Ben Gibbard Explains Kerouac Fascination
It just so happens that Gibbard has embarked on a two-week solo songwriting trip to the Big Sur cabin where Kerouac wrote his novel named after the picturesque beach community. He lucked into the rental by taking part in a documentary about Big Sur produced by Kerouac's nephew and so far involving such luminaries from the writing and music worlds as Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Tom Waits, and Jay Farrar. At 31, Gibbard talks candidly about the arrested development many artists — musicians and otherwise — realize they've stumbled into once they leave their 20s behind. The parties and the travel and the excitement of youth get a little more complicated once you hit an age when your peers are worrying about diapers, marriages, and mortgages. "I don't want to be overdramatic about it, but I'm starting to see a lot of my bad habits get the best of me," Gibbard admits. "Living this life in the same sorta way that Kerouac lived ... you get to hang out at shows and drink and you're able to not really face reality and adulthood the way most of my friends are."*
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