Laurie Anderson





THE FABULOUS joy of me interviewing Laurie Anderson for your super soaraway Sounds is that there is none of the usual artist/journalist common ground.

Despite her initials she isn't a bonnet-posing, screeching and whining, fist-shaking rock and roller buried beneath a 'rebellion' style bar-chord barrage of comfy conformity. And I'm not de-personalised and 'professional' enough to stand in line with recorder and a list of questions to fire-off relating to the vagaries of Performance Art.

(To be honest I'm much more interested in the soft spikey clusters and breath-taking transcendental beauty of her haircut and the striking sartorial imperfection of her slightly over-sized jacket with sleeves that terminate at a well-beyond-the-norm point halfway along the hands. Pretending to do an interview was a necessary evil it as to gain first-hand experience of these rare and wondrous things.)

Before beginning in her present line of work, Laurie wrote reviews of minimal sculpture (for four years! I didn't know there were that many minimal sculptures). Often finding these objects lacking in warmth and passion she used her (then) favourite artist, Van Gogh, as a constant reference point. Eventually she began prefacing her reviews with 'This artist, unlike Van Gogh...'. Maybe I should have started this feature: 'This artist, unlike Joan Jett...

You are, American, so I assume you grew up listening to the radio?

"American radio is all (adopts sickening slick drawl) 'Hi, it's 90 degrees today and the freeways are clear'. It basically caters for eight year old minds. I grew up in a town near Chicago and there was a station with a show by a guy called Studs Terkle.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


mick sinclair

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