There’s an interview on Pitchfork today with Alasdair MacLean of the Clientele. I’ve only heard snippets of their recent album, but the first two I love to bits. Anyhow, always nice to see a random 33 1/3 series mention in a chat like this – even if it does contain the phrase ‘grad student view’:
Pitchfork: How long had you been doing the ad copy writing? That’s quite different from lyric writing.
Alasdair: For about four years. I used to do books before that. I worked for a book publisher, and actually attempted to turn down Harry Potter. The first Harry Potter title came in, and we had an editorial meeting about it, and I said, “This is just absolute rubbish. There are so many better children’s books that aren’t being published.” And I was overruled. So, they published the book, and all my bridges are burned. I was a bit harsh on it at first. I wanted them to do a biography on Arthur Lee, and everyone said, “Who’s Arthur Lee?” So I was never happy in that job.
Pitchfork: Have you read the 33 1/3 Series’ book on Forever Changes?
Alasdair: It’s pretty interesting actually, but it’s kind of a grad student view. They talk about the American tradition of prophecy, and how it leads into Arthur Lee’s heroes, and kind of the disjointedness of the music, and they link it together with quotes from Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson and people like that, Walt Whitman. So it’s pretty interesting.