Friday, November 09, 2007
I finished reading Morton Feldman's "Give My Regards to 8th St." this afternoon which, shockingly, I'd never gotten around to before (thanks for the book, Jon!). Of course, I'd read numerous excerpts and stories from it over the years. My favorite had always been the following:
I was having a conversation with my teacher, I wasn't studying at the time. His name was, a fabulous guy by the name of Stefan Wolpe. And Stefan came out of a 1920 Weimar Republic. He was Marxist and he had a studio on at that time, more so now, one of the more proletariat streets in New York. It was on 14th Street and 6th Avenue. And I brought him a new piece. I wasn't studying with him but I was still seeing him, bringing him my music. I brought him a new piece and he says, "Morton" he says, "it's so esoteric, you're so esoteric. Isn't there such a thing as the man in the street?" He was on the second floor. And we're looking down and who's walking across 14th Street and 6th Avenue - Jackson Pollock.
I didn't know for sure that this story was in the book at hand (the above quote is actually the same story from another lecture, I think) but figured it was. It's toward the end of the book and I arrived at it while waiting for Linda to meet her for a movie and dinner as I was leaning against the side of a building at 14th St. and 6th Ave.