John Lurie - Fishing With John


Presentation (Elaboration), 2002
14 Pages, Grade: very good

Excerpt

John Lurie – Fishing With John

A) John Lurie

Being an American sax player, composer and actor, born December 14, 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he started as a filmmaker and painter in the 1970s. Later he founded in 1979 his band "The Lounge Lizards" together with his brother Evan Lurie.

As the singer of "The Lounge Lizards" primarily in New York’s downtown music scene, he did bizarre interpretations of jazz standard opus, for what he made up the term "fake jazz" (jazz rhythms melt with punk and bebop elements; a kind of ironically broken jazz). Although this term was no more than a joking refer after their first concert in 1979.

He is best known for his dead pan performances in the films of Jim Jarmusch (Permanent Vacation, Stranger than Paradise, Down by Law).

"Most of my songs", John Lurie says, "base on the Doppler Effect. I conceive ideas running around in Manhattan und hearing radio sounds from two taxis driving in opposite directions, or – for example – under the shower: then I jump out of it immediately and run to my keyboard. There is a regular track in my apartment between the shower and the keyboard. The wooden floor is already quite warped by running back and forth being soaking wet."

"I’ve never had any respect for jazz but always for single persons like Coltrane, Mingus, Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. I don’t care about the categories they belong to and I would even say that Coltrane was too big, too genuine to become pockets as a hipster. Terms like jazz, punk, rock and pop are but small minded avaricious categories to press music into a selling system. It's just shit that most musicians admit to this little game and finally sound like the sign indicating the record store’s style."

Waits on "Lounge Lizards" and their music:

"They used to accuse John Lurie of doing fake jazz - a lot of posture, a lot of volume. When I first heard it, it was so loud, I wanted to go outside and listen through the door, and it was jazz. And that was an unusual thing in New York, to go to a club and hear jazz that loud, at the same volume people were listening to punk rock. Get the first record, 'The Lounge Lizards'. You know, John's one of those people, if you walk into a field with him, he'll pick up an old pipe and start to play it, and get a really good sound out of it. He's very musical, works with the best musicians, but never go fishing with him. He's a great arranger and composer with an odd sense of humor."

Important works

Discography

Stranger than Paradise (Soundtrack, 1984)

Down By Law (Soundtrack, 1986)

Queen of all ears (1986)

Mystery Train (Soundtrack, 1989)

Voice of Chunk (1989)

Men with Sticks (1993)

Get Shorty (Soundtrack, 1995)

Manny & Lo (Soundtrack, 1996)

Fishing with John (Soundtrack, 1998)

African Swim (Soundtrack, 1999)

Filmography

Permanent Vacation (1980)

Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

Paris, Texas (1984)

Down By Law (1986)

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

Mystery Train (1989)

Wild at Heart (1990)

John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards in Berlin (1991)

Night on Earth (1992)

Blue in the Face (1995)

Get Shorty (1995)

Manny & Lo (1996)

Fishing with John (1998)

New Rose Hotel (1999)

B) Fishing with John

While watching one of those fishing TV show in the early morning hours, John Lurie got the idea of making one serial himself, but as a spoof one.

However, if you would like to take it from charming Lurie, that idea wasn’t strategic but to evade taxes. In 1991, he was on fishing holidays with Willem Dafoe shooting a private video of it and afterwards he wrote it off against the tax claiming he was working on a new TV show. A friend of his saw the video, liked it at once and offered it to a Japanese Production Company. So that Company financed his pilot broadcast. Later, the series "Fishing with John" has been telecasted in the USA on IFC (the Independent Film Channel).

Lurie visited with his guests places like Jamaica and Thailand, Northern Maine, Montauk (NY). Those guests were buddies like Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Dennis Hopper, Matt Dillon, and Willem Dafoe. With Jim Jarmusch he went fishing off Montauk, NY, – they hook a 12-foot blue shark, Waits got seasick in the Caribbean and with Willem Dafoe he run out of cheese crackers while ice fishing in Maine.

Eventually John Lurie feared that everything would go wrong. For the first sequel with Jim Jarmusch they had shot about 10 hours. They were pretty lucky and caught right away three sharks – to make it look more dramatically in the programme we feigned it was only one – but then an especially big one. But the scenery was still totally boring – two guys sitting in a boat waiting. So Lurie had the idea with the narrator – very serious, base voice/deep-throated - , who conveys kinky information about fish and water, man and nature sounding like a speaker on Discovery Channel. And this sonorous voice belongs to Robb Webb who is just as well-known in the USA as is Harald Schmidt in Germany. With imperturbable seriousness and stoic-sedate he reports on wonderfully dull pearls of wisdom like:

"Life is so beautiful… for some more than for others. Everywhere, everyday of our lives… ah – fishing."

Lurie also says he thinks it’s an odd thing that people like Hopper or Waits suddenly show this really sweet and disarming side of their personality the moment you put them on a boat in the middle of nowhere. When Dennis is playing in a film or is giving an interview he has a distinct face; but when he is concentrating on fishing he forgets about it and rather looks like a 9-year-old.

The music and sounds in "Fishing with John" are composed and performed mostly by John Lurie himself. It is very emotional and with many strange sound effects, e.g. children's laughter and whispering high-pitched voices.

Quotations

"Life is so beautiful… for some more than for others. Everywhere, everyday of our lives… ah – fishing."

TW: What about chicken fish?

Leon: Chicken?

TW: Yeah.

Leon: No, no, no. No chicken fish.

JL: (to Leon:) He doesn't know anything about fish!

(to all:) This is amazing you know because everywhere you go they have different names for different fishes.

TW: The same fish has 25 names.

JL: By the time you get to France it has a different name.

TW: Cheese fish, they call it. Cheese fish in France.

Leon: Why do they call it cheese fish?

TW: I don't know… it's France!

TW: Where do you hook this bait?

JL: Through the eyes.

TW: Oh, Jesus.

JL: You want me to do it?

TW: Yeah, want you to do it. He's already looked at me. I can't do it now we have a relationship.

Literature

Hillier, Jim (Ed.). American Independent Cinema. A Sight and Sound Reader. British Film Institute: London, 2001.

Jim Jarmusch. Fishing with John. TV Production 1998.

http://www.berkshireweb.com/rogovoy/thebeat/beat98924.html

http://www.BerlinOnline.de/.bin/print.php/wissen/berliner_zeitung/archiv/1996/0702/kultur/0056/index.html

http://www.ejn.it/mus/lurie.htm

http://www.hollywood.com/celebs/detail/celeb/191302

http://www.savvytraveler.com/show/features/1998/19980801/lurie.shtml

http://www.strangeandbeautiful.com/bio/bio.htm

http://www.tages-anzeiger.ch/archiv/98oktober/981012/106994.HTM

http://www.theavclub.com/avclub3406/bonusfeature13406.html

http://www.toastmag.com/02/feat_mid3.html

http://www2.tagesspiegel.de/archiv/1998/10/26/ku-ro-21998.html

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Department of English

Proseminar: Jim Jarmusch’s America - SS 2002

Instructor: Dr. Nadja Gernalzick

Referee: Sabine Binder

Topic: John Lurie – Fishing with John

Date: 27. Mai 2002

John Lurie – Fishing with John

A) John Lurie

Being an American sax player, composer and actor, born December 14, 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he started as a filmmaker and painter in the 1970s. Later he founded in 1979 his band "The Lounge Lizards" together with his brother Evan Lurie.

As the singer of "The Lounge Lizards" primarily in New York’s downtown music scene, he did bizarre interpretations of jazz standard opus, for what he made up the term "fake jazz" (jazz rhythms melt with punk and bebop elements; a kind of ironically broken jazz). Although this term was no more than a joking refer after their first concert in 1979.

[...]

Excerpt out of 14 pages

Details

Title
John Lurie - Fishing With John
College
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz  (Department of English)
Course
Jim Jarmusch's America
Grade
very good
Author
Year
2002
Pages
14
Catalog Number
V13537
ISBN (eBook)
9783638191760
File size
482 KB
Language
English
Notes
Tags
John, Lurie, Fishing, With, Jarmusch, America
Quote paper
Sabine Klimpe (Author), 2002, John Lurie - Fishing With John, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/13537

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