I read The Great Gatsby for the third time last week, finishing it Saturday on the plane back to London. Loved it, of course. Then sleep-deprived on the tube back to my flat , I pulled Sheilah Graham's The Real F. Scott Fitzgerald: Thirty-Five Years Later out of my suitcase and have been enjoying it since; interesting and a pleasure to read. I found it at The Book Barn in Niantic, CT, off Exit 74 on I-95. I highly recommend stopping in if you're ever in the area. They have a vast amount of books, stored in barns and on carts, many many paperbacks for only $1. I have tried twice to begin Tender Is The Night and was thwarted by outside influences both times, but I'm determined to read it soon. Have brought it, This Side Of Paradise, The Last Tycoon, and some short stories back to London with me.
In August of 2005, I took a break from reading Gravity's Rainbow to read The Beautiful & Damned. I remember really liking the first 2/3 and being depressed by the ending. I know I wrote down some phrases from it to use as possible song titles but for the life of me, I've no idea where that list is now. This cover to the edition I was reading was, however, a big influence on the idea of what would become H Bird that was at the time forming in my mind:
A story I've never told anyone before but I'm feeling rather maudlin this evening so...Late one night, I was riding the Overground back to West Hampstead/Kilburn where I was living at the time. A very pretty blonde was sitting across from me and, all smiles, made a show and a bit of a dance to see what I was reading. Maudlin then too and as almost always incredibly shy, I simply moved the cover in her direction, smiled slightly, and went back to reading. I have always kicked myself over this and wondered what might have happened if I had engaged in the conversation she was quite obviously open to. Ah, the regrets and stupidity of youth.
Anyways, finally getting to my reason for posting - Blake Hazard, the great-granddaughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ms. Hazard lived in Boston, MA at the same time I was there. And although I never met her, the record company I was a partner in, The Archenemy Record Company, included her song Glittering on our Know Your Enemy compilation. (Interesting fact: We had the mirrored digipacks, so you would see yourself in them as 'the enemy', made in The Netherlands and the cds themselves manufactured in Canada, each country being cheapest for said product. When the digipacks arrived at Customs in NYC, they had never encountered such an item before - an empty digipack made from such paper, without the cd - and thus had to invent a new tariff for it).
Here's the Spotify link for Glittering from Blake's 2002 Little Airplanes album (2 free mp3s up at link). A different version from the comp. A lovely melancholy tune, which nonetheless expresses hope. And here's Waiting from the same record:
Blake is better known these days for being half of The Submarines with John Dragonetti. Perhaps my favourite Submarines song, Shoelaces: