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the column of lasting insignificance: June 30, 2012
by John Wilcock

Seeking the Drama of Everyday Life
in Burma

Instead of the regular column this week we are posting some of the videotape JW shot in Burma earlier this month. The remaining tape will follow regular columns in the next few weeks...

6/23/12

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recent columns...

'Everybody is assumed to be an ally…'; from the archives
Week of April 12, 2014

The Kessler Syndrome—one huge traffic accident in space just waiting to happen; Dominique Strauss-Kahn—on forcing his way…; running the FCC with your hands tied behind your back; Black Tie or Tie-die?; Bill Gates the optimist; Mum's the word from the NRA regarding alarming gun owner behavior research; and of course, the Wilcock Web...
Week of April 5, 2014

Washington lobbyists—unless they say they're not…; groin rivalry?; Phillip Roth on the need to write; move over Fox TV; voter demographics by choice of booze; that 'wasted' space at the bottom of every page of the NYT; and of course, the Wilcock Web...
Week of March 29, 2014

Old friends will be aware that I published a tabloid underground newspaper in Manhattan in the '60s called Other Scenes, and although I have only a handful of these myself, I occasionally see others offered for sale on various websites....
Week of March 22, 2014

Shakespeare & Co., & Charles Bukowski; advances in 3D printing dumbs down manufacturing; tough love's scrapes and bruises in the workplace; Online business more vulnerable to hacking--duh!; Life without parole IS racial profiling; it's not your grandfather's bourbon anymore; 'rent-a-renoir'?; and of course, the Wilcock Web...
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- column archives: 2006 - present



in the press...

Wednesday,
October 27, 2010

A Budget Travel Pioneer on a Time When $5 a Day Was Real (Frugal) Money
nytimes.com: Frugal Traveler

by Seth Kugel
John Wilcock at the New York Times

It was the first handwritten letter Id received in 5 years. Or maybe 10. Signed by John Wilcock, a man Id never heard of, and postmarked Ojai, Calif., it was waiting for me when I returned from my So Paulo-to-New York summer trip. Mr. Wilcock wrote that he had been an assistant editor at The Times Travel section back in the 1950s, and had written the first editions of Mexico on $5 a Day, Greece on $5 a Day and Japan on $5 a Day for Arthur Frommer in the 1960s.

By George, I thought. This man was the original Frugal Traveler.

(read more)




Manhattan MemoriesManhattan Memories
An Autobiography
by John Wilcock

"A GOOD WAY to describe John Wilcock is to say that he is a talented bohemian counter-culture journalist who once played a major role in the emergence of America’s underground press. Born 1927 in Sheffield, England, he left school aged 16 to work on various newspapers in England, and on Toronto periodicals before moving to New York City. There in 1955 he became one of the five founders of the Village Voice in which he and co-founder Norman Mailer wrote weekly columns. Wilcock called his column “The Village Square”, an intended pun. He and young Mailer were not quite friends, although Wilcock was at times annoyed, but always amused, by Mailer’s monstrous ego."

-From the preface of Manhattan Memories, by Martin Gardner



The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol

The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol
by John Wilcock
Edited by Christopher Trela
Photographs by Shunk-Kender


Village Voice and Interview cofounder John Wilcock was first drawn into the milieu of Andy Warhol through film-maker Jonas Mekas, assisting on some of Warhols early films, hanging out at his parties and quickly becoming a regular at the Factory. About six months after I started hanging out at the old, silvery Factory onWest 47th Street, he recalls, [Gerard] Malanga came up to me and asked, When are you going to write something about us? Already fascinated by Warhols persona, Wilcock went to work, interviewing the artists closest associates, supporters and superstars. Among these were Malanga, Naomi Levine, Taylor Mead and Ultra Violet, all of whom had been in the earliest films; scriptwriter Ronnie Tavel, and photographer Gretchen Berg; art dealers Sam Green, Ivan Karp, Eleanor Ward and Leo Castelli, and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Henry Geldzahler; the poets Charles Henri Ford and Taylor Mead, and the artist Marisol; and the musicians Lou Reed and Nico. Paul Morrisey supplied the title: The Autobiography and Sex Life of AndyWarhol was the first oral biography of the artist. First published in 1971, and pitched against the colorful backdrop of the 1960s, it assembles a prismatic portrait of one of modern arts least knowable artists during the early years of his fame. The Autobiography and Sex Life is likely the most revealing portrait of Warhol, being composite instead of singular; each of its interviewees offers a piece of the puzzle that was Andy Warhol. This new edition corrects the many errors of the first, and is beautifully designed in a bright, Warholian palette with numerous illustrations. The British-born writer John Wilcock co-founded The Village Voice in 1955, and went on to edit seminal publications such as The East Village Other, Los Angeles Free Press, Other Scenes and (in 1970) Interview, with Andy Warhol.