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4

Hey, George Frazier--I’m 10 Years Old Over Here

Brian Dunn By

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All I'm trying to say, really, is that most boutique customers should be lined up before a firing squad at dawn and that there should be a minute of silence to thank God for the existence of people like Miles Davis: Except, of course, that there are no people like Miles Davis. He is an original. He is a truly well-dressed man. He is the Warlord of the Weejuns.

I've been duped! my ten-year-old brain screamed. This makes no sense! The questions were too wild for me to contemplate: Did he really use the word bastard? Does Miles moonlight as a warlord? Who are the Weejuns, and how do they know this George Frazier guy?

Mr. Frazier plowed ahead in the same vein, waxing philosophical about wearing blue blazers, the proper cut of men suit pants, and the importance of a perfectly-knotted neckerchief. No mention of why Miles chose a Harmon mute for this ballad but not the other. Not a word about why his rhythm sections sounded so vastly different—one steady as a steel-driving man, the other frantic as a frat boy snorting crushed Yellow Jacket energy pills.

First, I was perplexed. Then, I was pissed the likes of which I'd never been before. I sat cross-legged on my bedroom floor and cursed the name George Frazier and all writings that had sprung forth from his depraved mind. I plowed through to the end only to be rewarded with this gem:

When not selecting additions to his wardrobe, Miles is a professional trumpet player. People who know about such things tell me he shows a lot of promise.


Exactly one sentence about Miles' trumpet playing. One sentence! I had no idea why Miles would allow such a travesty to be published with his album. I liberated needle from vinyl, packed the album up, and set it aside. I was confused and hurt. It would be years before I could dig the album out to give it a second listen.

Today, I love the irreverence and swagger of Frazier's words. His approach is akin to David Foster Wallace being sent to the Maine Lobster Festival on Gourmet Magazine's dime and filing his famous Consider the Lobster essay, in which he exhaustively ponders the moral and ethical ramifications of eating the tasty crustaceans. Or Hunter S. Thompson penning a piece on the Kentucky Derby that eviscerates the race's spectators, displaying their inner ugliness for all to see.

Sure, today I love it. But back then, at the tender age of 10, when George Frazier stood arrogantly between me and an insider's glimpse into the enigma that is Miles Davis? I could've strangled him with a robin's egg blue silk neckerchief that paired perfectly with his seersucker suit.

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