Design & Living / Jefferson Hack's Question Air

Glenn O'Brien, Writer

New York-based Glenn O’Brien is a man of many talents. Having started his career editing The Georgetown Journal and Andy Warhol’s Interview, he has since gone on to work at Rolling Stone, Playboy and High Times, start the journal Bald Ego, write The

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Glenn O'Brien
Glenn O'BrienPhotography by Jean-Baptiste Mondino

New York-based Glenn O’Brien is a man of many talents. Having started his career editing The Georgetown Journal and Andy Warhol’s Interview, he has since gone on to work at Rolling Stone, Playboy and High Times, start the journal Bald Ego, write The Style Guy column for GQ and produce and star in his much-loved cable access TV show, TV Party. As well as singing and songwriting for the world's first socialist-realist rock band, Konelrad, he also produced the film Downtown 81 and has performed as stand-up comedian. Here the stylish, charmingly funny man, who declares himself ‘unstoppable’ answers our Proust Questionnaire.

What are you thinking of right now?
Sticking to champagne tonight and laying off the red wine.

What makes you laugh?
Books by Robert Benchley, David Sedaris and Dave Barry. Albums by Jackie Vernon, Myron Cohen. The Simpsons and Woody Allen.

What makes you cry?
Schindler’s List.  Peeling onions.

What do you consider to be the greatest invention?
Wine

Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure that has guided or influenced you?
Andy Warhol, Wyndham Lewis, Robert Graves.

Where do you feel most at home?
In my kitchen in the country.

Where are you right now?
Miami Beach.

What is your proudest achievement in work?
Making a whole room laugh.

What is your proudest achievement in life?
Being a father.

What do you most dislike about contemporary culture?
It is ignorant of history.

What do you most like about the age we live in?
We have much better food than when I was a child.

At what points do life and work intersect?
When you’re a writer life and work are inextricably bonded.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Slow down.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Something about powder.

Recommend a book or poem that has changed your perspective on life?
Time and Western Man by Wyndham Lewis, Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann and Selected Prose 1909-1965 by Ezra Pound.

What is your earliest childhood memory?
Walking in the rain.

What’s the most important relationship in your life?
My wife Gina and son Oscar.

What’s the most romantic action you’ve taken?
Falling in love, what else?

What’s the most spiritual action you’ve taken?
Leaving jobs where the company was guilty.

If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be?
For everyone to forget about the supernatural and, as Lord Buckley said, “for people to worship people".

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