[Jandek] Jandek's motivation for secrecy...

Joe Swordfish jswordfish at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 23:27:33 PST 2005

When we were out walking the dogs the other day, I was ranting at my
wife about Jandek.

The enigma. The secrecy. The veil, and so on.

I discussed some web surfing I'd done, locating Stirling Smith  Corp
on the web, and learning that the business that bears the name of the
man who may or may not be Jandek (at the same address as Corwood
Industries, which seems to do other business besides selling Jandek
records) are listed as Security Brokers.

A new picture started to emerge for me... this guy isn't keeping his
odd hobby a secret from his co-workers, he's the boss!  Can't the boss
do whatever he wants?

My wife hit me between the eyes with a possible answer... he didn't
wrap himself in secrecy to create distance from his fans, he did it to
keep his creative life secret from his clients.

It seems quite likely that people who found that he created such
unusual music with an often disconsolate message might loose
confidence and want to invest somewhere else.

I wanted to toss the name of another outsider artist into the mix for
consideration as another analogy to Jandek.  The blues guys and all
were good, but I'm thinking of Charles Ives as being like Jandek.

He too had a life as a successful businessman, and composed in the
evenings and weekends. His music was not generally accepted by peers
or public.

There are some differences. Ives didn't make any attempt to hide his
composing activities or identity from his clients.  He believed he was
creating a masculine, vigorous art, and he did what he could to get it

It sounded like from what Loren Connors said that Jandek may have felt
a little insecure about his art.... but I think a concern about real
consequences of people's negative response may have driven him.  It
occurs to me that he may not have toured, etc, because he was not able
to get away from the business.

If he has retired now, he does not have to mind the store, or mind
what clients think.  So why the remaining levels of secrecy?  The
theory doesn't have an answer for that. Force of habit?  Still a
little wary?

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