The Banana millennium

Before I forget: Nurri and I got ourselves over to the NY Art Book Fair yesterday, which was as totally great as you’d imagine it would be. I picked up obvious jouissance-bait like Topologies: The Urban Utopia in France, 1960-1970, a Sarai reader on The Cities of Everyday Life and – surprise surprise, given my recent fascination with all things A’dam – a slim, elegant and entirely inspiring volume called Provo: Amsterdam’s Anarchist Revolt.

But what I really wanted to buy, and just couldn’t justify, was a limited edition art book of photos of the Velvet Underground, featuring bespoke essays by Jonathan Richman, William Gibson, Jack Womack (!) and others. The Gibson and Womack essays, particularly, explain everything. Everything.

Gibson’s piece has a gorgeous passage in which he describes hearing The Velvet Underground and Nico for the first time in the same summer that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band came out, and in which it was not yet at all clear that “Sgt. Pepper would become, well, Sgt. Pepper.” The man goes on to drop one of those trademark density bombs, this one with a yield of galactic-level whoah, at least for me: imagine a world in which The Velvet Underground and Nico had been the one that broke big. (That Gibson goes on to imply that our own 2007 is in fact indistinguishable from such a world’s, us simply having taken the long, slow way here, did nothing to lessen the Keanu-grade impact.)

And so that’s how I thought of us on waking up this morning: as happy citizens of the Banana millennium; as celebrants, truly, of all tomorrow’s parties. Happy October. : . )

2 responses to “The Banana millennium”

  1. Jamie says :

    I suspect that the volume about the VU that you mention is c/o The Velvet Underground, New York, N.Y.. If so, it is purported to be available through its publisher, an NYC bookseller/gallery, John McWhinnie/Glenn Horowitz. They put out the book this past year, in conjuction with an exhibition of VU-related artifacts. The exhibition was amazing.

    Gibson’s “what if?” question is almost infinitely fascinating.

  2. speedbird says :

    Yowza! Your Google-fu is indeed impressive.

    What a great post, BTW, on the VU exhibition. (I had similar, but far less intense, feelings upon being handed Timothy Leary’s copy of Aleister Crowley’s Book of Thoth earlier this year, not because it had been Leary’s but because it had earlier been Crowley’s own personal copy.) Sure wish I had seen that show, though.

    You may also wish to see Jack Womack’s hysterical, high-bodycount pastiche/send-up of the Delmonico shrinks’ dinner in the “Max Your Po” sequence of his series-capping Going, Going, Gone!.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s