Details

ISBN-10: 0571365620
ISBN-13: 9780571365623
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 10/19/2021
Dimensions: 8.10" L, 6.20" W, 1.20" H

Nina Simone’s Gum

Hardcover

Price: $27.95

In stock

Overview

From award-winning musician and composer Warren Ellis comes the unexpected and inspiring story of a piece of chewing gum. Featuring an introduction from Nick Cave.

Warren has turned this memento, snatched from his idol’s piano in a moment of rapture, into a genuine religious artefact. Nick Cave

On Thursday 1 July, 1999, Dr Nina Simone gave a rare performance as part of Nick Cave’s Meltdown Festival. After the show, in a state of awe, Warren Ellis crept onto the stage, took Dr Simone’s piece of chewed gum from the piano, wrapped it in her stage towel and put it in a Tower Records bag. The gum remained with him for twenty years; a sacred totem, his creative muse, growing in significance with every passing year.

In 2019, Cave – his collaborator and great friend – asked Warren if there was anything he could contribute to display in his Stranger Than Kindness exhibition. Warren realized the time had come to release the gum. Together they agreed it should be housed in a glass case like a holy relic. Worrying the gum would be damaged or lost, Warren decided to first have it cast in silver and gold, sparking a chain of events that no one could have predicted, one that would take him back to his childhood and his relationship to found objects.

Nina Simone’s Gum is about how something so small can form beautiful connections between people. It is a story about the meaning we place on things, on experiences, and how they become imbued with spirituality. It is a celebration of artistic process, friendship, understanding and love.

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Reviews
"A joyous work full of love, connection, creativity and gratitude." – Spectator


"A sense of wonder comes through the page." – Spectrum Culture


"Warren tracks the journey of the purloined gum since he folded it in the towel and carried it backstage [...] In the book it becomes a metaphor for the creative life." – Writing Magazine


"A captivating, often moving memoir - a tribute to the power of great art wrapped in an exploration of the minutiae gathered in the itinerant life of the nomadic musician." – Buzz Magazine


"Unvarnished honesty coupled with a yearning interest in trying to understand the creative process [...] enormously entertaining." – Bookmunch


"There's something satisfying in a piece of writing that uses a very small, very specific thing as a way to talk about, well, larger, more general things. In the case of this new work of nonfiction from Warren Ellis...the small, specific thing is a piece of gum: a piece of gum chewed by Nina Simone before her final London performance, in 1999, placed on a towel on top of a piano, and taken by Ellis after the show and kept for over two decades. The larger, more general thing that Nina Simone's Gum explores is creativity, friendship, and the outsized emotional value we often place on physical objects." – AV Club

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Details

ISBN-10: 0571365620
ISBN-13: 9780571365623
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 10/19/2021
Dimensions: 8.10" L, 6.20" W, 1.20" H
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