Use Me by Bill Withers

R.I.P. Bill Withers. There’s worse ways to spend an hour than listening to Menagerie. If you prefer to read, try Rolling Stone‘s profile: Bill Withers: The Soul Man Who Walked Away. Questlove says in it, “Questlove. “Jordan’s vertical jump has to be higher than everyone. Michael Jackson has to defy gravity. On the other side of the coin, we’Bill Withers is the closest thing black people have to a Bruce Springsteen.”

Mal on the Street

“In conventional business attire, trusty Mohawk at their side, the two would waylay pedestrians and proprietors. Clandestinely recording each conversation, they would retreat to the curb to rewind: The Mohawk used quarter-inch metal cassettes and rewinding the tapes required the operator to manually turn a handle like a fishing reel. Then they’d hook up the earpiece and listen to their latest. If they only collected usable material every two or three days, they were happy.

The best of these hidden-mike recordings is a long encounter with a druggist, from whom Coyle solicits advice about performing home surgery on Sharpe, who is complaining of chest pains. The druggist is aghast at Coyle’s medical “experience” — third-year high school, plus a few days of home study. They offer to do the surgery in a station wagon outside. The druggist begs them not to, saying they’re running huge risks for no reason. Coyle replies, “He’s willing to take the chance, and it would be very interesting for me.”

-Staff, “Mal on the Street.” SF Weekly. May 25, 1995