Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Wrong Mistakes

Finished that Bob Hope bio (which had an owl in it, like every book: Bob Hope described as a "night owl") and now I've moved on to a Thelonious Monk bio written by Robin D.G. Kelley, which I picked up in hardcover at Square Books back in 2009, and it's just been patiently sitting there on the shelf ever since. It starts out with something pretty surprising: the subject of the biography coming to the author in a dream! This was 30 years before the writing of the book, when the author was an aspiring pianist: "he came to me in a dream. Decked out in divine alligator shoes, a dark green silk suit, yellow tie, bamboo sunglasses, and a cold straw hat, he snuck up behind me as I sat hunched over my stepfather's Steinway upright, looked over my shoulder, and simply mumbled, 'You're making the wrong mistakes.'" I also read this about Monk: "One of his favorite pranks was to stare intensely at a spot on the ceiling or in the sky... Invariably, several people would look up with him." That reminds me of the gag Saint Thomas More used to pull!