Monday, December 05, 2011

Greatest Line Ever!

Nik Cohn
December 2, 2011

I just came across the greatest line ever! I was reading Mark Rozzo's article on Nik Cohn for the New York Times, "Nik Cohn's Fever Dream" (December 2, 2011) . . . but first, I should note that Nik's father, Norman Cohn, wrote the great book The Pursuit of the Millennium, a study of millenial sects and their link to twentieth-century totalitarinism, which I read as a graduate student at Berkeley, back when my career was going to be that of a religious studies scholar. Nik himself could have had a career as a scholar -- having grown up among books -- but a chance hearing of rock music blaring from the open doors of some cafe in Derry, Ireland turned his life upside down. Or maybe downside up?

Either way, he quickly became a chronicler of rock music, focusing intently upon the present moment and making a lot of stuff up . . . or so he admits now. He must have been sharp-tongued back in those halcyon days, for Kit Lambert, manager of The Who, reportedly said of Cohn -- and this is the great line:
"If he did write your obituary, you'd be better off dead."

Sublime wit! By the way, Cohn -- like the John O'Brien whom I introduced yesterday -- likes the Irish writer Flann O'Brien! No relation, by the way, to John . . . or to Nik (not that you'd imagine there was).

And here's one final line of my own just so I don't end this post with a parenthesis . . .

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