The Funniest People in Music, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
by David Bruce
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Some samples: 1) Dee Dee Ramone could be pretty crazy. When the Ramones first played in London, their record company gave them unlimited room service, and Dee Dee acted the way that he thought a rock star should act and ordered so many bottles of Scotch that in two days his room service bill was $700. The record company representatives were surprised by the size of the bill, and they told Dee Dee, “We just thought you were going to order some cheese sandwiches and Coca-Cola.” 2) In New York City, punk singer Patti Smith and artist Robert Mapplethorpe lived together with very little money. Ms. Smith remembers, “We had no money to get anything to eat, no money for art supplies—we were considerably down.” However, the two ran across an abandoned pair of very expensive alligator-skin shoes in the street; these shoes were worth $300 or $400. Ms. Smith looked at Mr. Mapplethorpe and asked, “Clothes or art?” Mr. Mapplethorpe replied, “Both,” and then he put on the shoes, using newspaper to make a good fit. A little later, he went home and put the expensive shoes in an art installation he was making. Ms. Smith remembers, “Everything was always Life or Art. It was magical when something could cross over and be both.” 3) Pianist Richard Goode was careless about money. Students would pay him with a check, and Mr. Goode would tell them to put the check in a drawer that was filled with uncashed checks—some of them years old. Children believed that Mr. Goode was a very rich man because when they visited him they saw money lying on the floor. As you would expect, Mr. Goode was also careless in his housekeeping during his bachelor years. A student was present when a cabinet fell off a kitchen wall, resulting in broken crockery everywhere. When the student returned for a lesson two weeks later, the mess had not yet been cleaned up.
- David Bruce, October 2011
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