Friday, July 20, 2018

You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With

Laurie Anderson/John Giorno/William S Burroughs
You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With
New York City, USA: Giorno Poetry Systems, 1981
Vinyl LP/Audio Cassette
Edition size unknown

A cassette and double LP released in 1981, with the CD following in 1993.  The tenth release from the Giorno Poetry Systems (and the second to feature Giorno and Burroughs), the album was recorded during the "Red Night" spoken word tour of 1981. Most of Anderson's material came from her magnum opus United States, and live versions of some tracks, such as "It Was Up in the Mountains", would also be included in her later 5-LP release, United States Live. This was Anderson's first major album release predating her solo debut, Big Science, by a year.

Whereas many of the Giorno Poetry Systems LPs had covers designed by visual artists (Les Levine, Keith Haring, Gary Panter, Robert Williams, etc.), this record was designed by George Delmerico, the late art director for the Village Voice newspaper.

Anderson's contributions to the LP include "Born, Never Asked", "Closed Circuits", "Dr. Miller", "It Was Up In The Mountains", "For Electronic Dogs", "Structuralist Filmmaking" and "Drums." Burroughs' tracks include "Introducing John Stanley Hart; He Entered The Bar With The Best Intentions", "Progressive Education", "The Wild Fruits", "Mr. Hart Couldn't Hear The Word Death" and others. Giorno is represented by two longer tracks: "Completely Attached To Delusion" and the epic "I Don't Need It, I Don't Want It, And You Cheated Me Out Of It".

The LP was a multi-grooved record, so depending on where the needle landed on the record listeners would hear either an Anderson, Burroughs or Giorno track.

"In 1974, I hitchhiked to the North Pole and when I got back my loft had been completely vandalized. There was some old mail lying on the front steps of the building inviting me to do a project at Zero Bull Shit Media in Fort Edward, New York. ZBS Media was a commune/recording studio where I learned about Buddhism and sound recording. It’s where I met Bob Bielecki, who was chief engineer there. Through him I met William and also John, who was beginning to record his work. We were all interested in making records and Dial-A-Poem was a sudden outlet for the work of all kinds of writers, musicians, and poets.

Burroughs’s “Language is a virus from outer space” always struck me as an odd thing for a writer to say—that language is a disease communicable by mouth. So, if language is a disease, what were we doing?

William wanted to be a song and dance man. He had some of the showman swagger of James Cagney and a few notes of Jimmy Durante saluting Mrs. Calabash (wherever you are). When he, John, and I made the record You’re the Guy I Want to Share My Money With (1981), William insisted that the three of us hold canes and pretend to dance for the photo shoot. So there we are on the back cover—the three of us in white shirts—William and John in some kind of tan suits and we’re all planting our canes in the same spot as if we’d just finished dousing.

It was a double album and each of us had a side. The album noted that these were “multi-track” pieces. The fourth side was a crapshoot. Depending on where you put the needle down, you would tap into one of our intertwined spirals, randomizing the record and giving it the feeling of one of William’s cut-ups."

- Laurie Anderson, "Dancing with John and William"

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