Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 21 May 04 07:43
Good morning, Tony ... yes, here we are in cyberspace. Thanks for these comments and questions (and all of the previous ones over the past two weeks). The Internet absolutely played a role in the development of 4 WAY STREET. While the genesis of this project began years ago, discussions in CSN(Y) oriented online tribes like The Lee Shore and postings on such sites as www.4waysite.com, www.suiteloraine.com, www.crosbycpr.com and www.crosbystillsnash.com renewed my enthusiasm for the guys and started me thinking seriously about taking a run at the CSNY Reader project. In addition, e-mail and web searches were critical during the process of tracking down, then communicating with writers and photographers, and finding certain articles. I couldn't imagine doing this project without "cyber help." As for the differences between writing the Crosby, Stills & Nash biography and editing the CSNY Reader ... the bio was easier, frankly, and more self-contained between Henry Diltz, Nash, Croz, Stills and me. Even though it took more *time* to write the biography and work with the guys on the copy and Henry with the photos, there was a very manageable center that never wavered. With 4 WAY STREET ... even though I had an ultimate vision of the end product, details kept changing and had to be re-adjusted as the content was pulled together. Also, as I was presenting a lot of writings and photos by others, I felt a *responsibility* to get it right and have the book be as dynamic and accurate as possible. These professional colleagues entrusted their works to me, so I didn't want to let them down. Thankfully, there were no major errors -- though the perfectionist in me sees the few that weren't caught. Hopefully, if book sales pick up, there will be a second printing and I can correct the things that got missed.
Buzz Person (thebuzzzz) Fri 21 May 04 08:15
Hey Dave... just a note of thanks for doing this... it's been informative and fascinating.... hope to see you in the east this summer...!!!
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 21 May 04 08:46
It's been my pleasure, Buzz. Will be going to the CSN(PR) show on August 9 in Holmdel, New Jersey. Hope to see you there. URL correction (entered incorrectly above): www.suitelorraine.com
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 21 May 04 08:50
And thanks for the kind words about how the discussion has gone ... I'm very happy so many WELL veterans have stopped in and contributed. Many thanks, folks.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 21 May 04 10:16
Thank you, Dave.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Fri 21 May 04 10:25
Dave... I've mentioned to you before what a splendid job you've done in both your books kind of orchestrating things... much the way a song writer would a song. Speaking in those terms, what is Four Way to your CSNY writing career?
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 21 May 04 11:23
Thanks for the kind words, Tony ... yes, writing about CSNY has often felt like a continuous "suite," so to speak. 4 WAY STREET, then, feels like the "coda." By that, I mean this book is like a concluding summation of my years of chronicling CSNY. The book includes so many of my favorite writers, writing about my favorite musicians, whenever I need a CSNY *fix*, I know where to go. I don't think there's another CSNY-related book that I want to tackle. At least not right now. For a number of years, I had my sights trained on Joni Mitchell. I don't think the definitive Mitchell biography has been written yet. But as initial overtures did not yield even a yellow light, I've kind of lost the impetus. I had also thought about a Stephen Stills biography. But, again, now I think I would rather read his *autobiography* -- which he's been writing, off-and-on, for more than 20 years. I hope he finishes it someday. So now ... while I will continue to follow the CSNY gang with as much enthusiasm as always, I won't be as focused on tracking every detail and collecting every clip, every article, every scrap of news about them. And when I do talk to the guys in the future, it won't be for formal sit-down interviews, but rather casual word trading sessions. Of course, after I hear the new C-N album, the Crosby box set, Stephen's new album and whatever Neil's up to next, I could always change my mind ...
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 21 May 04 12:00
It's been two weeks since this discussion officially launched, and I must say it's been a fascinating, lively conversation that I don't want to see end. Though our virtual spotlight has moved on to our new featured guest, I hope you'll feel free to continue talking here, Dave and Tony and everybody else who's participating. Thank you for joining us, it's been great having you! The topic will remain open and available for additional conversation, so carry on as long as you like.
Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Fri 21 May 04 13:20
Dave, I'd agree with you that the definitive Joni Mitchell bio hasn't been written yet. I've been pretty disappointed with the two Mitchell bios I've read, by Brian Hinton ("Both Sides Now") and Karen O'Brien ("Shadows and Light"). Hinton's book is kind of lousy, actually; it's not well written, and often ill-informed. O'Brien's is much better, but suffers from lack of access to Mitchell for first-hand interviews. The writing's competent but not so hot, and there was room for way more deep research and interviews with key Mitchell associates. I do hope you or someone else manages to do the in-depth bio she deserves, though it would be a difficult project to pull off. Without naming names, there are a few other rock icons besides Stills who seem to have been working on their autobiographies for decades. When such projects pass the ten-years-in-preparation mark, I begin to have serious doubts as to whether they'll ever be finished and published.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 21 May 04 14:02
I would agree with you on all counts, Richie, re: those Joni Mithcell books. And yes, writing the Mitchell biography would be a Herculean undertaking ... but it should be done ... by someone ... soon. According to a friend who is close to her, Joni has been working on her "memoirs" for some time, but I don't think she has a publishing deal (could be wrong, but if she did, I think it would have been widely publicized.) So she may join the list of the other rock icons you're talking about ... as the years go by, the chances of seeing their autobiographies in book form definitely dims.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Fri 21 May 04 14:09
I'd love to read a Stevie Nicks auto/biography.
Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Fri 21 May 04 14:17
While we're on the subject of rock autobios that are forever in the making, Bob Dylan's much-discussed multi-parter hasn't appeared yet, though the publication of the first installment was announced (and, predictably, delayed) two or three years ago. In contrast, a few other stars (David Crosby, Judy Collins) have managed to put out more than one autobiographical books.
Uncle Jax (jax) Fri 21 May 04 15:41
That's so much easier if you have multiple personalities ... :-)
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 21 May 04 19:00
<<I'd love to read a Stevie Nicks auto/biography.>> Me, too, Sharon. I interviewed her once as part of a Fleetwood Mac feature. Really enjoyed talking to her. Very colorful way with words ...
Dan Levy (danlevy) Sat 22 May 04 05:29
Dylan is making steady progress on his. The parts I've seen are truly brilliant. It will be worth the wait.
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Sat 22 May 04 06:08
[From Bill Evans] Dave: Before heading out, just wanted to thank you and all those involved in putting this insightful interview together. I have really enjoyed reading all the comments and appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer all our questions. It's only natural for fans to want to know as much as we can about the music we are so attracted to, and you deserve the highest accolades from me for continuing through the years to keep us intelligently informed. It is much appreciated. Thanks to all those that participated. I gained valuable insight from all of you.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sat 22 May 04 11:22
Bill! Thanks for your message and nice words as well as the questions you contributed to the topic -- which went in some great, surprising directions I never imagined it would ... special thanks again to <cmf>, <tnf>, <croz>, <digaman>, <folkrocks>, <slf>, <rrussell8>, <thebuzzzz>, <jax>, <almanac>, <rik>, <hll>, <joyceincali>, <cdb>, <bumbaugh>, <bluefox>, <pjm> and the others who made this discussion swing. Should other thoughts related to this topic strike your cranium in the coming days, feel free to post away. I'll be checking in periodically.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sat 22 May 04 16:30
<<... who made this discussion swing>> ?? ... who made this discussion fluid and engaging. that's what I meant to say ... ;-)
Howard Levine (hll) Sun 23 May 04 12:28
thanks to you Dave!
Opioids are a distasteful inflammation of Ron Howard (bluefox) Mon 24 May 04 20:45
And thanks from here! The book certainly has earned a well-earned spot on my music shelf and has given me a taste to read and listen more to some of my favorite musicians!
Speakin' as a child of the 80's (tinymonster) Tue 25 May 04 07:24
I'll echo the thanks! Having only a passing knowledge of the group, I didn't expect to get caught up in this topic as much as I did. It was an interesting and entertaining discussion.
Uncle Jax (jax) Tue 25 May 04 08:30
Great book, sort of a flashback in paperback :-) Thanks for chatting with us.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Tue 25 May 04 08:44
The pleasure was all mine, really. Thanks for these kind words today and the past couple ... about the book/discussion and the posts that kept this topic moving along. Again, if any other thoughts or questions arise in the coming days, I'll be around ...
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Tue 25 May 04 19:40
<jax> wrote: <sort of a flashback in paperback :-)> Meant to tell you that I like that description, Jack ... and if I use it ... I'll credit the source!
Uncle Jax (jax) Tue 25 May 04 22:32
My pleasure. Thanks again for a great presentation, Dave.
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