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Hugo House "Write-o-Rama"

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

October 30, 2022

Video From the movie Basquait:

From "Crooner" by Ishiguro:

Tony Gardner had been my mother’s favourite. Back home, back in the communist days, it had been really hard to get records like that, but my mother had pretty much his whole collection. Once when I was a boy, I scratched one of those precious records. The apartment was so cramped, and a boy my age, you just had to move around sometimes, especially during those cold months when you couldn’t go outside. So I was playing this game jumping from our little sofa to the armchair, and one time I misjudged it and hit the record player. The needle went across the record with a zip—this was long before CDs—and my mother came in from the kitchen and began shouting at me. I felt so bad, not just because she was shouting at me, but because I knew it was one of Tony Gardner’s records, and I knew how much it meant to her. And I knew that this one too would now have those popping noises going through it while he crooned those American songs. Years later, when I was working in Warsaw and I got to know about black-market records, I gave my mother replacements of all her worn-out Tony Gardner albums, including that one I scratched. It took me over three years, but I kept getting them, one by one, and each time I went back to see her I’d bring her another.

So you see why I got so excited when I recognised him, barely six metres away. At first I couldn’t quite believe it, and I might have been a beat late with a chord change. Tony Gardner! What would my dear mother have said if she’d known! For her sake, for the sake of her memory, I had to go and say something to him, never mind if the other musicians laughed and said I was acting like a bell-boy.

From "The Blues I'm Playing" by Hughes:

"You don't know, child," said Mrs. Ellsworth, "what men are like." "Yes, I do," said Oceola simply. And her fingers began to wander slowly up and down the keyboard, flowing into the soft and lazy syncopation of a Negro blues, a blues that deepened and grew into rollicking jazz, then into an earth-throbbing rhythm that shook the lilies in the Persian vases of Mrs. Ellsworth's music room. Louder than the voice of the white woman who cried that Oceola was deserting beauty, deserting her real self, deserting her hope in life, the flood of wild syncopation filled the house, then sank into the slow and singing blues with which it had begun. The girl at the piano heard the white woman saying, "Is this what I spent thousands of dollars to teach you?" "No," said Oceola simply. "This is mine. . . . Listen! . . . How sad and gay it is. Blue and happy -- laughing and crying. . . . How white like you and black like me. . . . How much like a man. . . . And how much like a woman. . . . Warm as Pete's mouth. . . . These are the blues. . . . I'm playing." Mrs. Ellsworth stay very still in her chair looking at the lilies trembling delicately in the priceless Persian vases, while Oceola while Oceola made the bass notes throb like tomtoms deep in the earth.

From "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby:

The other people I like are the ones who are being driven to find a tune that has been troubling them. Distracting them, a tune that the can hear in their breath when they run for a bus, or in the rhythm of their windshield wipers when their driving home from work. Sometimes something banal and obvious is responsible for the distraction: they have heard it on the radio, or at the club. But sometimes it has come to them as if by magic. Sometimes it has come to them because the sun was out, and they saw someone who looked nice, and they suddenly found themselves humming a snatch of a song they haven’t heard for fifteen or twenty years; once, a guy came in because he had dreamed a record, the whole thing, melody, title, and artist. And when I found it for him (it was an old reggae thing, “Happy Go Lucky Girl” by the Paragons), and it was more or less exactly as it had appeared to him in his sleep, the look on his face made me feel as though I was not a man who ran a record shop, but a midwife, or a painter, someone whose life is routinely transcendental.

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