R. Hell Site Forum Message
a few preliminary words about Bob
|Posted by:||Richard Hell (in forum heading)|
|Posted on:|| 8 Jun 2004|| |
I want to say something about Bob even though it's all really too close now to do it clearly.
Quine was complicated and he went through periods of feuding with everyone he knew. Anybody who was close to him would get fed up with him at times and he was the same way about just about everybody he had a strong relationship with. I don't know why I’m starting this description with this, except that in talking to friends of his in the past few days everybody’s mad at him. I guess that’s natural when somebody kills himself. Everybody’s mad at Bob and he doesn’t give a shit.
I’m kind of stumped about what to say, but I really want to say something. Later I’ll take my shot at trying to get down what was supreme about him as a musician. I mean later on another day. No maybe I have to talk about music. Because really music was absolutely everything to him. It’s where he got almost all his pleasure and where he had about his only hope of doing something he could take pride in (though he seemed to never dream he could reach the level of his idol players, like Miles and Lou Reed). He was into movies (one of the first links we had, before we played together, was the amazement that we’d both discovered Hugo Haas) and books (Nabokov and Burroughs at the top of the list), but when you talked about them with him, as advanced as his taste was, still you couldn’t help picking up that it was ultimately frivolous, because it was music that mattered to him. And that was basically rock and roll from its birth through 1961 or so (with a few very important later-date exceptions like the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, and the Byrds), and jazz from the late forties through Miles Davis’s and his top contemporaries’ (and Eric Dolphy’s and Albert Ayler’s) catalogs. (I have a limited knowledge of the range of jazz he loved, so anyone who can be more accurate about his interests there, please correct me.)
Though Bob, of all the “punk” musicians, was the most musically sophisticated (unless you count Verlaine who’d come in pretty close), as much so as anybody who ever played in a rock and roll band in fact, he still belonged beyond a doubt to the genre if you want to discuss that issue, by virtue of his anger and his musical values. He wasn’t interested in virtuosity but in feeling and invention (and aggression). (He didn’t like “punk” bands though. I can’t think of one pure “punk” band that interested him--neither the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, nor the Clash, for instance. I thought this was a blind spot, considering how he was into roots rockabilly and early Rolling Stones and the Stooges and other related things.) Shit, I’m losing my place and rambling. I want to cut this short and just post it and try to write something more thought through another day.
Anyway, he was very angry but he was also as much of a gentleman as he could possibly bear to be and he made the anger into entertainment by developing a triple reverse humor that took your breath away. He was the funniest guy I ever knew.
I’m going to leave it at that for now. Fuck.
We've now compiled a collection of Quine material and links at www.richardhell.com/hellnews2004.html.
It lists such as: more information about Quine's jazz preferences and other musical obsessions supplied by Jim Marshall at www.richardhell.com/cgi-bin/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=6466; an interview with Richard about Bob at Rolling Stone online, www.rollingstone.com/news/story?id=6128328&pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=single1, and a Quine "obituary" by Richard in this week's New York magazine at www.newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/people/columns/intelligencer/9310/index.html, as well as links to examples of Quine's playing available free for the listening online.]
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