Sunday, January 17, 2010

What music did Charles Bukowski listen to when he wrote?


Bukowski will clean your writing pipes right out.

Just read his The Captain is Out to Lunch and The Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship (2002, Ecco, 144 pp., illustrated by R. Crumb).

He wrote it 1991-93, died in 1994, so he was 71 or 72. Certainly mellowed some, a little, not drinking (as) much, married, 9 cats, funny as ever, just as hard-ass on people, the human specie, mainly at how walking-dead they are, still a writer above all else, basically going to the racetrack all day & writing (at the computer) at night.

"For instance, every day as I drive to the track I keep punching the radio to different stations looking for music, decent music. It's all bad, flat, lifeless, tuneless, listless.... It's horrible, horrible drivel entering the minds of young heads. They like it. Christ, hand them shit, they eat it up. Can't they discern? Can't they hear? Can't they feel the dilution, the staleness? ... Well, yes, there is classical music. I finally have to settle for that. But I know that is always there for me. I listen to that 3 or 4 hours a night.... Think of all the people alive who have never heard decent music. No wonder their faces are falling off, no wonder they kill thoughtlessly, no wonder the heart is missing."

Then you also get stuff like this, the night after a rare bender the night before:

"It's good sitting here tonight in this little room on the second floor listening to the radio, the old body, the old mind mending. I belong here, like this. Like this. Like this."

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