Archive for April, 2011
It’s easy to be generous when you’re on a roll
It’s hard to be grateful when you’re out of control
And love is gone…
– Paul Simon, “Love and Hard Times”
Sad news today about the death of the extraordinary pop-jazz singer Phoebe Snow.
Like many people, I loved her music since her first album, which came out in 1974. I saw in concert once or twice in Boston, and then when I moved to New York City as a busy and ambitious freelance journalist, I interviewed her for an article for Rolling Stone. The story never ran, because the album the story was tied to got shelved. But I had hit it off really well with Phoebe, so I proposed to do a profile of her for Esquire. It was my first foray into long-form magazine journalism — I spent months researching and writing the piece, and it was a landmark for me. The article got a lot of attention.(You can read it online here.) It was the beginning of my long relationship with Adam Moss, who was still a junior editor at Esquire before becoming the wunderkind of the NYC magazine world. And I got to hang out with Phoebe Snow for hours and hours. She was really fun and funny, touching and vulnerable and not a little bit crazy. I would see her periodically over the years, socially and in concert. I was very sad to learn last year that she’d had a serious stroke, and today marks the end of an era.
Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein