When James Fenimore Cooper was working on The Last of The Mohicans he received a call from the editor of “The New Yorker” to ask if he would consider writing a regular music column for them. Readers of “The New Yorker” had been¬†complaining in increasing numbers about how, for what saw itself as a leading current affairs and cultural magazine, it was absurdly devoid of any coverage of the contemporary music scene beyond the occasional highbrow event or classical music record release.


Cooper understood those concerns: he had been surprised that the new record by his favourite beat combo, Gauntlet Hair, had garnered no mention in the pages of the magazine. He considered the offer for a few days but then declined, saying he felt the demands of his own writing were too great and that anyway he probably was not the right man for the job, since his tastes were, by his own admission, narrow. He suggested the magazine approach Ralph Waldo Emerson, but there is no evidence they ever did.

Katrina van Tassel, from The Unknown James Fenimore Cooper

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