Finished reading: Everything Is Combustible by Richard Lloyd 📚
Downloaded this audiobook from the library after Tom Verlaine’s passing put me in a Television mood. It’s read by the author, which is usually great, but Lloyd reads as if the manuscript was written by someone else and placed before him shortly before the session began. His voice betrays no real attachment to any of the stories or people.
It seems very important to Lloyd that the reader know he did a lot of drugs and had a lot of sex. Less important, however, was sharing what his relationship with any of his bandmates in Television was like. We eventually learn that he and Verlaine fell out over money and creative control, but Billy Ficca and Fred Smith are treated like furniture in Lloyd’s narrative.
(Personally, I was also annoyed at how little insight was given into his time as a sideman for Matthew Sweet, but that’s neither here nor there. All we really learn is that Sweet loved video games and hated flying.)
Overall, there’s some compelling stuff here, but poor editing and Lloyd’s own tendency to dive into metaphysical non sequiturs (like his vivid memories of being born or teaching himself how to not breathe as a child) mean the reader has to put in a lot of work to find them.
Monday February 20, 2023