Wednesday, April 3, 2013

More Reflections

Van Dyke Parks

(This is excerpted from a letter to a San Diego journalist, Gary Warth)

Paul and I spent an enormous amount of time together. I introduced him to Brian Wilson and other musical movers and shakers---all to bring his forensic reportage to what had been a mindless adjunct to the record racket 

By the time Paul wrote of my debut album (in his 13th issue), he had helped validate the efforts of many who brought new emphasis on the song-form's political potency in their lyrics.

It's quite true that Paul precedes Jann Wenner in all of this. I remember Jann's coming to my office at WB, seeking advertising revenue. I lobbied to get him some accounts, by which WB weighed in first among such companies to invest in Rolling Stone's future. I remember speaking with Wenner about my regard for Paul, and cautioned Wenner: "...and in your next issue'd be a good idea to staple your pages Paul does...."

Gary----you just can't make up stuff like that.

So many owe a great gratitude to Paul for his pioneering work.
Yet, somehow, I doubt that will be reflected in the response to solicitations for donations to his surviving family. How Cindy Lee has raised their son during Paul's lengthy illness is a major testament to her courage, loyalty  and derring-do. I hope those of us who survived the record industry, and ended up as people of property---will respond to her discrete request for a donation, to make it possible for Paul's heirs to enjoy some benefits worthy of their potential similar invention. Tuitions loom, once the rents have been paid..

Thanks for opening the door for that to
Optimistic as ever,
Van Dyke


Stan Ridgway

RIP Author Paul Williams -The great, passionate visionary writer, publisher, incisive critic, culture observer, art lover, and pioneer for the "rock scribe ". who wrote about music seriously as ART. And it was. A new and pioneering approach when his self published magazine Crawdaddy hit in the stands late 60's . He elevated the value of music and recorded work and made everybody think. - to a level that inspired.and gave it value. And gave us all, listeners, artists and music makers , a place to aspire to.


Wayne Robins (A Brief History of Rock)

And a link to a piece by Wayne Robins (who read from Paul's book Outlaw Blues at the gallery exhibit for Paul's work in New York)


Michael Lydon (Ray Charles: Man and Music)

Just gotta say: Sunday was so good in every way!! Good to see you! Good to see Paul's work so beautifully, interestingly, and respectfully laid out. Good to see so many people who knew Paul in different ways and at different times. Good that you spoke, and that you and Lenny played and sang, and got everybody singing. Good that Ellen, and Wayne read. So good that you encouraged me to do my song. Good to mingle and chat--we met numerous very interesting people.

    You were a great hostess, but in a nutty way I felt that Paul was throwing the party, and he would have loved it, the low key but affectionate feeling, the way we all enjoyed each other, and I think that, modest as he is, he would have been pleased to feel all the admiration and interest in his work and his self.

    Then Sunday night at the Treehouse, you sounded great, so many different colors in your guitar playing and voice, such good songs. You and Lenny make a sympathetic duo, and Alexander piped in just right. I'm sure the whole day added to his sense of what a fine man his Dad is.

    My father was stricken with Parkinsonism when I was about four or five, and for the rest of his life, his mobility and his voice were always, slowly getting worse. Perhaps toughest of all, his stiffened face lost its  ability to show much emotion, so we all often had little idea what he was thinking and feeling.

    Yet I always, and today more than ever, love and admire my Dad, and I got from him everything a young fellow needs to get from a father. I bet this Sunday was an important day for Alander to know how all kinds of people respect and admire and love his father (and his Mom!!).

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