Sunday, January 28, 2007

Reading matters

Ahmet Ertegun: Eclectic, Reminiscent, Amused, Fickle, Perverse, by George W. S. Trow.

Trow's masterful literary prose profile of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun was first published in May 1978. Trow died late November 2006. Several weeks earlier, Ertegun, by now age 83, fell backstage at the Beacon Theatre, New York City, at a performance of The Rolling Stones for the 60th birthday of Bill Clinton. Ertegun later lapsed into a coma and died mid-December 2006.

Ertegun probably wouldn't have wanted to go any other way.

As well as Ertegun, Trow's cast of characters include Mick Jagger, David Geffen, Prince Rupert Lowenstein, The Rolling Stones, Stephen Stills, Duke Ellington, Pelé, Jerry Wexler, Ray Charles, Waxie Maxie, Ruth Brown, Professor Longhair, Joe Turner, Tom Dowd, Ivory Joe Hunter, Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters, Led Zeppelin, Andy Warhol, Bette Midler, Bianca Jagger . . .

It's fine writing, George Trow is a joy to read. But beware, this is a long article. So make yrself a cup of tea, then read on: New Yorker (part 1) and New Yorker (part 2).

More Trow. The New Yorker magazine has turned the entirety of its magazine over to a single work four times: John Hersey's Hiroshima, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, and Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth. The fourth is Trow's Within the Context of No Context. To read the opening section of that essay, click on any of the labels below.

1 comment:

Nick F said...

I really enjoyed the article about Ahmet Ertegun. Took me a whole week end to read it though.