I blame Keith Richards. And Andre Agassi. Who'd a thought?
Since reading Life, and Open I have been rediscovering the joys associated with reading about someone else's life.
Currently I have Groucho and Me by Groucho Marx as a guide to comedy, brotherhood, and living well and waiting in the wings I have four others:
Ozzy Osbourne - I Am Ozzy
Neil McCormick - Killing Bono
Ronnie Wood - Ronnie
Patti Smith - Just Kids
Groucho And Me (His real name was Julius Marx) was written in 1959 when he was still active as an entertainer.
As a comedian he was a genius and he's right when he says that comedians 'are a much rarer and a far more valuable commodity than all the gold and precious stones in the world. But because we are laughed at, I don't think people really understand how essential we are to their sanity'.
He's also smart. Smart enough to quote the playwright S Behrman (no - I hadn't heard of him either) on how good comic acting trumps straight dramatic acting:
Any playwright who has been up against the agony of casting plays will tell you that the actor who can play comedy is the fellow to shoot for. The comic intuition gets to the heart of a human situation with a precision and a velocity unobtainable in any other way. A great comic actor will do it for you with an inflection of voice as adroit as a flick of the wrist of a virtuoso fencer.A pretty decent description of the wonderful Groucho!
Love and Peace - Wozza