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« Goodbye, 2012 | Main | Happy 2013! »

December 30, 2012


Tim B

Nice one...Part two of the Q&A is here:

Also, here's an interview I did with JL a few years ago that may interest you:

john lurie

Alex -I don't know this Bruce from Downtown Music, but apparently he is an expert on me.
What you are doing here, though seemingly well intentioned, is just adding to the gossip and linking to that perverse New Yorker article is about the ugliest thing you can do to me.
If you had any respect for me or my music you could have done about 10 more minutes research on the web instead of walking around aimlessly on the street. If you had you would have discovered the following that all eviscerate that trash in the New Yorker which they now refuse to be accountable for.

Rick Moody on the New Yorker article

An interview with Larson Sutton regarding the New Yorker and my "warring permutations" of my band.

An interview with Criterion

and a letter written to the New Yorker by practically everyone interviewed for the New Yorker article

Finally Alex, I am not "flakey" on any level and I doubt you could find a person on the planet who actually knows me who would characterize me as such.

best, John Lurie

Alex in NYC

Wow, Mr. Lurie -- My sincere apologies. I'll amend this post later today.

john lurie

No - leave it. I think it works fine. This is what happens to me over and over. Someone is interested in my music or my paintings and what they get to first is the New Yorker.
Is horrible - you do 40 years of work and because of one salacious, slob of a journalist who writes for what was once a legitimate magazine, your reputation is destroyed.
Please leave it.

john lurie

Anyway, this works perfectly for your idea of me popping up in surprising ways.
When you were walking through Chinatown you probably walked by my apartment, where Nesrin the Zoomer (my hero assistant) could have handed you a copy of Voice of Chunk.
My best to Bruce.

love and peaches, John

Coen Rees

Nice blog post, Alex. It's great that you're seeking out more Lounge Lizard music. Voice of Chunk is definitely worth hunting down, as is their 1998 album Queen of All Ears, and pretty much all of John's solo work. I think you might especially like The Legendary Marvin Pontiac - Greatest Hits.

I read your earlier edit, and I, too, took exception to the quotes attributed to Bruce. There are many words I could use to describe John Lurie - "flakey" is definitely not one of them. In this digital age of the blog post, it's unfortunately become increasingly commonplace to take quotes at face value and forego the fact-checking process. Thank you for having the decency to write the addendum.

The New Yorker's hack piece completely disregarded John's myriad artistic achievements and chose instead (despite having pitched the article as a profile focusing on John's life and work) to shine a salacious spotlight on and further aggravate an already volatile situation.

More than two years after it was first published, this horrid piece of journalism still pops up online on an almost weekly basis. In an ideal and fair world, every online mention would be accompanied by the letter John mentions above, signed by pretty much everyone the New Yorker interviewed, as well as Rick Moody's wonderful rebuttal, which does what Tad Friend failed to do – write an honest profile about a man, his music and his art.

The John Lurie I know is an honest-to-a-fault, warm and razor-sharp witty individual.

Oh, and he's a pretty wonderful painter too:

Alex in NYC

Again, I can't apologize enough for this. I also think I need to extend that apology to Bruce from Downtown Music Gallery, as I may have unduly paraphrased him. Honestly, it's a valuable experience to know that words have ramifications, but I sincerely regret the whole thing.

john lurie

it is ok Alex - honest. I am sure you meant no harm. I wish someone would explain to the "journalists" and "editors" from the New Yorker that what you write can have an awful effect on people's lives.

But now it seems you have amended what you wrote and my posts no longer make any sense.

Alex in NYC

I removed the link in question and the bits of hearsay, as they were ultimately just that, but I think your posted points still ring true.

Once again, words have ramifications. I can blithely rationalize an irresponsible post here by self-depreciatingly suggesting that "no one reads this stuff," but that doesn't make it right. Whether it's read by one person or one hundred people, what I put up here has got to be on the level. The fact that it's "only a blog" is no excuse for lazy reporting when it comes to the work and reputations of other.

However unintentional, I besmirched an artist I greatly respect and implicated a hard-working small business-owner by alleging his complicity in a bit of gossip. This has been a very sobering wake-up call.

rick mcginnis

I've always wondered about that New Yorker piece; my love of the magazine has suffered from more than just some sloppy, weirdly vindictive writing over the last few years, and it's fallen off my must read list after over 20 years. As for Lurie, he's always been a bit of a hero of mine, and Voice of Chunk is one of my favorite LL albums. (Also check out Big Heart: Live in Tokyo. Very underrated.) Once, many years ago, I bummed a cigarette off him at the Knitting Factory. I'm ashamed to say that I still think that's one of the closest brushes with cool I've ever had. Glad to see you're still around, John - howzabout a new album?

john lurie

Hello Rick - I have Advanced Lyme Disease so playing music is difficult and playing the saxophone is impossible now.
I also still am dealing with this stalker situation which is a great deal more severe than how it was presented in the New Yorker. The New Yorker seems to have a penchant for painting a grey area in order to appear objective. But in this case there really was no grey area and what they did was vague, irresponsible and perhaps criminal.
In any case, the combination of these two things makes it very difficult to accomplish much of anything at all.
Sorry about that.

john lurie

on a brighter note - there are my paintings
on a brighter note - there are my paintings

rick mcginnis

I'm so sorry to hear that, John. I've been enjoying the paintings - hoping I get a chance to see them in a gallery one day and not just online or in print. I always try to look at them for awhile before reading the title, which always adds a witty coda to the experience. Take care of yourself, and hopefully at least one of these situations will resolve itself in the new year.

Alex in NYC

Happy New Year to you all. Here's to a better, brighter 2013.

Gregoire Alessandrini

Dear Alex ,
I definitly don't mind you using this shot of John Lurie's posters from my New York in the 1990's Photo Blog ! On the contrary ! Thank you for your great work and your interest in my work and these old images I was so glad to share with you and New York lovers of all kinds !
Happy new year to you and all your readers.
Keep up the great work you're doing !

Jeff Taylor

Thanks for the Gregoire Allessandrini tip. Going to go check those out right now.

I just did an interview with Lurie, by the way, which you can read here:

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