Wednesday, September 30
Schiffer, BTW, from Germany and Erik's favorite - he had a poster of her by his desk at the mighty First Boston (this was 1980s after all). She has appeared on over 500 magazine covers.
My little boy turns 9 years old - how can this be? He requests home-made pizza for dinner, knowing this to be Madeleine's favorite+the Manchester United game which will keep him up well-past his bedtime. Easily done. Dana and Nathan give him a metal detector, Aggie a lego set and Natasha a £20 gift certificate at Pandomoniam. Hew whoops for joy. I make him a member of Fulham FC so we can see the Premiere League without flying to Manchester. They, in fact, will come to us.
Waiting to meet Sonnet at the Courdault at Summerset House, I check out super-cool exhibition "Fashion Revolution" put on by SHOWstudio, an "online fashion broadcasting company operating in live fashion media." SHOWstudio founder, photographer Nick Night (whose first publication in '82, 'Skinheads,' caused some controversy) is about experimental interactive projects, films and live performances and this is what I see - pictured (shot from my mobile phone). SHOWstudio, meanwhile, has worked on over 300 projects inside the fashion industry including John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Naomi Cambell and Kate Moss and top designers and models like Aitor Throup, Gareth Pugh, Agyness Deeyn. Their collaborations extend into music, food, architecture, art, design and performance with Bjork, Brad Pitt, Leigh Bowery, Heston Blumenthal and Tracy Emin.
Not surprisingly, the space filled with light and glow while costumes and media displayed everywhere. A lot of set pieces I don't like but several I love - including an invitation to watch a 'live fashion studio' but instead a picture-reel of a famous model at work. There is no sound. The viewer becomes a voyeur and the black and white images become color and erotic. Cool. In the next chamber, a powerful movie short of movement while techno-beat blasts and the models fall into step, displaying their accoutrements
Tuesday, September 29
Katie turns another year - and bravo! Life is hard to find one's place and make a go of it. And keep it interesting. Her Op-Ed project effecting thousands of contributors and millions of readers.
Last week I had dinner with Nick, who is now 64 and my first boss at "the mighty First Boston" as he likes to say. He founded First Boston's financial institutions group (or FIG) which became the firm's profit centre by the time I arrived - each of us producing several millions of fees per year and, from my perspective, all blood, sweat and tears. Nick and I re-connect around his son (also named Nick) who is a writer for the New Yorker magazine covering mostly financial and business subjects. I wrote to congratulate him and - bang! - Nick Sr on the phone. Nick one of the few remaining old-style bankers, putting his clients above all else and not driven by fast, easy gains like today's trading floor. Fuckers. Nick was an unusual fellow even back in those 80s .. he was once told (or so rumour has it) not to roller-skate to work since "this unbecoming of a banker's profession." He was one of the few guys who seemed to care about us Analysts and we all wanted to be assigned to his projects. Nick left the clipper in late-1990, calling us into his office and noting "it's time to tell the kiddies" and so he went to JP Morgan to set up the Corsair funds, which today oversees billions. I recall a discussion in 1990 - on 59th Street and Fifth in a black town car - as commercial banks like JPM granted limited regulatory permissions to be investment banks for the first time since '33. "It is all over" he said gloomily. "this is the beginning of the end for all of us."
Nick and I swap memories of people, parties, deals and the last twenty years. How unusual that I first met him when he my age now. The last time together, I asked for money for my non-profit Help The World See or '94. Of all the things I have done, he exclaims, HTWS interesting: "It is not easy to do things differently, and I am proud of anybody that does."
Monday, September 28
One last shot from Berlin.
The kids have been in an all-out war to collect.. conkers (a "conker," Dear Reader, the seed of a horse-chestnut tree and ubiquitous in London this time of year). And should we think the competition only with us, I learn that contestants in the Pulton International Conkers Tournement, held annually in the small village of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, were warned Friday that they face new security including searches and police-style checks to combat possible cheating. Only conkers, you see, collected and checked by the organising committee may be used - each conker marked (of course) with a special flourescent pen similar to a police-marking on stolen goods. Were that not enough, the winning conkers checked afterwards to ensure that they have not used substitutes which might have been soaked in vinegar or baked in an oven. Event organiser Phil Heneghan notes: "we may also check contestants' footwear." He adds further: "It is truly incredible what lengths some contestants will go to in their attempts to win the championship." Watching the near fist fights in Eitan and Madeleine's simple competition, I can only imagine if the stakes high.
"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."
--George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008
Sunday, September 27
He further insists that Britain's schools not giving students confidence nor the bleeding edge and one astute panelist notes that perhaps it is his fashion askew. Touchee. Afterwards Sonnet and I have dinner in Barnes, which we haven't done in a way long time and it feels like a date-date. Kids at home with reliable baby-sitter Lauren (teenager, studying for medicine) and it is after 11PM. Given the busy ahead, I skip the martinis though, since Berlin, I have been thinking about our reunion. Instead I keep to red wine.
I stay up late Saturday to listen to the #6 Bears magical season end after three games - Oregon crushes Cal 42-3. What happened?
Saturday, September 26
Despite prenups as an indicator of nastiness, 2007 divorces in England and Wales fell to 12 per 1,000 married or the lowest since 1981 according to government. For the fifth year, men and women in their late twenties had the highest divorce rates or 27 divorces per 1,000. Since '97 the average age at divorce in England and Wales has risen from 40.2 to 43.7 years for men and from 37.7 to 41.2 years for women, partly reflecting the rise in age at marriage. One in five men and women divorcing in 2007 had a previous marriage ending in divorce. This proportion has doubled in 27 years: in 1980 one in ten men and women divorcing had a previous marriage ending in divorce. Sixty-nine per cent of divorces were to couples where the marriage was the first for both parties. For 68 per cent of divorces in 2007, the wife was granted the divorce. And there you have it.
Friday, September 25
Here is Katie, pinched from the Echoing Green Foundation where she is a Fellow. Since a lot of people ask me about her work, here is a piece of the blurb: "Projecting new diverse voices into national conversation by providing channels for women experts to be published in the op-ed pages of top newspapers, online sites, and other key forums of public debate." The problem she aims to correct: more than 80% of US editorial content male (and mostly white too) (here is the full story+interview http://www.echoinggreen.org/fellows/katie-orenstein). I like the photo BTW - we all know Katie is determined and when she focuses her intellect - look out.
" Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world: indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
Thursday, September 24
Wednesday, September 23
Tuesday, September 22
Sonnet sends me the below email regarding the week end missed while I in Berlin. Here it is:
Aggie helps kids with their homework while I make Sunday dinner. We have pork chops, sweet potatoes, greens and salad, plus Aggie's Polish cheesecake for dessert. We have dinner and recap the weekend. Eitan describes the weekend as 'fantastic' (still high after the Man U win against Man City-there were tears of joy in his eyes after the winning goal) but could have been improved on if he played for KPR today. Madeleine satisfied with her mom time, but would have liked to have had an ice cream. I took some time to talk to Madeleine about friends, about how people treat her in class (fine if you stay away from the barbie girls) and about asking for help to reach her goals. She has nothing specific at the moment she says. I got to run while Eitan was swimming at 7:00 this morning so all is well.
We called the grandparents tonight and had good conversations with your parents and mine. Moe tells us is days away from getting the go-ahead to put weight on his foot if all has healed properly. Silver has one last round of chemicals on Tuesday and then gets a six month break. Stan is experimenting with an apple tart.
Madeleine and Eitan both made a good effort with their home work. No complaining and everything complete by dinner time tonight. Kumon and chores done too (though I can't figure out how to get the hoses back in the casings).
The big news is Madeleine found a tiny black fish in the pond and went to the moon with happiness. She wants to add it to her fishtank but in the interim has put it in a plastic tub in the back garden and named it Frank.
Sunday, September 20
The sun coming up but still dark yet 1,000s of runners head in one direction: to the starting gate. Oh, the humanity. I pass beside the famous Brandenburg Gate along with everybody else then sit for an hour on the steps of the Reichstag. A park takes the inflow and bag checks just beyond. Soon later, I make my way to the course. Temperature warm for a marathon – maybe 17 or 18 degrees – and the excitement palpable. As always, the toilet lines forever and I feel sorry for the women, who comprise maybe 80%. Us dudes just piss wherever like the dogs.
Saturday, September 19
Whose driving the same way
I picture my own grave
This fear's got a hold on me
Yes, this fear's got a hold on me
Yes, this fear's got a hold on me "
Friday, September 18
Pictured, the symbol of Berlin and indeed, Germany. It is also where I will start and (I do hope) finish the marathon. The weather could not be better - today about 17 degrees and sunny yet autumnal. Most of the streets being shut down as I write though still 37 hours to the event (but who's counting). This year's buzz about the great Haile Gebreselassie who owns the World Record in 2:03:59 which he set last year on this very course. He thinks he can go 2:03:30 Sunday and even sub-2:03 "on a perfect day." Pushing him are Duncan Kibet and Sammy Korir, both from Kenya and both under 2:05. In fact, this is the fastest men's marathon ever assembled with 11 runners under 2:10. To put this in perspective, the winning time as recently as 1993 was 2:10:57. I recall as a swimmer seeing age-group dudes achieving miraculous results - like John Mykannan or Jeff Kostoff, both in Southern California, swimming under 4:20s for the 500 yard freestyle which was not far off the American record back in the early 1980s (I got to know John BTW since we trained together when he was at Cal; he went on to win the 400 meters silver in Los Angeles before college; Kostoff joined Stanford and broke every short-course distance record in the books). This is how I feel about the elite athletes: super human, inspirational.
The women's race also quick with Askale Tafa Magarsa in pole position with an entry time of 2:21:31 then Atsed Habtamu (2:25:17) and Genet Getaneh (2:26:37). All from Ethiopia. Paula Radcliffe contemplated Berlin to better her World Record of 2:15:25 but, alas, it is not to be - she has been injured or under-trained this year and not at her best.
I collect my race number at the marathon expo inside the former Tempelhof Airport. And boy, it is a scene. My guess runners have above-average disposable income and they certainly are mad about their weird, introverted sport. I am too when not grumbling about injury or some running induced perversion. Given the big Sunday ahead, we do what comes naturally to middle aged athletes - buy shit. And there is plenty of it - ASICS, Nike, Adidas, Mazino, Power Bar, Lucazade, Puma, track suits, racing kit, water systems, trainers this, gear that .. each vendor has a high-tech stall some with you volunteers in panty hose pushing their whatever. I look. All this crap inside airplane hangers which adds to the immenseness of the experience. Outside, on the airstrips, inline skaters do their thing while beer gardens and barbecues fill more space. It is hard not to be swept away by the vibe, which is all excitement and anticipation.
Thursday, September 17
Christian sends me this pic from last night at the Fox Oakland - a great venue where we recently saw The Decemberists. Unfortunately, the band now popular enough to play the big venues so I decline to see them at Wembley Arena in November as they tour the UK. Still, their energy and spirit true and the recent third album "Humbug", while not a classic like "Whatever You Say I Am, I'm Not" and "Favourite Worst Nightmare," is good. We have several good shows coming up this autumn including St Etienne, Automatic Toxic Event and my most anticipated: The White Lies. Now they rock (daps to CW for introducing me to them).
I soon depart solo for Berlin and the marathon, which takes place Sunday. Along with my running sneakers, space-designed socks and sweat-whisking, breathable-fibre tank-top and shorts, I will pack aspirin, sports gel, electrolyte hydration, cereal, sun-tan lotion, Vaurnet sunglasses, vassaline and Peet's coffee, whose caffeine content may trip doping alarms. My secret weapon. So more on Berlin from Berlin.
The Shakepeare's review their new teachers following the first week of school. Eitan gives a thumb's up, while Madeleine sideways. I ask why her dissatisfaction? and she shrugs: "homework."
Wednesday, September 16
Despite this, we are the leaders in a number of key public services. My Oyster Card, for instance, connects the underground, bus and rail networks seamlessly to my billing. Users pay by top-up or contract. London the first city to have congestion-charging, which has changed traffic patterns in the most congested parts of town. I bitch and moan about the cost (£8 per day or £80 ticket) but it works flawlessly. Our Victorian water and sewage systems allowed London to become the first city of one and then two million citizens and the largest population in the world until surpassed by Tokyo in '52. Full mobile coverage of Britain before anyone else in Europe and London at the center - my friend Author helped build the BT-Police emergency-cell communications network with no fear of redundancy during crisis. A first. The underground the world's oldest. Much of our modern skyline- like the Swiss Re Gherkin or soon, the Shard of Glass - use steel and glass as never before. London is where modern science began when John Snow discovered that cholera spreads via contaminated water in 1854. And so on and so forth.
I think a beauty of the New Age that we are surrounded by this cool stuff which changes our communication, travel, health, ecosystem and lives yet we never know the less.
Monday, September 14
Me to Madeleine (at bedtime): "You are a very intelligent young lady."
Madeleine: "Pigs are smart too."
Madeleine: "And dolphins. But they get caught in fishnets. And die. So they are not as smart as pigs."
Sunday, September 13
It is not only the NFL that starts today. Eitan plays his first competitive match against Illsworth, which is not far from us on the A4. Age nine when the FA allows league play. The squad takes a two-nil victory in a pinball-esque match thanks in large party to KPR's goalie who, on no fewer than three occasions, saves goal when all odds against him. The final heroic a blocked penalty shot from ten feet away. Us dads still not sure how he got his mitts on that one. Before the start, Eitan selected Team Captain and given the arm-band, which is visible on his right in the photo. He accepts the responsibility with a seriousness the new title deserves. During the action, Eitan sets up up KPR's two scores with well placed crosses. I think this may be his best move .. racing down the sideline, in control, top speed and the instant before out-of-bounds he lays a foot on the ball sending it sailing before goal. Sometimes a team mate there for the decisive header or shot-into-net. Fun to watch, no doubt, and his crew have come together these last six months to play as a team. I would have not thought possible earlier this summer.
Madeleine meanwhile has her pal Jackson for an over-night and up rather late giggling and doing what kids do. Sonnet and I remark at her happiness - you know, we don't hear her laughter often enough.
Football, American style, kicks off today and the cheer leaders back, God bless. Since the Raiders and 49ers suck - the 1970s and 1980s now a long time ago - it is all on my beloved Cal to deliver the promised land. In Cal's case, a Rose Bowl (Dad, my promise stands: if Cal goes, we go). During my courtship of Sonnet in '93 we went to see Cal vs. Washington - she had never seen anything like it - the stadium, the crowds and the sideline's bare flesh. "Perky" she described the pom poms in their little outfits jumping about and rousing the crowd.
Such a thing would never fly in England or anywhere outside America. European football may be seen by the US as a bunch of dive-taking pansies who wouldn't last a second the NFL. And my goodness, true - professional soccer players have the frames of distance runners trotting back-and-forth for 90 minutes. The fans, though, are die hard - who can forget the 1970s and Liverpool and more recently England fans banned from travel to European Cup games? These hooligans drink and provoke, attack fans in their own city and discredit our nation.
Somehow soccer's anticipation combined with the exultation of a goal (or its opposite) strike a violent nerve in many blue-collar spectators who, perhaps, otherwise repressed somehow (this is England) and given the chance for release cause bedlam. Watching games at the pub a remarkably unpleasant experience if you wish your team to win .. no doubt, exciting too but the build up and pressure mount as the game advances. It's like no other sport - Remarkable.
Photo from the WWW, uncredited.
Here is Tour Montparnasse, a horrible building in the 15th arrondisement and Paris's answer to Centre Point. It is 210-meters and built from 1969-72 and remains the tallest skyscraper in France, though there is some pressure by the height of Tour Axa (225 meters) being built now and eventually Tour Phare, Tour Signal and Tour Generali at a planned 300-meters. These latter projects on ice thanks to the meltdown. The 59 stories on top of Montparnasse-Bienvenue Paris Metro and across the street from busy Gare Montparnasse train station so easy to understand the rational for having a commercial slab here. Still, its simple architecture, gigantic proportions and monolithic appearance out of place in Paris pardieu and, as a result, two years after its completion the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre banned. And of course - l'asbestos! - and so there is. As of July 2007, Mont-P closed and empty for at least three years and maybe another five .. they should just bring it down. I once had a meeting on the second floor with some pension fund - what floor more demoralising?
My photo BTW taken across the street at Jardin Atlantique above the tracks of the Montparnasse train station, which itself an ugly failure of communal work-live space. I hate this part of Paris. We are here to visit Musee Jean Moulin which has a temporary expo on women's war-time fashion which Sonnet checks out ("professionally instructive; fascinating"). The museum otherwise about being in the French Resistance during WWII and how France saved the free-world. Hmmm.
Madeleine: "Can I watch WWW smack down?"
Saturday, September 12
We slowly move into our new house and last night marks a week. Sonnet does an excellent job putting stuff in its place but we are still lite on furniture and the kids sleep on mattresses, the poor dears. It does not yet feel our own but this will change over time and after Sonnet engages the interior designers, which is somewhere in the middle of our list of things to do - pictured (first on the list: replace water cylinder - that was a first day doozy). For the most part, however, there is very little that must immediately get done and so we enjoy. For instance, I am watering the outdoor plants even though this now technically Eitan and Madeleine's job.
Me to Madeleine trying to ruffle her: "You are embarressing me in front of (school chum) Jackson"
Madeleine: "Well, you're the one who wore a cow suit to school."
We have the perfect picnic with Kristin in the Jardin Luxembourg, which is largest park in Paris at 22.5 hectares or about the size of the Columbia University campus. It is in the 6th arrondisement and the garden of the French Senate, which itself housed in the Luxembourg Palace. The Medici Fountain - pictured and where we have lunch built in 1630 by Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry IV. It was designed, I learn, by Tomasso Francini, a Florentine fountain maker and hydraulic engineer who was brought from Florence to France by Henry. It was in the form of a grotto which was popular in Italy during the Renaissance. It fell into ruins during the 18th century, but in 1811, at the command of Napoleon, the fountain restored by Jean Chalring who was the architect of the Arc de Triomphe. Cool. In 1864-66, the fountain was moved to its present location, the long basin of water was built, and the sculptures of the giant Polyphemus surprising the lovers Acis and Galatea. Plus there is a duck family.
Paris has a totally different vibe and Sonnet and I compare - London a sprawling hot mess with theatre, bars and modern design next to Victorian clutter. It rambles onward and outward driven from its vital energy generated in W1 and the Thames. Paris, too, has the river but it is more of a cleansing thing - unlike the tidal Thames, the Seine slow flowing and one-way. Consequently, Paris has a more measured pace. It is by far the more sophisticated city and above all for adults - in fact, I don't know what kids actually do here since they are hidden away from sight. Adults, meanwhile, enjoy the the peaks of civilisation from Haute Couture to Arts and of course cuisine, oh la la (as I say repeatedly to Sonnet's eventual annoyance). It is impossible to have a bad meal in Paris. Yesterday, for instance, we buy cheeses from the fromagerie, meats from the charcouterie; breads and fruits and big, ripe tomatoes. In short, perfect. Why is this impossible anywhere else?
On food for a moment: I recall my business school friend Walt who visited Paris in '97 whilst working for the Lydia Group who own Chanterelle which received the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant in America last year. I think Walt was doing business development or something for Lydia and was visiting Europe's best restaurants for ideas .. at his choice, we stayed in the worst hotel I have ever known (described by the Lonely Planet as "a Turkish delight" complete with communal squatters) and drank a lot of wine and bourbon while barely sleeping. Walt quitting smoking so wearing the nicotine-patch yet puffing away. Despite our general exhaustion and squalor we ate food that was .. sublime. A good memory certainly.
Me: "Madeleine do you want to earn some money by doing chores?"
Madeleine: "I am not really into work, dad."
Friday, September 11
Sonnet and I ditch, er, drop off the kids at "Breakfast Club" and head for King's Cross St Pancras station and the Eurostar. We are going to Paris to see a few museums and visit Kristin, who is a friend from high school. On the train we sit next to two gay dudes who are dressed very cool and wearing their dark shades. They sleep the entire journey after (and now I ease drop) being up all night and before that Barcelona and Madrid. Ah, to be young and in Love, heading for Paris on an autumnal day. There are worse ways to spend one's time. The kids happy too since Aggie babysits allowing us our together.
"This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous. And you need to get over that."
Republican congressman Joe Wilson in 2002 on Washington Journal speaking to congressman Bob Filner, who had stated that the US "gave" Iraq "chemical and biological weapons" in the 1980s.
Wednesday, September 9
My yesterday begins at Bikram yoga, 6:30AM, which I say is miserable. It takes 30 minutes to recover and another hour to stop sweating. Fortunately my first meeting - at the Wolseley - not until 9:30AM and I am perspired out by then and even dry. It is an unusually hot day in London which doesn't help much either. So I meet my dear friend Najib, who used to be with GE Capital where he was Chief Executive of GE Credit Services. He left GE in 2001 to start 1st Credit, which has become one of the UK's largest debt collection agencies, managing more than four million consumer accounts with a face value of approximately £5 billion. In short, Najib is a bad ass who has come up from humble roots (his parents shop keepers) and delivered on the Western dream. Bravo. Now Najib is also Muslim and this summer married a Jewish women from Regent's Park or the flashy part of town. We laugh a bit about this and he comments: "crossing the divide, one wedding at a time" and it is hard to disagree - not that I know many Muslims but I certainly don't know any married to a Jew. Or visa verse. I love Najib for this.
From breakfast, I sun myself in Green Park before meeting David at Nobu for lunch. I get sunburn, pictured and serves me right, made worse by this being the last week of summer and I have otherwise been pretty good about sunblock.
Sunday, September 6
Friday night I return to a new address. Despite the late hour, Sonnet up tells me about the move, which I so adroitly avoid, dear reader, wanting nothing to do with any of it. I may have been a distance swimmer but I really no longer have the endurance for such things. So the place now looks like a small bomb went off somewhere - kids room covered with there detritus, Eitan in instant trouble trying to wall paper his room with football posters using thumb tacks. We have a fair amount of work to do before comfortable, including furniture and interior design but this should be mostly fun especially if I am not involved. Our first Big Shock, on Day One no less, the water system which we learn should be entirely re-worked since the boiler missing certain key protections. Hello? This would have been nice to know two weeks ago, but who checks the back pipes? Any ways its small beer against everything else but does mean we have to have workers traipsing about while we try to settle in. Otherwise it is a joy to be here.
Madeleine has a rough day as we go to the pet shop so she may buy some ornamentals for her fish tank. She being very concerned for "Flippers," "Bubbles," and "Gills" comfort in their new surroundings. Unfortunately, the item she wants £2 more than the change in her pocket and I refuse to lend her money.. this bad habit has become a regular request. Further, Madeleine chucked the opportunity to earn some dough this morning from chores like watering or sweeping (said she: "I'm not really interested in working, dad."). Such tears ("Can we get an ice cream? And by the way I am not talking to you."). From there to Pandemonium where she patiently tests new toys and picks a small, white, plastic polar bear. The cashier informs her the price has gone up by £1 and, not having the extra money, our defeated hero hangs her head and resignedly returns the object to its place. Not even ice cream - strawberry, with candy sprinkles and a chocolate flake - can improve our fallen's mood and when home, she spends 20 minutes sobbing to Sonnet.
"Yesterday, you made note of my -- the lack of my talent when it comes to dancing. But nevertheless, I want you to know I danced with joy. And no question Liberia has gone through very difficult times."
-- George W., speaking with the president of Liberia, Washington, D.C., Oct. 22, 2008
Saturday, September 5
Duane is hard to miss: 6'10" with a personality that matches. As a youngster he was recruited by the Ivies to play basketball and had various scholarship offers including Santa Barbara to play volley ball. At Brown, he was the first in our hallway to own a printer, which everybody used often at pre-dawn the day an assignment due. I was in that line often enough. This back to '85 when a computer machine barely held enough memory for a 20-page paper and a week's work instantly lost when the thing crashed or switched-off before 'saving.' My generation technology's guinea pig - now college kids do everything wirelessly and the thought of a paper trail inconceivable. Terry Semel, former CEO of Yahoo!, once said: my generation looks at the Internet, the next uses the Internet while young people live on the Internet. Or something like that.
So back to Duane, who grew up in rural Canada so remote he commuted to school via helicopter (his father in the oil business). Post Brown, he made his mark in film writing and directing the short "Loafing," which was the winner of the Audience Award at the International Slamdance Film Festival in '97. His unreleased film "Limp" featured INXS singer Michael Hutchence and was shelved after Hutchence's suicide two weeks after completion. Bad timing. Duane then moved to New York to be a rock star forming Custom and signing to Artist Direct Records as the label's inaugural artist. He made his debut album, "Fast," in a home studio he had built in his 5,000 sf flat by north of Canal Street, playing most of the instruments himself. He earned controversy in 2002 when MTV banned the video for his single, "Hey Mister," which Duane directed himself (it follows a young woman as she frolics on the beach, hangs out with the singer, and goes shopping. The music video featured the song's sexually suggestive lyrics being written on the woman's skin as well as upskirt shots exposing her underwear. Youtube it, dude). "Fast" released in March 2002 and Duane touring ever since. His music is punchy, loud, sexually suggestive and cool.
"Hey Mister I really like your daughter.
I'd like to eat her like ice cream
Maybed dip er in chocolate"
-- Duane Lavold, "Hey Mister"