Philip Glass: Trained By Life

Minimalist composer talks odd jobs, '60s NYC, making money and using drugs
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 7:24 PM CST
Philip Glass: Trained By Life
NYC taxi cabs make their way down Broadway. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Philip Glass paid $30 in rent in 1960s New York City, drove a cab to support his composing, and didn't make a dime on his work until he was 41. "I was trained by life," Glass tells Details of working at the kitchen table while his kids watched TV in the same room. As for creating music in isolation, "you're dreamin'."

But he admits that era was a dreamy one. With a hearty lunch just 50¢, "You had to work only two or three days a week. Coming to New York and being an artist was not that difficult." Should a reader find Glass' music difficult to stomach, just pick something else: "Being culturally educated does not require that you like Philip Glass." (Read more Philip Glass stories.)

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