Brian Eno is known as a producer of some of the greatest albums by Devo, Talking Heads, U2 and David Bowie.
He’s also known as the father of ambient music, having created the genre in the 70’s with his seminal releases, Ambient 1-4. Eno also helped define and popularize the concept of generative music – the idea of music generated by processed designed by the composer.
Chrissie Hynde’s 1974 interview, though, exposes another side of the musician – Brian Eno, deviant.
Unsurprisingly, Eno makes surprisingly insightful connections along the way:
“It’s a burning shame that most people want to keep pornography under cover when it’s such a highly developed art form – which is one of the reasons that I started collecting pornographic playing cards. I’ve got about 50 packs which feature on all my record covers for the astute observer.
“There’s something about pornography which has a similarity to rock music. A pornographic photographer aims his camera absolutely directly, at the centre of sexual attention. He’s not interested in the environment of the room.
“I hate the sort of photography in Penthouse and Playboy which is such a compromise between something to give you a hard-on and something which pretends to be artistic. The straight pornographers aim right there where it’s at.
“Which is analogous to so many other situations where somebody thinks one thing is important, so they focus completely on that and don’t realise they’re unconsciously organizing everything else around it as well. I have such beautiful pornography – I’ll show you my collection sometime.”
Eno goes on to discuss abstraction in pornography, golden showers, Here Come The Warm Jets, shaving his pubic hair, beautiful little girls and “deviation involving candles”.
While the interview exposes an Eno that seems to contrast with his current ascetic image – his openness to experimentation has been a part of his success.
What do you think of Eno’s advocacy of sexuality that many would consider deviant?
Is it a case of too much information – or part of a worldview that contributed to his ability to revolutionize music?