The Stacks Illustrated

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader July 28, 2020 Here’s more from the most gifted Jeffrey Smith, this time a selection of his work for GQ.

Damn Black Sox

By Bruce Buschel GQ June 1988 It is World Series weather in Indianapolis. Thirty-five degrees. Charlie Sheen is dancing around center field, trying to warm up. He is worried about his arm tightening up before the big throw. He worries whenever he can. He worries about...

Will the Next Lenny Bruce Please Speak Up?

By Robert Ward GQ August, 1984 I remember everything about the first time I heard Lenny Bruce. I was filing records in the Modern Music House in Baltimore, Maryland. They were Miles Davis records, and I was putting yet another copy of his masterpiece, Kind of Blue, in...

Angry Young Man with a Horn

By Bruce Buschel GQ February 1987 Wynton Marsalis leans forward, peers through his glasses and says with his usual fervor, “People actually want to discuss music with me. Me! Their knowledge of music is so limited that I don’t understand how they even think they can...

In the Country of My Disease

By Charles P. Pierce GQ February 1996 The walking dream is of a dead city. It comes upon me when I forget where the car is parked, or to pick up milk along with the bread, or that one of the greatest female impersonators of our time is also named Charles Pierce. I can...

Mickey Rourke Doesn’t Smell

By Scott Raab GQ July 1995 Lost inside a huge sweater and a baggy, low-slung pair of jeans, an oversized brown fedora slumped well down on his forehead, half walking, half leaning against a young woman with long brown hair, actor/boxer Mickey Rourke trudges down a...

The Long, Slow Fall of a Gridiron God

By Loren Feldman GQ December,1988 Art Schlichter is scrambling. Running late, headed from his father’s farm in Bloomingburg, Ohio, to the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market, he flips on his Road Patrol XK radar detector and hits the gas, challenging the two-lane...

Shandling Agnosites

By Gerri Hirshey GQ February 1997 Garry Shandling is worrying a piece of plain chicken (no skin, no sauce, no guilt) with a plastic fork. The tines quiver with indecision (eat? talk? eat and talk and risk having a meteor of thigh meat land on those dry-cleaned jeans …...

Coming to My Senses

By Charles Bowden GQ October 2004 She stands in the small kitchen of the ancient building by the canal. The stove rides at a right angle to the wall so that she can look out while she cooks in her fourth-floor aerie. She cannot stand to cook if she must stare at a...

“Hul-lo, This is Ca-ry Grant”

By Diane K. Shah GQ January 1986 “Yeah,” I said into the telephone. “Diane Shah?” “Yeah.” It was ten-fifteen in the morning. I was in the office filling out an expense report, a chore that always makes me grumpy. I am never in the office at this hour, so I figured...

Elmore Leonard Under the Boardwalk

By J. Anthony Lukas GQ December 1984 Anonymous in their green Ford Fairmont, the plainclothesmen pull to the casino door and beckon three men into the backseat. Nosing into midday traffic, they head for the Italian community along North Georgia Avenue. “That’s where...

The Risible Fantasies of Gilbert Gottfried

By Peter Mehlman GQ July 1987   “Gilbert, my God, you look great!” “Jesus, Gilbert, that suit looks amazing on you.” “It’s the suit they gave him on the Cosby Show!” “Gillie! I got hold of the Cinemax special—it’s, it’s … beautiful!” “Gillie, who’s doing your...