Over at JazzWax, Marc Myers is conducting a multi-part interview with Laurie Verchomin, the “Laurie” of Bill Evans’s famous composition. During the final year-and-a-half of his life, when he was in physical deterioration and creative resurgence, Evans and Verchomin had a romantic and intellectual relationship of depth and intensity. His years of drug addiction had doomed him, and he knew it. She dedicated herself to him in his final months. This is one of the exchanges in the second installment of the interview.
JW: Why was someone as gifted and as in control as Evans so hopelessly addicted to something so obviously destructive?
LV: I never did figure that out. That part of him was a really deep place. I don’t know why someone like Bill would be so persistently self-destructive. It’s such a conundrum. It’s such a riddle. For me it’s still a mystery. The only way to understand Bill was to realize that destruction and creativity exist simultaneously. Because Bill was so intensely creative, he had an intensely destructive side. He told me he never could do anything halfway. It all had to be to the extreme. He felt the same way about his addictions.
To read transcripts of the first and second installments of the Laurie Verchomin interview, go to JazzWax.