An audience with Dave Hickey, however brief, is a lovely thing.
You cannot shock or dismay this man. He’s seen it all. He might wish you’d use slightly more filthy language, but he’s inclined to forgive that, too.
Yesterday, before giving his lecture at the Nasher Museum, I was lucky to have coffee with this famous writer of the famous.
Hickey’s version of a cup of coffee: five shots of espresso in a double latte.
Although Dave Hickey is cool, and I am not, I relaxed and realized I could ask him anything.
“Why did newspapers survive radio and TV but they aren’t surviving the Internet?” I asked him.
Speed, he said immediately. And the cost of printing and distributing newspapers is just too high.
What about love?
Every time Hickey got into a long-term a relationship with a woman, he said, he knew in the first five minutes that they’d get along OK. This business of “working on” a relationship doesn’t make sense. He’s met many, many people and it’s very rare to experience incredible chemistry with someone. Those relationships are very enjoyable!
Men and women are wired differently, he said. For example, women pinch a straw to drink from it, he said. (He pantomimed holding an imaginary straw in his coffee.) Men just grab the cup and find the straw with their lips, no pinching.
Men do not have much of an inner life, he said. Men think about sex all the time, and that’s about it.
He’s spent time with all of the big artists and rock stars, and rattled off stories or observations about Ray Davies (Kinks), Lou Reed, Edward Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol and others.
But Dave Hickey has a way of dropping names without sounding like a name-dropper. It’s like he’s one of us and just found himself hanging out with rich and famous people. If you lean in close, he’ll give you the whole skinny.
Dave Hickey gave the Barbra and Andrew Rothschild Lecture at the Nasher Museum on January 14, 2010.
IMAGE: Dave Hickey at the Nasher Museum. Photo by Dr. J Caldwell.