"Mr. Clopman, you're just being audited, Hell's on a lower floor."
There will be countless public lamentations this week, learned disquisitions on New Journalism and the legacy of HST written by the chattering classes who claimed him and his style as influences, but remained untouched by his intent. They will blog about him in their electronic diaries, hoist a few, smoke the ceremonial joint if they can scrounge up some chronic from the kids.
No matter who he knew or had dinner with, or outright bought like a pound of lox, somehow he could only be an associate member of the Portico Club, despite the fact he owned the lease.
This isn't a perfect book by any means, and it could have used some judicious editing, especially to tighten the narrative flow, but who's going to edit Dylan?
Even in the gloom it took little imagination to visualize what had gone on here long ago when the house had been properly maintained and staffed. Those not dancing were crowded around the makeshift wet bars set up on the patio, sipping their champagne cocktails, side cars or slow gin fizzes, the bartenders pouring with alacrity and practiced skill. If Jay Gatsby had summered in southern Maine instead of Long Island, this might all have been his.
Dylan, without benefit of clergy or A.J. Weberman, on the move through twisted famedreams, acid visions populated with amphetamine figures -- Lonzo, Murph the Surf, The Senator, Jesus Christ, Suzy Q., The Good Samaritan, James Cagney.
One evening he was working a gathering so exclusive that even the regulars were persona non grata. There was a rigid guest list so sexually servicing or bribing the bouncer cut no ice tonight. If Christ the King had shown up without an invite, he'd have been given the gate too.
A year earlier, the younger man had shown up wearing sackcloth and carrying a "SHAME!" placard at an annual stockholder's meeting. The year before that, he'd chained himself to the board room credenza and had to be extricated by the fire department, an episode which severely eroded shareholder confidence in the CEO's leadership abilities.
Yes, I'm talking about the early acid phase of rock, just before the head culture was slipped into the media's mass-cult fold with the invention of the hippie, beginning the slippery slope from doper to yuppie culture
Government, opined the young conservative, is too important to be left to the whims of the governed. The old man laughed delightedly.
Maureen didn't have to be the Amazing Kreskin to see my metaphysical predicament and soon after tea and a joint, we found ourselves in bed. If sex was any indicatior of spiritual development, I'd blundered into nirvana.
Part of the unspoken game was to bag the publicist, or the journalist, or the cute little manager assistant, or the lady rock star, or whoever, just to collect scalps.
Publishing was a place where all great matters affecting the state of the world could be discussed over sherry. For the vestal "virgins" employed therein, literature was a sacrament that only the well-connected could dispense.
It could be that women have always been trained to exude innocence without ever having any.
"Yeah, you know what distinguishes Jews from everyone else is that the Jew intuitively knows he can cut a deal with God."
Legend has it that Pancho Villa, fed up with Bierce's wisecracks and dour company, put him against a wall and shot him.
The music was loud, the atmosphere smoky and there were women there with whom he could get lucky if he had a mind to.
This bunch of seekers was too militant, that bunch too authoritarian. Another demanded he shave his head and wear saffron robes even though he was allergic.
The Right weighs in with Ann Coulter and P.J. O'Rourke types who view national and international affairs from the comparatively "enlightened" perspective of a high school cadet who, joint in hand, looks down from his perch on the bathroom sink to disparage the spirit committee's do-gooding, soft-minded liberal Democrats and their weak-kneed, New Age-demented neohippie spawn.
Think of all those writers, layout people, printers, photo retouchers, news agents, distributors, perverts, and voyeurs who would have to be laid off if people got back into straight sex without the commentary. Federal disaster monies would have to be allocated.