A glimpse into the singer’s lifelong pastime, and the texts that shaped his identity
When David Bowie was 15 he read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, a Beat Generation novel that inspired him to leave the cloister of London suburban life. For Bowie, the paperback novel offered more than just escapist fantasy, it could affect and change the way someone lived.
Alongside the influence of music and contemporary art on Bowie’s creative development, the songwriter drew on literature as a fertile resource of possibility and transformation. For example, the lyrics of Bowie’s 1974 album Diamond Dogsadopted the ‘cut-up technique‘ of the experimental American writer William S. Burroughs, whereby existing passages are broken up and reassembled to create something new and original.
The most important sound engineer in jazz history has died, aged 91
Rudy Van Gelder with Blue Note Records producer Alfred Lion.
Rudy Van Gelder’s recording studio. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
f you’ve ever heard a jazz record, chances are you’ve heard the work of Rudy Van Gelder. But you wouldn’t have heard him playing the drums, the piano, the saxophone, or the trumpet (although he had lessons in his youth) – and you wouldn’t have heard him singing into the microphone. That’s because he was the microphone. In a manner of speaking. Born in New Jersey on 2 November 1924, Rudolph (Rudy) Van Gelder became the most prominent sound engineer in American jazz history. He recorded just about every major figure in the canon, including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins. Read More
What the hit Netflix show can tell us about our fascination with ’80s nostalgia and American suburban gothic
he word ‘stranger’ can suggest many things. One antiquated definition, used in the 18th and 19th century, refers to ‘things which are popularly imagined to forebode the coming of an unexpected visitor’ (OED). These ‘things’ might refer to tea leaves floating in a cup, a moth appearing suddenly out of the dark, or candlewax that causes the light of a flame to flicker and die. For viewers of Netflix’s thrilling new drama, Stranger Things, this superstition holds a unique significance. Read More