Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The New York Times obituary for Bob Quine pointed out that the philosopher Willard V.O. Quine was his uncle. I had no idea. I mean, I had a longstanding idea about naming my firstborn son "Quine" after the two (n.b. my wife is far from signing off on this plan), but I didn't realize that they were actually that closely related.

I can remember a quote of W.V.O.'s about a particularly convoluted argument regarding essential qualities (I forget whose) where Quine said something like "This offends the sensibilities of those of us with a taste for desert landscapes."

Both Quines, though presumably opposites in their personal lives (in that W.V.O. was reputedly a cold fish, while Bob was fairly volatile), had a certain cleanness in their approaches to their work. Neither could stand unnecessary flourishes or grandstanding. Bob's guitar tone, as mostly naked as it was, and style, as cobbled together from Mickey Baker, Lou Reed, and On The Corner, were as direct and free from window dressing as W.V.O.'s masterful use of Occam's Razor and ultra-clear writing style.

Anyway, for your enjoyment:
A Robert Quine retrospective on WFMU.


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