Reading obituaries of the recently departed J D Salinger, I was awestruck by his achievements. After having a big success with Catcher in the Rye he disappeared from view, declining to publish anything else. While doing that, he had various affairs with young women. At the age of 53, he had a long affair with 18-year-old fan, and then he married another woman who was 40 years younger than him.
So basically, Salinger lay around doing nothing very much, living off his royalties, while young women just threw themselves at him. This man is my hero.
I wish I could spend the rest of my life lying on the couch watching SpongeBob SquarePants, meanwhile women are beating a path to my door. It sounds great. It's the ideal life for a writer, never actually having to write anything again. You have to take your hat off to J D Salinger for managing to do this.
Every time I make a foray into modern music the results are disappointing. I was listening to Joy Division's Transmission, and thinking, as I generally do 'This is a great record' and also thinking 'Oh dear, that came out a really long time ago, and I remember watching them play it live before it was even released, so I must be getting old' - when I became aware that there was a cover version, by Hot Chip. I am informed that Hot Chip are a popular modern band. I head for youtube to listen to their version. I don't like it. It makes no sense to me. I can't imagine why they made a cover version like that. (But hey, everything else they've recorded might be great, I wouldn't know)
So, that was another disappointing exposure to modern music.
Watching Joy Division on stage at the end of the 70s was a mesmerising experience. I remember buying the single Transmission, at Rough Trade Records, in their original shop in Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill. Which would have been in 1979, I suppose.
That original Rough Trade shop was like a small wonderland at the time. The walls were covered with picture sleeves from singles, which, in original punk days, was a new innovation. You could go into the shop and end up buying things just by seeing what looked good on the walls. They sold fanzines, too, which was also a new innovation. Somewhere, packed away, I still have some original copies of Sniffing Glue, original punk fanzine.
Here's a picture of where the first Rough Trade record shop was, in Kensington Park Road. It's now a toy shop, Cheeky Monkeys. This picture is slightly distorted, possibly because I'm not very good at manipulating Google street view.