David Thomas is kind of an asshole–everyone I’ve talked to agrees. ((All I had to do was mention him on Facebook and the post was filled with horror stories)) I don’t think it bothers him too much. It’s part of this curmudgeon-victim-smartest-guy-in-the-room thing he’s got going on. In this sense, and in the sense that he’s been churning out brilliance for over four decades now, he reminds me of the poet Bill Knott.
Let’s just say that Lady from Shanghai, this year’s Pere Ubu album, is still the best thing I’ve heard all year. So when Clash Music asked if I wanted to interview him, I jumped at the chance.
Some of the ideas he put out there in that Simon Reynolds’ book–about class and creativity–make me pissed-off and ill-tempered, ((Basically, Thomas theorizes that truly adventurous, boundary-shattering art can only be created by middle-class/rich people, because blue collar folks are too focused on making a buck. Which basically discounts the inventions of jazz/hip-hop/rock not to mention the writing of Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, and many, many others)) but an e-mail interview is no place to try and resolve that kind of thing. To my credit, I only fucked with him a little bit.