Drifting and striding with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


And another thing I did on my ‘holidays’ – I walked over to John Cage’s childhood home in Moss Avenue, Eagle Rock, in northwest LA.  This may be Cage junior in the garden at that house, but don’t put money on it (I mean it's definitely John Cage, but it may not be the Eagle Rock house.

Cage’s dad, also named John Cage, built the house from scratch, which may seem surprising at first, but given that he was an inventor and built his own submarine, less so.  A guy who can build his own submarine can probably build his own house. 

I went with my psychogeographic pal Anthony Miller – that’s him about to trespass and transgress, while also showing his bald spot.  

There was nobody home as far as we could tell, despite multiple cars in the driveway including this white, left hand drive Morris Minor.  How many of those were sold in America?  That's not an entirely rhetorical question.

Then we pottered around the neighbourhood, saw euphorbias springing up adjacent to the sidewalk, 

a wayside mini-library,

some very trim trees,

and some stuffed monkeys tied to other trees:

Later, rereading Cage’s Indeterminacy, which strikes me as one of the truly great twentieth century texts, I rediscovered a couple of pieces that involve walking; this one:

That’s a bit rough, even for my robust sensibilities, but this one, I really, really like:

Actually the idea that John Cage might be walking along Hollywood Boulevard, or anywhere else, with 'nothing much to do' is the real surprise.

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