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This Week in Sound

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My One George Booth Story

September 19, 1981

My one George Booth story: The first large outdoor concert I ever attended was the Simon and Garfunkel reunion in Central Park, which occurred on September 19, 1981. It was a Saturday. I remember opening up the New York Times and seeing this huge advertisement for a concert by one of my then favorite groups, who had broken up before I’d even entered kindergarten. A long decade had passed since then. This was now the first semester of 10th grade for me. I called some friends to see if they wanted to go. I lived out on Long Island, an easy train ride into the city — not that, if I remember correctly, I had ever gone into the city without an adult at that point. (Maybe I had?) Only one friend’s parents consented. We took the train in, had an amazing time, and then when the concert was over, everyone heading downtown filled the streets, curb to curb, and the sidewalks, as well. There were too many people, and cars just had to wait as this massive phalanx made its way. A sizable portion of those funneled into Penn Station, and of those a substantial subset ended up on the train that my friend and I took back to Long Island. It was the most packed I’ve ever been on a train, just filled shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee. Everyone clearly had come from the show. Except there was this one older man right next to me, leaning with his back against the door. He looked confused. I struck up a conversation, and this man turned out to be George Booth, who lived even further out on Long Island than I did. (And it occurs to me that I’m just a few months older now than Booth was that day.) We chatted about various things. I was really into comics, and we talked about illustrators a bit. I eventually asked what he was thinking going into the city today of all days. He said he wanted to get some work done and he figured Saturday at the office would be quiet.

RIP, George Booth (1926 – 2022)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

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