15 October 2007
RIFF MARKET PRESENTS: ZACHARY KANIN WEEK AT RIFF MARKET
Illustrations by Zachary Kanin
ZACH KANIN: DAY ONE
RIFF MARKET PIMPS "THE SHORT BOOK" FIVE-PART MINI-SPECIAL
Zachary Kanin, a New Yorker cartoonist and old friend of Riff Market, has just released his first book, entitled The Short Book: Tall Stories, Freakish Facts, and the Long and Short of Being Small in a Great Big World, available for purchase on Amazon and from what I understand, misleadingly, in the reference sections of actual bookstores. The book is a mishmash of short-centric humor pieces, bizarre found facts such as celebrity heights and this story about one person murdering another person over an argument about James Brown's height, and misc riffs on the science of short and the short lifestyle.
Riff Market ostensibly being a music blog, Zach gave me an exclusive excerpt from his book, "Chapter 41. Musicians," the one in which he deals with the legacy of short musicians. That's for today. Tomorrow I will be interview Zach about his writing process, and later in the week I'll be publishing some book-related surprises Zach has put together exclusively for Riff Market. The book's own blog, Smallotry, can be found here.
Chapter 41. Musicians
By Zachary Kanin
“If music be the food of love, then it must not be very nutritious, or else the following geniuses would have been taller.”
Sammy Davis Jr.: 5’3
A member of the famous “Rat Pack” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Sammy mixed comedy and charm with lounge singing. While Sinatra was known as “Old Blue Eyes,” Sammy had only one real eye and enjoyed a less complimentary nickname: “Mr. Little Bones.”
Greatest Composer in History
Ludwig Van Beethoven: 5’4
Not only was Beethoven short, but he also became deaf, and yet he still composed some of the best sounding and tallest symphonies ever.
No matter what name he wants to be called, he’s the prince of being short and musical. He once made a man pregnant by making love to a woman near him—that is how potent the dude is.
Little Jimmy Dickens: 4’11
This country music legend and hall-of-famer was known for his hits “Take an Old Cold Tater (and Wait)” and “I’m Little but I’m Proud.” He referred to himself as “Mighty Mouse in his pajamas.”
Bob Dylan: 5’6
Some scholars believe that Dylan’s anti-war anthem “Blowin’ in the Wind” was actually about a day when a strong gust knocked him off his little feet and sent him thousands of miles to Vietnam where he could witness the futile atrocities of the war firsthand. Others say that never happened.
Did someone say, “More musicians please?”
-Gustav Mahler (5’4; composer)
-Igor Stravinsky (5’4; composer)
-Paul Simon (5’3; singer/songwriter)
-Pat Benatar (5’1; rock singer)
-Phil Collins (5’5; pop singer)
-Dolly Parton (5’0; country singer/actress)
-Thom Yorke (5’4; lead singer of Radiohead)