Just to show I'm not the only person given to occasional fits of nostalgia :-), here's a piece from Vanity Fair in which people who stayed at the famous "melting pot" of New York music and art creativity look back at their times there. I read it only because they listed my friend Robert Crumb as one of the contributors, and I was curious as to what he would say. (His comments were just SO Robert, and nailed it perfectly.)
But the piece did remind me of a lovely song written by Leonard Cohen, so I listened to it again this morning and I'll pass that along to those who either know it or who don't, but might like it if they did. It was one of *his* rare nostalgia songs, written for Janis Joplin when he learned of her death. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk7DOe5EGgM> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx83eIVkKyo> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk7DOe5EGgM <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk7DOe5EGgM> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk7DOe5EGgM> Risking the ire of those who have a samskara about name-dropping :-), I *have* run into both principals in this song in my life -- Leonard briefly at a TM wedding in L.A., and Janis back during her pre-really-famous years when we were hiring San Francisco bands for the rock concerts/light shows we promoted in college. That's why a couple of lines in the song strike me as poignant. And clenching your fist for the ones like us Who are oppressed by the figures of beauty You fixed yourself, you said, 'Well, never mind We are ugly, but we have the music.' THAT captures the Janis Joplin I observed in the early days, back before her fame earned her enough money to pay for dermabrasion to remove the physical scars of adolescent acne that had so disfigured her face. As powerful as she was up on stage, offstage there was still an aspect of the girl who had been called ugly pretty much every day of her life as she grew up. At least she had somewhat of a sense of humor about it, judging from this line from the song: You told me again you preferred handsome men But for me you would make an exception Now THAT is funny, because although Leonard could never be considered classically handsome, he had such charisma that even at that time he was the considered the epitome of the term "ladies man" in music circles. Among all of the self-important reminiscences of the hotel related by self-important people, Leonard's song still reigns supreme. I think it's nice that he took the time to remember the woman whose face may have been scarred but whose heart -- even then -- was a legend.