- Gebundene Ausgabe: 416 Seiten
- Verlag: Welcome Rain Publishers,US; Auflage: Har/Cdr (1. Mai 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1566491576
- ISBN-13: 978-1566491570
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,3 x 3,6 x 23,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
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Dig Infinity: The Life and Art of Lord Buckley (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Mai 2002
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Presents a biography of the American comedian, vaudevillian, and jazz musician.
Der Verlag über das Buch
Description & Author bio
The most sensational comic of our time. Frank Sinatra
A shameless con man, old-time vaudevillian, stand-up comedian and jazz shaman, Lord Buckley single-handedly brought the hip semantic into the mainstream in the 1950s, mixing scat singing, black street talk and the Kings English to tell and retell the stories of Jesus, Shakespeare, the Marquis de Sade, Lincolns Gettysburg Address, and much more. He also worked with and/or left his mark on the likes of Charlie Parker, Dylan, Sinatra and Armstrong to Neal Cassady, James Dean, Duke Ellington, Elvis, Marlon Brando and Lenny Bruce.
If so many of the most influential voices of our century were themselves influenced by this man, why is it that hardly anyone knows who he is? In this the first study of the man behind the myth, Oliver Trager explains Buckleys life and career and the enormous following he developed in the entertainment community as well as the reasons behind the obscurity into which the man and his work disappeared after his death in 1960. Dig Infinity! will be accompanied by CD compilation of recordings from some of Buckleys most legendary live performances and pieces.
The fuel to my success. Bob Dylan
(Buckley was) the only man who could make me laugh. Al Capone
OLIVER TRAGER has for the past twelve years been an editor at Facts On File News Services, where he is currently editor-in-chief of Editorials On File, a semi-monthly journal which objectively surveys daily newspaper opinion of major news events. He has also edited a series of Editorials On File books focusing on specific topics of social or political importance, including The Arts & Media in America, Americas Minorities & the Multicultural Debate, and Our Poisoned Planet. He produces and co-hosts an annual Lord Buckley radio show on WFMU, a free-form music station in New York City, and has produced, hosted and performed in Dig and Thou Shall Be Dug, semi-annual group performances of Buckleys material held in Greenwich Village.
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Trager's approach is suited to his subject. Rather than write a straightforward biography -- which would be difficult in any case because there are so many unanswered and unanswerable questions -- Trager has opted to tell His Lordship's life story through a sort of montage of mostly oral history. For this purpose he has interviewed, apparently, just about every living person on this sweet swingin' sphere who knew the Hip Messiah or was directly influenced by him in some way, and supplemented the interviews with excerpts from articles and other sources.
This approach makes the book read a bit like an extended episode of "Biography," flipping back and forth between the interviewees' reminiscences and the author's comments. It's not at all hard to follow; Trager even uses a different typeface for his own comments so we can tell what's narrative and what's not, and each interviewee/writer is clearly named at the beginning of each excerpt. (Each is introduced the first time one of his or her comments appears. If you forget who somebody is, you can flip to the back of the book and look up his first appearance; there's a list.)
It's about time somebody did a biography of The Lord of Flip Manor, and Trager's approach is highly appropriate to his subject. For example, by telling the story through the voices of others, he's able to present all the conflicting theories about Buckley's mysterious death without having to decide which one is most likely to be true. And more generally, since so much of Buckley's persona was realized through his interactions with other people anyway, it's fitting to present his life through the responses he created in the people around him. (You'll be amazed at the people he's influenced. Some of them are pretty obvious -- Robin Williams, Captain Beefheart, and so forth. But James Taylor? I've been listening to him for thirty years and I'd never have guessed -- and yet there's a song on _New Moon Shine_ that quotes directly from "God's Own Drunk.")
If you're a Buckley fan, you'll enjoy Trager's book. If not . . . well, I don't really know how to explain to you who and what Lord Richard Buckley was. Was he an entertainer? A saint? A scoundrel? A bodhisattva? A con man? A raconteur? A shaman? A swindler? An evangelist? A shameless moocher? An artist? An agent of God? A prankster? A drunk?
Above all, His Lordship was a sweet cat who blew a solid ace lick, and the way to meet him -- really the only way -- is to hear him. The book includes a CD with lots of good stuff on it, including several of His Lordship's raps and snippets from an interview with Studs Terkel. If you want to buy (or already own) the CD _His Royal Hipness_ (which is a re-release of _The Best of Lord Buckley_ and, if I'm not mistaken, the only Buckley CD currently available), don't worry about redundancy: the only overlap is in the two selections "The Nazz" and "People," and even these are different recordings.
Also worthy of mention: a very thorough discography and bibliography, and a selection of hard-to-find photographs.
I'm surprised by other readers' comments about poor copyediting/proofreading. Sure, I spotted a handful of typos, misspellings, and such, but I didn't think it was an unusually high number. Most of them, unsurprisingly, are in the transcriptions of the oral interviews -- references to e.g. "Tom Leherer [sic]" and "Betty [sic] Davis" and that sort of thing. (Also, readers who know what "erstwhile" means will be amused at one or two points, notably the introductory remarks on former Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten.)
And I don't think the format looks "pasted together" at all; on the contrary, I think Trager has done a marvelous job combing through many, many hours of interviews and putting the bits into coherent order.
On the other hand, I have to admit that there are a few things that could have been better handled. For example, there are many references to Buckley's "hat trick" during the first portion of the book, but we don't find out what the "hat trick" actually _was_ until something like page 182. At least a topical index would have been helpful here (though frankly it's not a job I'd have cared to tackle).
It would also have been nice if, in summarizing Lord Buckley's influence on the world of literature, Trager had thought to mention Spider Robinson, who works a Buckley reference into just about every science fiction novel he writes and who has probably done more than anyone else to keep Buckley's influence alive among SF fandom.
But it's always possible to pick on little omissions with a work like this. Trager has made a massively successful effort on a monumental task -- a task that, for him, is clearly something between a labor of love and a vision quest. God swing him.
CD includes some interviews by Studs Turkel, The Nazz, Murder, Ode to a Policeman... about 34 minutes... Well worth it ! - -