Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Proud Highway

September 25, 1965
 318 Parnassa
 San Fransisco

"Dear Jim- As its happens, your letter came the morning after I saw Lightnin' Hopkins at a club here called The Matrix. I know one of the owners and go there pretty often. If you're looking around for some action on the folk-rock scene, get set for a group called the Jefferson Airplane, which also works out of The Matrix. They will lift the top of your head right off. A really wild sound. It won't be out for a while; the just went to L.A. to record last week, but when it comes out it's going to go like Zaannnggg!!! They make those silly goddamn Beatles look like choirboys.

In the meantime, be careful what you tell your friends about my fame and fortune. We could both end up looking pretty silly. At the moment I've sold two books-one of which is lousy, and the other isn't even written. So take it easy. It looks like things are happening, but these things happen real slow as far as fame and fortune are concerned. And a lot of damn good people aren't making a dime.

Speaking of that, I have another article in this week's Nation (September 27), and I guess the December Pageant will have another one. They're both old things and I barely remember what I wrote, But if you see them send a line and say what you think. I'd really like to know how my style strikes you on various pieces. Also tell Mom that Dow-Jones is putting out something called The Observer's World in November, and they tell me I have a few pieces in it. I think it's a good book. Anyway, look for it.

As far as whatever stage you're in, and whatever you think about your destiny, I sure as hell wouldn't worry about it. When I was your age my future was nothing less then grim-and I suppose it still is, to some god-fearing people-but since then I've managed to get around a bit and do just about what I intended to do in the first place. All you need to do is figure out what your action is and hang on, no matter what they tell you. And even if you never make it, you'll feel better trying instead of giving up and going along with the noise crowd. But right now you don't have to worry about what you're going to do. The important thing is to follow your instincts about what you aren't going to do. Most people wind up going against their instincts, and it makes them miserable for the rest of their lives. It'll be five more years before you really begin to get the drift of what you should be doing. So, in the meantime, keep loose and listen to Dylan***. And write me again. You write damn good letters. I was 20 before I could write a decent postcard.

Love, Hunter"

***Even though Sexaramous and her mother have informed me that Bob Dylan is one of the worst, most overrated, singers of all time... haha

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