Stuffs and Scruffs
This re-Englishing of a Russian re-version of what had been an English re-telling of Russian memories in the first place, proved to be a diabolical task, but some consolation was given me by the thought that such multiple metamorphosis, familiar to butterflies, had not been tried by any human before.
This was what distinguished us from all rock bands, really…the rock bands were always expressing something.
Spector, a neurotic control freak with well-document problems regarding impulse control…seemed less than delighted by his acolyte’s affections. In fact, he took perverse pleasure in insulting Brian as often and as publicly as possible. For instance, when Brian submitted “Don’t Hurt My Little Sister” to the Ronetes, Spector rewrote the tune from top to bottom, ultimately tossing Brian and Mike’s lyrics in order to use them as a throwaway jingle called “Things Are Changing (for the Better).” Spector invited Brian to play piano on the session, but then he tossed the younger musician out of the studio for what he called his substandard playing.
The abuse did nothing to cool Brian’s ardor. In later years, his awe for Spector would seem detached from the relative merits of their work. ‘I never considered us to be anything but just a messenger of his music,’ Brian said in 1998.
Former N.W.A. band mate MC Ren remembered visiting Eazy in October 1993. What he saw wasn’t pleasant. Around his old friend, Ren saw a Roman circus of hangers-on, ass-kissers, gangsters-turned-rappers, and yes-men. Like Caligula, Eazy sat at the center of the debauchery and listened to Dre’s The Chronic. ‘Aw, it ain’t all that!’ he roared. ‘Ain’t all that!’…
…By late 1994, however, Eazy and Dre were on speaking terms again…after spending years attacking Eazy, Cube now said he didn’t hold any grudges…Eazy was ecstatic…
…At the office, Eazy became secretive. ‘You couldn’t really tell what was going on with him.’ Even when people knew he had to be depressed, Eazy stuck to his happy-go-lucky facade. During stressful marketing meetings at Priority Records, he would blow spitballs. ‘He was like a child,’ said Doug. ‘He had the personality of the little boy he looked like. Always laughing and smiling and giggling.’
from Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records, by Ronin Ro.
In which the portrait of Eazy-E is strange, tragic, and somehow by far the most human in this particular telling of the story.
We had a hut by the river with my brother Chekaren. We were sleeping. Suddenly we both woke up at the same time. Somebody shoved us. We heard whistling and felt strong wind. Chekaren said, ‘Can you hear all those birds flying overhead?’ We were both in the hut, couldn’t see what was going on outside. Suddenly, I got shoved again, this time so hard I fell into the fire. I got scared. Chekaren got scared too. We started crying out for father, mother, brother, but no one answered. There was noise beyond the hut, we could hear trees falling down. Chekaren and I got out of our sleeping bags and wanted to run out, but then the thunder struck. This was the first thunder. The Earth began to move and rock, wind hit our hut and knocked it over. My body was pushed down by sticks, but my head was in the clear. Then I saw a wonder: trees were falling, the branches were on fire, it became mighty bright, how can I say this, as if there was a second sun, my eyes were hurting, I even closed them. It was like what the Russians call lightning. And immediately there was a loud thunderclap. This was the second thunder. The morning was sunny, there were no clouds, our Sun was shining brightly as usual, and suddenly there came a second one!
Chekaren and I had some difficulty getting out from under the remains of our hut. Then we saw that above, but in a different place, there was another flash, and loud thunder came. This was the third thunder strike. Wind came again, knocked us off our feet, struck against the fallen trees.
We looked at the fallen trees, watched the tree tops get snapped off, watched the fires. Suddenly Chekaren yelled ‘Look up’ and pointed with his hand. I looked there and saw another flash, and it made another thunder. But the noise was less than before. This was the fourth strike, like normal thunder.
Now I remember well there was also one more thunder strike, but it was small, and somewhere far away, where the Sun goes to sleep.
Eyewitness account of the Tunguska event of 1908, in which a meteoroid struck Russia in the “largest impact event” ever recorded, felling an estimated 80 million trees.
One time I did a party and [Grandmaster] Flash turned up, and I played a beat that he never heard. So what I did, on one record I wrote, ‘For the name of this record, go to turntable two,’ and you see this on the label and it’s spinning. So Flash went over to the other turntable to look and the other record said, ‘Get off my dick!’