Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On Gore Vidal's Birthday

When asked to think of a Rock 'n Roll writer the names that come to most people's minds are people like Ben Fong Torres; Cameron Crowe or Lester Bangs. Me, when I think of a Rock 'n Roll writer I tend to go in a different direction -- I focus on scribes whose written work has had the same affect on me as, say, Jimmy Page's solo in Led Zeppelin's "How Many More Times" or Coletranes round house glisses while running tandem with Don Cherry on "Cherryco" or maybe even Jimi Hendrix' solo during the live version of "Machine Gun" on the Band of Gypsies' Filmore West album...Bearing that in mind, a couple of my fave Rock 'n Roll writers are Hunter S. Thompson who did, in fact, pull a stint writing for Rolling Stone back when the magazine actually meant something to me. Thompson, the godfather of gonzo journalism, took off with the book "Hell's churned out articles, books, essays and letters that pulsed with life. Dude had a real penchant for kneading truth with his observations and biting humor that sometimes takes the reader down roads they'd rather not traverse -- ain't that one of the pillars that sustains the tabernacle of Rock 'n Roll? Like Mr. Mojo Risin' said -- you gotta "break on through to the other side...His gift for gonzo and tangential personal hijinks aside -- dude worked hard but he played even harder -- HST embraced the seeming futility of railing against the status quo on levels existential and physical; convictions are hardest to hold onto when they're inconveniently unpopular and nobody should be more aware of that than my next Rock 'n Roll Writer -- Gore Vidal.

I live by the credo: "two wrongs don't make a right but a whole bunch of wrongs make a great writer" and when I look back on all the shite that Gore Vidal's been through in his lifetime I gotta say -- rock on my brother from another mother. Today is Vidal's birthday, he's 81, and while some might not agree with all of his politics and life choices (I don't) I will still tip my hat and stand tall before the man becase as one who tries to chronicle his thoughts on the regular, I learned early on that it ain't easy -- this cat's been at it or decades and continues to do so. A year and some change back, during whatever political snafu was happening, I wrote a blog piece that pit the (then) wildly popular comedian " Dave Chapelle against Gore Vidal and will admit that though he's geriatric in body, in spirit Vidal still continues to keep on keepin' on and that, if not anything else, is a Rock 'n Roll writer, yo...

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