American Collections blog

19 April 2010


The U.S. is often credited for at least three unique C20th art forms: Jazz, Comic Books, and Rock and Roll. I'm sure I'll get round to the first two at some point (especially underground comics), but there have been a clutch of rock-related British Library (and library) news stories that I can't resist linking to.

Firstly, the Libertines reunion was partly inspired by a visit to the Library's Treasures Gallery, reveals Carl Barat:

Where were you when you got the call about reforming the band?

I was at the British Library. I was pottering around, looking for the John Lennon lyrics but they seemed to have moved them, so I found myself looking at old, vellum-y Bibles. 

(The lyrics are still there.)

Secondly, reveals The Star, Kate Moss's 'fella... Jamie [Hince], 40, wants to take the 36-year-old on a trip to the British Library'.  Hince has an A-Level in English Lit.  At the moment they could take in the Chopin exhibition, and shortly, the great-looking Maps exhibition.  I'm sure Tom, one of the curators who is now blogging, could be induced to do a tour.

And, thirdly, Keith Richards has revealed that he dreamed of being a librarian before finding some success in the music business.  The Sun quotes Richards as saying, 'When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you.' The Times offers some further bibliographic detail on what does sound like a genuinely interesting collection: 'The guitarist started to arrange the volumes, including rare histories of early American rock music and the second world war, by the librarian‚Äôs standard Dewey Decimal classification system but gave up on that as ‚Äútoo much hassle.''

Meanwhile, our very own Aquiles can be seen on, talking about the Brazilian collections (in Portuguese).




Have written to Rough Trade & Carl B's twitter feed to try and get him back in to show him the Lennon lyrics...and Jamie 'I remember when he was in Scarfo' Hince and his missus also very welcome

Wot no keef? We could all head to the Boogaloo afterwards.

Good to hear Acquiles praising the Brazilian collections... (mind you: not that I understood very much of what he said; except for the German chap from Leipzig).

Anyway, an opportunity used well, and congrats to Acquiles! (oh and nice, exemplary blog post by Matthew, of course)

I cannot imagine that Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones has ever set foot in the library. But, I guess anything is possible....

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