Yes, the scuba diving part was idiotic. Self-indulgent millenial first-person drivel. Especially
since PBS's History Detectives already went underwater looking for Paramount remnants, so the stunt
has already been performed.
It's clear that Alex van der Tuuk was more than patient in explaining technical things to Petrusich,
and she took decent notes. I think she got some good information and quotes from still-living "blues
mafia" people, probably because they got the gift of being approached and interviewed by a pretty
blond girl, about collecting 78 records, before they went to the great beyond. I bet none of them
ever expected such luck, especially since she seems to actually like the music and is interested in
what they had to say!
As for the Geeshie Wiley incident, I've commented on that in the past on this list. Sullivan is a
self-important blowhard thinking he has a right to say what a person can and can't do with their
record collection. I much prefer the John Tefteller approach -- put your money where your mouth is,
do real sleuthing to find the records and then release on reasonably-priced CDs what you paid big
money for, if you think it's a valuable cultural artifact. I buy Tefteller's calendar/CD's on
principle, I agree with his approach even if I have no time or use for the records he finds that are
beat to hell and thus uselessly inaudible. He also includes plenty of well-audible selections on the
CDs, and the calendars have neato graphics to hang on the wall. The snarking about Tefteller's
approach is usually from disorganized, ill-financed jealous losers.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Bishop" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:50 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CUNY forum on blues record collecting in 2 weeks
>I agree, it's mostly entertaining, except when she goes on about learning
> how to scuba dive. Her ruminations on the neurotic aspects of collecting
> make up most of the book. She gets close to Chris King and that makes for
> interesting reading, but many of her other stories of 78 collecting come
> from other sources. Petrusich quotes and summarizes repeatedly from
> Marybeth Hamilton's* In Search of the Blues*, to take one example. At least
> she seems to actually listen to and love the music.
> May be coincidence, but Petrusich wrote for Oxford American, as does
> Caitlin Love who was the person who befriended Robert McCormick and then
> without his permission took his interview with L.V. Thomas to use for John
> Jeremiah Sullivan's piece on Geeshie Wiley in the NY Times a few months
> back. Sullivan's justification: “You’re not allowed to sit on these things
> for half a century, not when the culture has decided they matter.”
> Petrusich does not cross any ethical boundaries like that.
> On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 8:29 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> I am reading Amanda Petrusich's book right now, and plan to attend this.
>> So far, I have mixed opinions about the book, but it is usually
>> -- Tom Fine