Saturday, September 02, 2017

Miles faster


That is Miles Davis with one of his Ferraris. The autobiographical The Speed of Sound by Thomas Dolby is well worth reading despite the inevitable hubris - "Hello magazine... published a story about our family home..." - for its portrayal of the perfidious ways of the music industry. This anecdote about Miles Davis comes from it:
Wayne [Shorter] cracked me up with a story about Miles and his brand-new Ferrari Testarossa*. Apparently Miles had gotten pulled over recently by the cops on the Pacific Coast Highway. He always felt he was unfairly victimised for being a black man driving a nice car, and he went to court to fight the ticket. "Mr. Davis," said the judge, "do you have any idea how fast you were going?" In his raspy voice Miles replied: "Hey, man, I just drive it till it sounds good".
* Not every jazz musician starves. Miles Davis owned four Ferraris, a 250 California Spider, a 250 GT Lusso, a 275 GTB/4 and a Testarossa. The car in the photo is his 275 GTB/4. No review samples - books or Ferraris - used in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Graeme said...


Miles Davis is an example of the artist as hooligan, cf Rimbaud le voyou by the Romanian( ?) Benjamin Fondane. Coleman Hawkins and Louis Armstrong never starved although the former drank himself to early death. A study of the divergent careers of Miles and Satch needs writing. The parallels and differences are multitudinous. One so virtuosic, the other so technically inhibited. One so broad and welcoming, the other so ferociously introverted. Both dominant in their worlds. One encouraging others the other scaring off people from different approaches.