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SWAGGER, NOT STYLE

The worldwide headquarters and hindquarters of freelance writer Chris Klimek

Wish I Were There: Ephemera

Chris Klimek

 One thing I brood about when I read a really great memoir, like Keith Richards' Life, just for example, is that I have a poor memory. There is no good reason why this should be. I'm only in my midthirties and I've never touched hard drugs in my life, so the fact that 70-year-old Keef can write in vivid detail about his postwar boyhood after a lifetime of committed drug abuse makes me feel like I just got dealt a bad hand. (Keef takes pains throughout his book to attribute his startling longevity to the fact that all the drugs he did were of the finest quality; Merck medical-grade cocaine and so on. I have no idea if that's a real thing or not, but it's in his book.)

The randomness of memory: unfathomable! I can't explain why I remember this when I've only a slippery grasp of so much else I'd like to recall, but: I know I bought Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. and Van Halen's MCMXXIV on cassette on the same day in 1989. Both albums were released in 1984. Even as a mere tadpole, I preferred old music! So it's funny that 23 years later, I'm seeing Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen perform on back-to-back nights. Tomorrow night, I'm covering Van Halen's concert at the Verizon Center for the Washington Post, and as soon as I file that Thursday morning I'm hitting the road for Philly to see Bruce play at what is now the Wells Fargo Center on my own dime and my own time. I'm gonna try to check out the Springsteen exhibit at the Constitution Center that afternoon before the show.

And tonight? Tonight Mike Daisey, the talented-but-not-completely-honest storyteller whose very popular one-man show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs has lately buckled under scrutiny, is bringing his apology tour to Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, where he first "birthed" (his word) that monologue more than a year-and-a-half ago. I saw him perform it at Woolly in April 2011. Since the news broke that he'd made some of it up, I've been on that story like cellophane on the touch-screen of a new iPhone.

So I won't get to spend my Tuesday night the way I generally like to: Working focus with Ken.

(More videos here.)