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William S. Burroughs: The CREEM Interviews

Via Jeremy Hulette's blog, Nothing Is True, comes a link to this '78 and '79 interview with Uncle Bill on CREEM, the legendary "rock 'n' roll magazine for the people". Enjoy!


The first time I met literary iconoclast William S. Burroughs (1914 – 1997) was on a Saturday afternoon in February 1974 at A Space gallery in Toronto where he was doing a reading. Afterwards, I asked if he would autograph a photo that I had brought of himself standing next to David Bowie. "You oughtta get Booey to sign the other half," Burroughs drawled as he signed the space over his head. As it turns out, Bowie did sign his half of the photo later that July while he was recording the David Live album at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia. But that’s another story for another time.



I miss your own words, thoughts and responses to the phenomena of the world, the senses and the mind itself. Though I can grasp the intellectual currency of posting the articles by others, I wonder if you are short-changing your chances at exposing your own ideas to potential dialogue and thus, further inquiry to parts unknown.

This is, afterall, your blog.

your pal,


Right on cue — or almost: I just posted my thoughts on your video, CRUX. Thing is, it takes more time to write my own stuff and as you probably noticed, I can't seem to limit myself to quick and brief postings, but rather tend to get pretty involved.

Besides, I figure that if I were a reader of this blog, I'd probably appreciate to have a series of interesting links grouped up by somebody that has already done the work of finding them around the Web. It's good filler for the gaps between my own pieces and sets a mood for the blog. They are, afterall, the connections going on in my mind, right now.

I'll grant you that those were a whole lot of external links, though. :)


yeah, filler.

of course it takes more time to write down your own thoughts and no time at all to act as a medium for the thoughts of others.

time; the movement of thought through space. time; the autobiography of space.

the thing is most of what is out there on the net and the mass media (they are related) is filler.

it's what you say at gas stations:
filler up!

thanks for posting your notes on CRUX by the way.


(you're welcome.)

It's interesting isn't it? Extending the concept of "acting as a medium for the thoughts of others", eventually I end up wondering which thoughts were "mine" to start with.

Of course it's true that the human machine seems to have a sort of "economy mode" in which it shuts down autonomous processes and becomes easily responsive to outside impulses. And it's worth considering that this can to some extent be induced from the outside (shades of The Manchurian Candidate).

However, in our horizontal lives we depend in many ways on echoing signals that we have received from outside. It can be meaningful for several reasons (though most are culturally or socially related) to do so and there is a level of autonomy in selecting which signals to pick up on, which ones to share and so forth.

In ultimate analysis, in the realm of media (which is where we are right now) we are never sharing the thing itself, but an image of it expressed in symbols — almost all of which can be shown to derive from somewhere/someone else.

Sometimes we create very complex formulations and combinations of such symbols, elaborate enough to speak of unique experieces or intimate processes. Other times they are much simpler, and our only personal involvement in them lies in our echoing them.

There may be an overabundant presence of this second, more simplistic quality in the media, but that doesn't prevent me from appreciating what comes of it. Indeed I feel quite indebted to many impressions which found their way to me only because their fragments were being blindly propagated throughout the world as "filler", together with a bunch of (to me) useless bullshit.

Surfing through the immense heaps of infocrap that litter today's mindscapes, every now and then I still find the occasional gem, and I'm glad I took the trouble.


My apologies for coming off as caustic as I did; please do not take it too personally. My words reflect an ongoing grievance and protest around the absence of creative thought in what I hear and read around me. I perceive a growing culture of homogenization masquerading as so many forms of dime store relativism with its arbitrary assignments of meaning to phenomena, ie., romancing ideas without the courage to embody and live them out.

You caught me on a cranky day.

-- Antero

Hey, no worries -- no harm done; no apologies needed. But I do find that this issue is quite an interesting one, and it's inspiring a series of thoughts that I'd like to share in an exchange with you. I'm really on the run now, but I might post on it or we'll talk about it when we meet.

Take care till then,
-- mindwarp