New York Mag X Gay Talese
Back in 2003 it was about a year since I quit working for Universal Motown Records and I was scrambling to get enough freelance writing work to keep the lights on and the rent paid. I’d heard many times and in many different forms from many a scribe that I respected that good writers should always be reading good writing.
True, so one of the magazines I started picking up and paying more attention to was Esquire Magazine. Though for years I’d always flipped through issues in passing, seeing Muhammad Ali on the cover of October 2003 issue (itself a play on its August 1966 cover (left) which featured Ali and Floyd Patterson) motivated me to actually buy it (and subsequently subscribe since a 12 month run was like a dirt cheap $8 at that time).
The point of this story is that in the middle this 70th anniversary issue of Esquire was a small pamphlet that contained what is considered by many to be the greatest magazine profile of all time; “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” by Gay Talese. At the time I wasn’t too up on “New Journalism” and all the hoo-ha it’s been given over the years. I just knew that Gay Talese was an incredible storyteller and his gift with words was pure inspiration.
Considering today’s limited word counts and the stumbling publication industry, it’s sad to think that a next Gay Talese or Hunter S. Thompson—better yet, Harry Allen or Bonz Malone—may never get his or her proper shine. Epic dissertations, no matter how creatively informative, just don’t mesh with the day’s blog at the speed of type, or Tweet in 140 words or less, culture. All this is to say that Talese is dropping a new book and one of my favorite publications, New York Magazine, has a profile on the distinguished author. [A Nonfiction Marriage via New York Mag]
“Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” [via Esquire]