3 years ago, I blew my one and only chance to meet Tom Wolfe, who just passed away. Our mutual friend Stefania de Kennesey wrote the opera version of Bonfire of the Vanities. We attended the premiere and were invited to the after-party (on the UES). But it was after 11, we live in Park Slope, and ya know how you feel after an opera (at least I do), somehow exhausted, headachey and wanting to run 5 miles at the same time. So we said, “Nah!” And that, dear friends, (not the particular event but the general tendency), is why I am not much further ahead in show business.
But I read and enjoyed a half dozen books by him. As an indirect result of the movie (which my buddies and I watched together about a dozen times when it came out) The Right Stuff was a particular favorite. (My vocabulary remains seasoned with astronaut slang to this day). And I first encountered The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test when I was about 13 years old. So Wolfe — and his penchant for self advertisement — had long been an influence. I should have told him in person!
Here’s my post about the Bonfire opera; and here’s a recent one about the phenomenon of psychedelic buses, which Wolfe no doubt set in motion with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
I wish I could read the New Journalism piece Wolfe would write about the death experience!