“What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven.”
I do not have anything to say about Beethoven, the man who freed music, that has not already been said.
I was introduced to Beethoven in my early twenties by two newspapermen, Ed Frisbie and Fran Ortiz, both of whom worked at the SF Examiner where I was a copyboy. We would sit around the M&M Tavern at 5th & Howard and talk about the late quartets, the Grosse Fugue … and I would try to soak it up and I’d go buy pieces they recommended … and I’d listen to them when I tired of Bowie, Roxy Music, and Captain Beefheart.
I am forever grateful to the two of them.
Fran was a great news photographer whose works – four pieces as a matter of fact – were chosen by the New York Museum of Modern Art for their retrospective of twentienth century photojournalistic excellence. He was a gentleman, a kind man, a great cook, and quite the ladies man: he gave me a lamb recipe for the first time I had a woman over for a serious dinner date. It worked.
But this is not really a story about Fran, or Beethoven, but about Ed Frisbee, one of the most serious drinkers and most entertaining story-tellers I knew in my early life. It was another era. I had a lot to learn about booze.
Read the rest of this article at my old site, Sun Pop Blue. Recipe included! (in the comments)