Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 12
Spring 2015

ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman
[Excerpt + Reviews]

by Laurie Pepper

Laurie’s account of the vicissitudes of the jazz life, with its grueling touring schedules, often unsatisfactory recording sessions, problems with sidemen etc.—all immeasurably complicated and exacerbated by the saxophonist’s ceaseless craving for the inevitably unattainable ultimate high—is simply spellbinding in the sheer power
of its dedication to truth.

— Chris Parker, Grammy-nominated recording
and studio drummer, in London Jazz News


ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman describes Laurie Pepper’s marriage to the deeply troubled, drug-addicted, madly gifted artist. “That marriage was the making of me,” she says. “Some people go to grad school or join the Marines. I married a genius who valued and inspired me and challenged me to use MY gifts. We had a difficult, powerful partnership. I had to tell that story.” She says she also needs to set the record straight and clarify her role: “People think I was some kind of little wifey-saint who rescued him. And Art encouraged them in that. But he knew how truly crazy I could be. We rescued each other.”

Read an excerpt...

Read a review... by Matt R. Lohr in JazzTimes (11 September 2014)

Book details at our Bookshelf (including bookseller links)

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“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury