I've been a fan of Sam Shepard's since I saw the American Playhouse production of True West that was broadcast on PBS in 1984. We had the television on the kitchen table, and I sat there, next to the refrigerator, watching it while drinking beer out of the can. My girlfriend preferred to study her textbooks in the living room.
So affected by the play's portrayal of the voodoo of familial dysfunction, I purchased a paperback copy. I think I ended up presenting it as a gift to an older cousin.
There was this wonderful Shepard sentiment in today's NYT obit, "Sam Shepard, Actor and Pulitzer-Winning Playwright, Is Dead at 73," written by Ben Brantley:
As for love between a man and a woman, Mr. Shepard, whose long relationship with the actress Jessica Lange cast an unwanted spotlight on his private life, described that as “terrible and impossible.” He later explained: “It’s impossible the way people enter into it feeling they’re going to be saved by the other one. And it seems like many, many times that quicksand happens in a relationship when you feel that somehow you can be saved.”Just think how much money spent on psychotherapy could be saved if somehow you could impart this message to the masses; after all, that's what "burdens of a bachelor" means -- to prudentially forego the pursuit of that feeling of salvation.
We'll have to get around to another Hippies vs. Punks post on The Holy Modal Rounders.