If you imagine that I’m relentlessly driving myself to complete my Robert Ashley book before school starts, you would be correct. I’m not quite going to make it, but I’m very close. This is in addition to having written a piano piece, a viola piece, and two string quartets this summer (and reading three volumes of Taruskin’s Oxford music history). I’m never again going to work this hard during the summer without a compelling financial incentive. This week I transferred all of my interviews with Bob to compact discs, and found that they fill up 18 CDs. Someday when someone writes a proper biography of Bob (as opposed to the intro-to-the-life-and-works I’m doing), all this biographical material could come in handy. I can’t use half of what I’ve got.
There are some good stories in the book. My favorite is that when Bob stumbled across the text that would become Perfect Lives, he was trying to write a screenplay for an updated version of The Wizard of Oz. Also, the kid across the street that Bob grew up playing with became Marilyn Monroe’s gynecologist.