Friday, February 25, 2011

Howard Armstrong on staying young

[In Daley Plaza, Chicago.]

Wisdom from mandolinist, violinist, singer, storyteller, and visual artist Howard Armstrong (aka Louie Bluie):
“I’m not ashamed to tell anybody my age: I am seventy-five years — not old, but seventy-five years young, because I have most of the attributes that young men should have. I have interest in life, and full of energy, full of pep. Most of all, I’m full of curiosity, because that is one thing that keeps you young.”
Louie Bluie (dir. Terry Zwigoff, 1985) is a portrait of a brilliant musician and remarkable man. Armstrong’s not much for modern art though. Says he about the untitled Picasso work behind him: “If you’re gonna be an artist, paint something that looks like something at least you can relate to. That — I don’t know. It’s just like something that jumped out of The Twilight Zone.”

Louie Bluie is available on DVD from The Criterion Collection. A short clip with the Picasso scene is there for the watching.

[Full of pep: there’s a dowdy expression I’d like to revive.]

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