Letters #2: Influences

When you’re starting out you may find that there are many writers and musicians whose work you dig, but I’d keep an eye out for those who really knock your socks off, who make you want to dance naked in the street, howl at the moon and make love to strangers; who, when you read them or hear them, it feels raw and exhilarating and you feel the feeling so intensely and deeply that it’s beyond anything a few words can even start to pin down. 

Don’t feel any great need to justify to yourself or to anyone else why it moves you.  It’s important enough that you feel it.  Not being able to describe the feeling might even be a good thing. 

Stick to these people because, yes, they may be some kind of role model but better yet, they may each begin to feel like a good friend, one that you never know but then of course you really do know, because their work is with you all along the way.  

A few for me are Jim Morrison, Jack Kerouac, Hemingway, Bob Dylan and Charlie Parker.  The Beatles, Stones, Bruce, Monk, Fellini, and Robert Johnson.  Picasso and Kubrick.  Ferlinghetti and Tom Waits. Patti Smith and Allen Ginsburg.  Goya, Miró, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Howlin’ Wolf and Charley Patton.

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