All The People I Like Are Those That Are Dead

It would be an unworthy affectation if I were to pretend that my career has been anything but a fine one. That which I am about to reveal, however, is something which you will understand that only the most modest officer would admit. After all, when one has attained such a position as mine, one can afford to speak of what the ordinary might be tempted to conceal.

You must know, then, that despite the multitude of memorable campaigns in which I have had the good fortune to participate -- including Neutral Milk Hotel's first show ever, Radiohead at Mercury Lounge, and Pavement at CBGB's (with the long-lamented Gary on drums) -- there nonetheless remain certain musical titans which I never had the pleasure of witnessing. Of these, I count Felt as one of the saddest of all omissions. There simply are some things which we cannot hope to regain, and I daresay that no one shall ever again know the glory of Lawrence sauntering across the stage to the opening chords of "Primitive Painters."

As these heavy thoughts were passing through my head, I retired to my library for solace, and found it in a dusty leather-bound volume of New Musical Express back issues dating from 1986. There, among the illuminating pieces on youth suicide and FGTH, was Lawrence at his aesthetic zenith, giving a tour of his flat in Moseley while strenuously avoiding any discussion of his latest album (the incomparable Forever Breathes the Lonely Word). For the sake of history, I believe it is important to document those items which gave inspiration to the august artiste at that moment in time:

A batallion of Airwick Solids air freshners;
A small stack of records by Tim Hardin, Lee Hazelwood, Fred Neil and Scott Walker; and
A complete collection of first edition Jack Kerouac paperbacks.

Yes. Yes. A man among men. I tip my pipe and dare say that we shall never see the likes of him again.


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