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Van Dyke Parks

It was my great pleasure to spend a big chunk of my birthday evening in deep conversation with one of my musical heroes, the brilliant musical and lyrical multi-hyphenate talent, Van Dyke Parks.

“Well, to me, the tensile strength and the very definition of an artist is something that I would place at the top of a vertical hierarchy. To be an artist is to suffer and to lead a life without shelter. It takes a great amount of daring-do, self reinvention, imagination, familial loyalty, sacrifice, economic uncertainty, and the right to be wrong, the right to fail in order to achieve something of noticeable value. ”

Van Dyke Parks

If you’d like to know more about the amazing Mr. Parks, here are three good introductory links:

You can also read a great new autobiographical piece he has written for the Los Angeles Times Review of Books at

If you have any interest in the late 1950s/early 1950s music scene in Los Angeles, I think you’ll love it.

Here’s a favorite quote from the piece, as it applies directly to me and my work:

“Eclecticism wasn’t viewed as an illness in those days. It was applauded, and audiences were taken places in the ‘real’ sixties.”

Happy Reading!

2 thoughts on “Van Dyke Parks

  1. Thanks for posting that link to the LA Times Review of Books. That was an amazing read, and I expect no less from the Maestro.

  2. Incredible, sounds like quite an inspirational birthday. How did that meeting come about? Love both of his quotes. Birthday with Brian Wilson next year?

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