a skeletal, severely abbreviated fraction of autobiography. reading more like excerpted annotated outlines of a memoir, barely stretching just over a hundred pages padded with ample textless chapter divisions etc. worth it for the inimitable Chet Baker deadpan —near catatonic— stoicism that somehow, in its seemingly para-human indifference and detachment, conveys such an elevated sensitivity, psychic fragility and diffuse air of melancholy and portent that only such impassivity could delicately enough carry. and also for vignettes like these:
[of his experience aboard a troopship bound for Germany after enlisting in the Army illegally at 16] There was vomit everywhere, you could not escape the smell of it no matter where you went on the ship. Since there wasn’t anything alcoholic to drink, some of the guys mixed Aqua Velva with fruit juice. Everyone was getting loaded and fighting. Some went blind from the noxious aftershave mixture. Altogether, it was a trip I could not easily forget.
I spent a couple of weeks at her apartment, but unfortunately some joker ripped off the door of her Corvette when I was using the car. He didn’t even stop. We had a few words about that, and fought about some other things as well. It all ended in my telling her to get fucked.
[of being brought to court on drug charges in England] I really couldn’t take the whole thing seriously. All those seemingly pompous fools with their white wigs. Needless to say, I was found guilty by his lordship.
despite its brevity, a satisfying, shimmering glimpse into imo one of the top 5 most compelling voices in all recorded music (and pretty standard mid-century jazz-genius-junkie archetype). for a longer look, a couple biographies are supposed to be good, but u prob cant do better than this.