Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, June 07, 2004


Rest in peace Robert Quine, noisy dissonant beautiful hot guitarist on the early Richard Hell records and on Lou Reed's “The Blue Mask,” which I haven’t heard in many years and would love to hear again. Heroin is the devil.

My friend Jay Sherman-Godfrey knew Quine from the New York rock guitar scene:

“I was acquainted w/ him from hanging out at Mojo guitar shop on St. Marks. It was like the Floyd's barber shop for guit freaks in NY. I had the honor of one of my solos on a They Might Be Giants record being wiped to make room for him.

“Quine was was very cool, but also very enthusiastic about music if you could engage him. A real NY eccentric with his 24/7 shades and permanent black suit. His storage space was legend at the shop -- filled to the brim with guitars. Then, he had no time for vintage and would tell you so. He preferred $300 Japanese Strats when I was acquainted with him.”


Elvin Jones died a few weeks ago. I revere his drumming with the Coltrane Quartet.

Once I heard “A Love Supreme” emanating from an airport Starbucks. It shocked me. “What’s Starbucks doing playing religious music?” That it shocked me only proves my unimaginative snobbery. Starbucks workers deserve whatever religious uplift they can find, just like anybody.


This morning's Doonesbury sharply illustrated how kids today transcend rebellion, which I wrote about last night. Rick Redfern's son says to him, "There's no generation gap, like back in the day. Adults your age are invisible to us."

Has King Oedipus finally wandered blindly offstage?


The toddling dude was taking his bath, playing with a plastic duck. “Du du du,” he was saying. He gets the vowel sounds right but omits the closing consonants, and only a handful of words have more than one syllable in his version. Mama. Dadda. Backpack. Mama and Dada sometimes proliferate into a bouquet of syllables, “Mamamamama” or “Daddaddaddadda.”

I asked him, “What does the duck say?”

“Wa wa,” he said, rhyming with “quack quack.”

Then he pointed at me and said “Dadda.”

“What does Dadda say?” I asked.

He looked puzzled for half a moment but struck upon an answer that surprised me. “Dadda,” he said, with a big smile.

“And who are you?” I asked.

“Na,” he said.

“And what does Nat say?”

“Na!” Big smile.

All that we say is our name, and more than our name, our identity. And more than our identity: Our being. The word is made flesh in our lungs and windpipes and mouths. Being a man of my word, when I break my word I break a part of my being.

Like many metaphysical theories, I like it, it gets at a truth. Like any metaphysical theory, not the whole truth. My newly adopted linguistic ontology is not fundamentalist or dogmatic, that would be silly.

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