John Mellencamp, Daddy’s Boy

By E. Jean Carroll Playboy February 1986 “Check this out.” He pulls back the cover. “Oh, my God!” I say. His hair flops down like a veal cutlet. “You gotta look at it from this side.” “Oh, my Lord!” I shout. “Is this cool, or what?” says John. We are standing in the...

Sober Virgins of the ’80s

By Eve Babitz Smart Fall 1988 < Not that I like the eighties, but the sixties, if you ask me, weren’t that great, either. I mean, in the fifties, for men to get girls into bed, they had to be good lovers, to persist, to be sensual and seductive and inevitable and...

Ronstadt for President

By Eve Babitz Smart May/ June 1989 [From Eve’s front of the book column titled “Love & Science”] I have been thinking that Linda Ronstadt is more politically effective than Jane Fonda. Linda has made the world safe for Mexican music. I mean, all Jane’s done is to...

Donald Fagen Revisits an Era of Innocence

By Fred Schruers Musician January 1983 “Lack of irony,” says Donald Fagen with a wry grin, “is not exactly my speciality.” It’s an odd apology—more like a boast—from the man who shared status with his Steely Dan partner, Walter Becker, as a mandarin of pop irony.  But...

Remember the Rhythm

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Dig this—from Whitney Balliett’s book American Musicians: Fifty-Six Portraits in Jazz: The Cape Cod pianist Marie Marcus came to New York from Boston to do a radio show in 1932, when she was eighteen. Her experience had been...

On Bird

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1976 There have been a number of instances in jazz history of the incandescent hero-as-world-overturning-improviser eventually plunging, like Icarus, into burnt-out extinction. Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, Fats Navarro, and, way back,...

Redneck Rock

By Robert Ward New Times June 25, 1976 The out-of-work mechanic with the beer gut, and the four turquoise rings, and the Gene Autry (pink and lime green) cowboy shirt with real pearl buttons, and the mutton chops, and the straight-back greased-down hair, and the big...

A Letter to Nabokov

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader I thought you might appreciate this letter written by Nicolai Malko to Vladimir Nabokov. Here, let Malko’s son, George—a fantastic writer and an equally swell guy—explain: The letter was written when my father was in his fifth year as...

Grateful Dead I Have Known

By Ed McClanahan From My Vita, If You Will 1998 If you’ve got it all together, what’s that all around it? —Inscribed on my bathroom wall by Ken Kesey, who attributed it Brother Dave Gardner A bright Sunday afternoon in August 1971, just one week after Bill Graham...

Friday Night at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

By Paul Hemphill From The Nashville Sound: Bright Lights and Country Music 1970   If You Don’t Clean Your Tab in 1968, Your Credit Is No Damn Good in 1969.   Thank You.   Tootsie.   —Notice Behind the Bar At Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville,...

Something to Do with Heroes

By Larry Merchant From Ringside Seat at the Circus 1976 Paul Simon, the Simon of Simon and Garfunkel, was invited to Yankee Stadium yesterday to throw out the first ball, to see a ballgame, to revisit his childhood fantasy land, to show the youth of America that...

Frank Sinatra Jr. Is Worth Six Buddy Grecos

By Tom Junod GQ January 1994 He is a forty-nine-year-old man whose father has just yelled at him. He has worked hard for his father tonight, but something went wrong, he must have made a mistake, and now he is going to his room. He will stay there all night, if he...