I just read that Claude Luter passed away. F…

I just read that Claude Luter passed away. For those who know the book I co-edited for Rizzoli “Manual of Saint-Germain-des-Prés” by Boris Vian, his name comes up often. One of the key figures in the whole Paris post-war generation – he is probably the key figure to bring New Orleans jazz to that great city and culture.

Sadly not that much information on him in English, but I imagine him to be a fantastic personality – especially anyone who was close friends with Boris Vian. If I am not correct he played regular shows at A club till very recently. Luter was 83 years old and forever young. TamTam salutes you!

For us Americans, Raymond Queneau’s name comes …

For us Americans, Raymond Queneau’s name comes up between other writers. Georges Perec, Georges Bataille, Andre Breton, Michel Leiris, and so forth. He is also for the causal reader a hard writer to get a clear picture of his writing. In an essence he was the shadow writer of the 20th Century.

The first book I read of Queneau’s was “Exercises in Style,â€Â which in one way serves as a writing manual while at the same time it is a witty a charming piece of fiction. The thing is with Queneau’s writing is that you get a duality – that I think is important in his work.

One of his masterpieces (I tend to like everything by an author I admire) is “Hundred Thousand Billion Poems.â€Â It is a work that is never in place, it consistently moves. I think poetry should be written in air instead on rock. Or a book that looks like one of those changeable head/bodies/legs books.

Queneau’s most beloved book is probably “Zazie n the Metro.â€Â Written n colloquial French instead of academic French, Zazie was considered to be a work from a rebel. But a charming rebel. The book is charming with regards of Zazie investigating Paris via the Metro system. A great city novel.

For the Boris Vian obsessive I strongly recommend a book Queneau wrote under another name Sally Mara. Like Vian’s ‘Vernon Sullivan’ Queneau wrote a noir thriller called “We Always Treat Women Too Well.â€Â In many ways it is the sister or brother to Vian/Sullivan’s “I Spit on Your Graves.

He had a major impact on one pop artist, David Bow…

He had a major impact on one pop artist, David Bowie. He has admitted that Taylor was an influence for his Ziggy Stardust character. No, Taylor was not from outer space, he was from somewhere better: England.

Taylor became obsessed with Jesus of sorts and became a cult leader in the UK. He went from wearing all black to all white. In a sense from the negative to the positive. But what inspired Bowie was the pop singer as a religious messiah. Vince Taylor was that, but first he had to become a huge star in France.

I strongly suggest that you look up ‘Vince Taylor’…

I strongly suggest that you look up ‘Vince Taylor’ on YouTube.com. These little films are pure rock n’ roll imagery. In fact I can’t think of anything else that combines the imagery of Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising to rockabilly.

For more ‘practical’ info on Vince Taylor check out: