[Harp-L] Raconteur: A POLITE WORD FOR LIAR

Richard Hunter rhunter377@xxxxx
Sun Nov 11 06:51:44 EST 2018

The sad fact is that a lot of great artists are not very nice people.  I
say that without sarcasm or irony.  It's sad, and it's true.  Picasso beat
his wives and lovers; Miles Davis did the same; Butterfield, according to
the guys I know who played with him (one of whom referred to him
sarcastically as "Mr. Sunshine"), was a mean son of a bitch, especially
when he drank, which apparently was deeply and often; Beethoven ruined his
nephew's life.  It's not just the artists, either.  Henry Ford was a
virulent anti-Semite and Nazi supporter, neither of which speaks to good
character.  And don't get me started on the artists in my family.

Adler's step-daughter wrote about him at length in her autobiography, and
the picture she paints is pretty ugly.  I love Adler's work, and I wish it
were otherwise.  But if you don't separate the art from the artist, there
is damn little you can look at or listen to without feeling guilt or rage.

I'm not a Christian, but I get the concept of original sin completely.  We
are all born and to some extent great or small remain deeply flawed
creatures.  We do what we can to turn back the tide, but no one gets clean

People with a lot of bad in them can do some amazing things that enlighten
all our lives.  Nobody should get a pass for the wrong they do, but that's
a different story.  My recommendation is to appreciate the art and leave
the artist out of the picture.  If you don't, there won't be a lot of art
in your life, and that's every bit as sad.

Regards, Richard Hunter
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Author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
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