RICHARD FORD is the author of The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day — the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award — and The Lay of the Land, as well as the awesome and bestselling 2012 novel Canada. His new book is Let Me Be Frank With You —…
Jon Wiener interviews Richard Ford in the LA Review of Books: “The idea is that we take this wonderful living entity in our lives, and we manage to reduce it to clichés and noun-verb constructions — to reduce it almost to babble, as fast as we can. What Frank wants to do is take out as many of these unlikable words, these corrupting and polluting words, as he can. For example: “I am here for you” — when you really mean just the opposite. And “what’s the takeaway?” And “hydrate,” when you just mean “drink.” And “interface,” and “bonding,” and “no problem” — when you just mean “thank you.” ”
“But John was a genuinely angry young man. His anger may have been inchoate, expressed through the stereotypes of working-class macho, but it was real. When he played the cheerful wit, he had to repress a vital part of himself. And he couldn’t do it for very long. It made him depressed….” -Jon Weiner
Jonathan Weiner is a rock photographer. He recently shot Wayne Coyne and Moby walking through downtown LA in full mariachi regalia for Rolling Stone.
What was the food highlight of your year?
Pinning down the food highlight of my year is a pretty hard thing to do, I really love finding new places as often as possible. I think the most mind melding moment was being introduced to the burrito shop Freebirds. I do not often frequent fast food or chain restaurants for that matter, so I feel like this is a weird selection for me. However, it totally changed my world when I found it. I am vegan, so for the most part a burrito means black beans and veggies, MAYBE rice and guacamole if I’m lucky (unless I’m going to a fully vegan restaurant). Most places I can’t eat at completely since mexican food typically uses lard in everything. In comes Freebirds, set up the same as Chipotle where you build your own burrito, except one major difference: EVERYTHING aside from the obvious is vegan! I can have refried and pinto beans, spanish rice, and so many flavorful add ons. It’s really quite simple, give me tons of tasty options instead of just quinoa and kale on a menu and I’m impressed!
Honorable mention is Pizzanista in the Arts District of LA. The only reason this isn’t my main choice is because I have a feeling that I discovered it in 2012. However, I LOVE it and wanted to mention it anyway. Where else can you get $2 tuesday NY sized slices, vegan garlic knots, and a skate or die shirt?! I bring a new person there almost every other week.
What was the music highlight of your year?
There has been so many awesome musical adventures I’ve been able to take part in this year. So many bands from my childhood that I never saw or haven’t seen in 15 years have been playing lately. Knapsack, Quicksand and Sparks were all really cool for me. The two highlights above all the rest I’d have to say were Flag and Johnny Marr, each in their own right.
I was lucky enough to be invited to photograph Flag’s first real show together, a secret invite-only show at the Moose Lodge in Redondo Beach. There was about 150 people there, no stage, and its the same venue in which Black Flag played their very first show, before I was born! That show was amazing. Everything I remember going to punk shows to be growing up in DC. No cell phones, just pure fun. Every person in the crowd sang every song.
Next, I got to see Johnny Marr play at the Masonic Lodge in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Seeing Johnny Marr play Smiths songs for the first time in over two decades is incredible enough, but then add that into a tiny venue in the middle of a cemetery…enough said! I’m pretty sure every person who plays guitar in that room decided they might as well give up after hearing him play those songs.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
I’d say my favorite music/food coming together moment of the year was when Mark Trombino’s Donut Friend opened in Highland Park. I had been waiting months for this place to open. For years now the only vegan yeast donut option was to go to Ronald’s in Vegas (which is always amazing). Now there is a place 10 minutes from my home. If that wasn’t enough reason to get me excited, it comes with donut “compilations” with names such as Rites of Sprinkles, Coconut of Conformity, The Jelly Sound, Dag Nutty, Fudgegazi, ect. How could that not be awesome?!
Mike Dirnt of Green Day. I was flown up to Oakland to hang with Mike for the day, shooting portraits around town for his signature shoe with Macbeth Footwear. This was taken down the street from his diner in which we had just had breakfast at.
TS & the Past Haunts, Austin Texas, 2012. Check out my friend’s Travis, Ben and Heather in their newest venture. You may know Travis from Piebald amongst other past experiences. They are good music and great people, you will thank me. Check them out with Braid this summer if you can.