The Gospel According to Luke. In The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version. (Thomas Nelson, late first century A.D./1972.)6


Guns ‘n’ Roses. Appetite for Destruction. (Geffen, 1987.)7


Merle Haggard. “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers.” On 20 Hits. (Curb, 1964/1995)


David Halberstam. October 1964. (Ballantine Books, 1994.)8


Edith Hamilton. Mythology. (Mentor Books, 1940.)


PJ Harvey. “Dress.” On Dry. (Indigo, 1992.)


Head East. “Never Been Any Reason.” On Flat As a Pancake. (A&M, 1975.)


Joseph Heller. Catch-22. (Dell Publishing, 1955.)9



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6 Jesus of Nazareth: “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25)


7 In 1991, on the day the Use Your Illusion albums were released, I cut out of work early and sat at home, drinking Mickey’s (couldn’t find any Night Train) and tracking the discs. I later called up a girl whose number I had been given by a friend and asked her out. When someone once asked me how a shy guy like me works up the nerve to ask someone out, I said “malt liquor.”


8 “There was to (Roger Maris,) thought the writer Larry Merchant, who quite liked him, a wonderful kind of indigenous American populist sourness ... an innate conviction that those who had wealth and power always screwed those who did not.”


9 The summer after reading this, I was talking to an English teacher that I was sweet on. I said I found it to be a hilarious book. She said that she didn’t see much humor in it at all. Later, after enough of my self-deprecation, she told me that I was the most negative person she had ever met and that I was going nowhere fast. The next summer, I had a teeshirt made up that said I’M GOING NOWHERE FAST.