A rich Hollywood agent’s Ferrari breaks down in the desert outside Los Angeles. This is terrible; he’s got the biggest meeting of his life scheduled for later that day. His phone is dead, and there’s nobody in sight. But wait: off in the distance, a vehicle approaches. As it gets closer, he sees that it’s a pickup truck. An old, beat-up pickup truck. Of the kind driven by farmers. Oh, God. Conservative farmers, who see a guy like him (Ferrari, beautiful suit, tons of hair product) and assume he must be rolling in money and does no real work, like, you know, farm work, out in the broiling sun, wrestling cows or whatnot. A punk rich kid, making all that money for what? Talking people into things! What a faker! Jeez, just his luck, the agent thinks, of all the people in the world who might have come along to help, he gets this guy? What does that stupid hick know about his life, about how hard he’s worked all these years? Zeke or Clem or whoever’s probably got a nice stable marriage, to some old farmer lady, whereas Jeannine left him last month because of all the long hours he spends agenting and now he hardly ever sees little Rex and –
The truck pulls up. “Need a lift?” asks the kindly farmer.
“Fuck you!” shouts the agent.
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
“You should have been on the rest of the tour,” Big John told me, referring to Marvin’s last cross-country excursion before leaving America behind.
“We drove to Denver and Milwaukee and New York and Chicago—all over,” said Cammon. “Marvin could relax on the bus. It was his method of getting away. One time, I remember, he got on the CB and started talking, telling people that he was Marvin Gaye. When they asked him to prove it, he started singing. Well, they sure-enough believed him then, and soon we were leading a caravan of thirty cars and trucks. This went on for a hundred miles. Finally he had me pull over at a truck stop, and everyone stopped along with us. He broke open a half-dozen bottles of champagne, and we had a beautiful party.
Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye
As I was steeping myself in the art of the popular genre writers of the day—Thomas B. Costain (The Black Rose, The Silver Chalice), Frances Parkinson Keyes (Dinner at Antoine’s, Came a Cavalier), Samuel Shellabarger (Captain from Castile, Prince of Foxes), Frank Yerby (The Foxes of Harrow, A Woman Called Fancy)—I was also marching through the middlebrow writers (John P. Marquand, Pearl S. Buck, John O’Hara), the current literary heroes (Waugh, Orwell, Faulkner), and the classics: Balzac, Dickens, Hardy, Twain. My crucial literary experience of these pre-college years was my first reading of Emma, when I was sixteen. When Emma behaves so rudely to poor, harmless, talkative Miss Bates in the famous scene of the picnic on Box Hill, I was suffused with mortification: I had been forced to look at my own acts of carelessness and unkindness. Jane Austen had pinned me to the wall. It was the first time I really made the connection between what I was reading and my inner self. There was no religious instruction in my life, no guiding principles other than to work hard, and my mind was not a philosophical one. It was in the novel, beginning with Emma, that I would discover some kind of moral compass.
Avid Reader: A Life
1. Continue to kick ass.
2. Be as bad as I know can be.
3. Really put it out there, and by it I mean Sammy’s mojo.
4. Give it as good as I get it.
5. Be all that and more.
6. Lose my shyness, vis a vis the rocket in my pocket.
7. Work my voodoo on my lady fans.
8. Take a thorn out of some cat’s paw.
9. Build a shrine to my own bad ass.
10. Give the demons what for.
11. Spare the rod and spoil the face.
12. Continue to kick ass.
13. Show the bad men what it’s all about.
14. Release a dove from a ghetto rooftop.
15. Cradle a new born baby in the ruins of a church.
16. Stick it to all the suckas.
17. Show the man I mean business.
18. Take a computer class.