Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Remembering the Stone

The Stone ended its 13-year residency on Avenue C and Second Street in late February. John Zorn relocated his experimental performance space to the Glass Box Theatre at the New School.

It was time for a change, he has said.

Sasha Frere-Jones talked with Zorn about the Stone for a piece published at Artforum yesterday.

An excerpt:

You know, thirteen years, we had a lot of complaints from artists about the space, about this, about that.

You would think they wouldn't complain.

But there's a variety of things to complain about! You know, I mean, not the best equipment in the world, there was a long time when it was cold in the winter and hot in the summer. We didn't really have a good air conditioner.


The radiator's clanking, the woman upstairs walks around, sometimes she waters her plants, overwaters it and the water comes dripping down. Someone left their barbecue chicken in the basement for a week and the stupid guy who's volunteering didn't clear it out, and it stinks, or a rat got to it, or someone saw a rat in the basement. Now that we've closed it, of course, it's a very nostalgic place now, now they're not remembering all of that.

It’s people talking about the East Village. “Oh, you should've been here.”

That’s bullshit. You want to relive your days of beatnik glory? Sorry man, it's now, it's today, this is what's happening. Dig it or get the fuck out. I don't live in the past. I'm very happy with the present.


Anonymous said...

"Dig it or get the fuck out."

I can dig it. Can you?

Remember the days when a potentate on parade would be shadowed by an attendant saying, "Thou art moral! Thou art mortal!"? Well, the next time you find yourself wanting to say, "Back in my day ..." and "Remember when ..." and "Where's my neighborhood ...?" and "Who took my city...?" there'll be a little voice whispering in your ear, "Dig it or get the fuck out."

JQ LLC said...

"Dig it or get the fuck out"

Jesus tap dancing christ

Zorn is quite an elitist jazz snob and inveterate jerk. It sucks not being able to make any substantial music in 30 years. And he needed a japanese guy singing/shrieking jibberish on it.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I think he's a great. He's always changing and experimenting. I think he's doing his best work now. He incorporates various kinds, not just jazz, is a legendary noise musician, and a fair crooner. The music and place-not elitist. You waited on line with the others, got to experience really interesting sounds, then the next group came in. All of the money went to the musicians. What happens when there is an elitism is that the individual is lost. This concept dodged that. The music was and is accessible to all. I think it can be done with a bar as well. Thanks for the memories. The best is yet to come.

sophocles said...

I used to go there when tickets were $10, not so much when they were $20, because it was always a gamble. I liked the Stone more in theory than in practice. The space itself was uninviting--uncomfortable chairs, no windows, odd temperatures, and no place to linger...