seat next to me. Right about then, the master of ceremonies began to introduce Mr. McLuhan. In the back of my mind was the scene from the movie Annie Hall, where Woody Allen was in a movie line-up behind two people who professed to understand Marshall McLuhan’s ideology, and he pulled Mr. McLuhan out from behind a sandwich board, and McLuhan said “you know nothing about my work .” I was similarly amused when the master of ceremonies introduced Mr. McLuhan, saying that his appearance was appropriate, since he shared the clarity of glass. I leaned over to Mr. McLuhan and whispered “I bet Woody Allen would disagree with that.” He then took the stage.

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