Paul Williams died yesterday at the age of 64.
As we all know, he had been suffering from dementia for several years.
After what we went through with my Grandmother, it's probably best for his family that he pass now. But still...
So, I am going to be succint...no other writer about art/music has ever captured my imagination and commanded my attention like Paul.
His books are absolute consciousness altering experiences.
In other words, there is a "before" and "after" you read him.
He helped me to LISTEN better...to analyze better...make connections that made me feel more...made me a better audience member...revel in the joy...which all leads into...I eventually became a better artist...through all of these immersion experiences
I spent about two years with his books in my black leather bag, constant companions...searching the city for records both legal, and not yet legal.
The care, passion, research, SENSITIVITY, intelligence, and generosity of spirit (and no less crucial questioning spirit as well) of his writing transcended the fact that this was criticism, and at its best, his work became art in and of itself.
The highest compliment I can give his writing is that the best an artist can ever hope for his/her work once it's put out into the world, is that it finds their very own Paul Williams.
Someone for whom it MATTERS, someone who will embrace, someone who will weigh the content, and enthusiastically investigate "the wiring behind the board".
He was the ultimate audience member...an immaculate reflecting point.
He could perfectly articulate the passion that exists in us all...the need to seek out that one book...be late for work, cuz you HAVE to finish this record...right down to staring at the sky, and rhapsodizing about its beauty.
It's tragic his family has lost him.
It's tragic we won't get that Never Ending Tour book
But what he created while he was here, will live on forever...truly...and his spirit...well, that was always here...and will always be here...