On Saturday, the very last day possible, I saw the Billy Childish show at the Lehmann Maupin gallery just a few blocks from my apartment.
Who is Billy Childish? Well, according to the wall text . . .
But according to me: Billy Childish is a British punk rock musician whose music I was introduced to in 1995 and for a good many years I was nearly obsessed with. Ask me what my favorite band of all time is and I'll hem and haw trying to pick between the Milkshakes, Thee Mighty Caesars, and Thee Headcoats.
Billy also paints and writes, and his painting has improved. He's a big deal now, to the gallery folk.
I was partial towards his volcano work.
On the second floor of the gallery there was a room exhibiting some of his books and records. If you were at the show with me you would have had to listen to me pointing to each record, one at a time, saying: "Got that one, love that one, don't have that one, don't have that one, got that one . . . no, not that one, that one, bought that one two days before going into the MTC, bought that one the other week when I was in California, don't have that one, never heard of that one, totally have that one . . ." and on and on.
And these are barely a drop in the album bucket. I was kind of disappointed in the number of compilations and retrospectives on the wall. Those ones don't count.
And the books! Books whose names I had only seen in Maximum Rock n Roll articles or read on websites of the late mid-nineties.
Self published (well, technically it's all self published) work of the late 70s, early 80s.
That book there, in the lower right hand corner, was the object of an impossible and fruitless search during college. And then Saturday there I stood, staring it down, a pane of glass keeping me from flipping through its pages.
One more painting.
And just an office. For selling you these paintings, if you're ready for one.