Talk to Her: Interviews

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Fantagraphics, 2004 - Music - 246 pages
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Kristine McKenna's work as a journalist began in the late 1970s, when she covered the Los Angeles punk scene for various domestic and international publications. During the '80s and '90s she wrote art, film and music criticism, and profiled directors, musicians and visual artists for a variety of publications including Artforum, Playboy, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times and New York Rocker.

Talk to Her is McKenna's second collection (the first was 1999's Book of Changes) of favorite interviews culled from McKenna's files, and the book reveal's McKenna's highly intimate technique as an interviewer. That she manages to get such candor out of her subjects is remarkable.

The stunning list of interview subjects includes: Filmmaker Robert Altman; Jackie Onassis's cousin Edie Beale; punk rocker and poet Exene Cervenka; the musician Elvis Costello; surf guitar legend Dick Dale; the postmodern critic Jacques Derrida; Beat poet Allen Ginsberg; Television's Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine; art curator Walter Hopps; Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde; country music legend Rickie Lee Jones; the Sex Pistols' John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten); singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell; the Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man; punk rock legend Joey Ramone; New York rock legend Lou Reed; the actress Eva Marie Saint; and the recently-departed Joe Strummer of the Clash. Also included are brief oral histories of Andy Warhol and Orson Welles.

Talk to Her also includes portraits of each interview subject by some of the best cartoonists in the world, including Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Phoebe Glockner, Tony Millionaire, Jeff Wong and others.

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Robert Altaian Roger Langridge
Edie Beale Megan Kelso
Exene Cervenka Charles Burns

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About the author (2004)

Kristine McKenna is a writer, critic and curator, best known for her interviews with artists, writers, thinkers, filmmakers and musicians. McKenna co-curated the 1998 exhibition Forming: the Early Days of L.A. Punk, for Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica. She was co-curator of Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & his Circle, a traveling group exhibition that opened at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2005. She is producer and co-writer of The Cool School (film), a documentary about L.A.'s first avant-garde gallery, and her book, The Ferus Gallery: A Place to Begin, was published by Steidl in 2009.

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