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OUR HANDSOME, ENGLISH, NOVELTY-BOOK-PURVEYING COUSIN

Schott.jpg

We look with admiration and envy across the Atlantic at Ben Schott (pictured above), who, like us, has established a cottage industry of novelty books filled with useless information. Ben’s Schott’s Miscellany books are even in hardcover, and he designs and typesets them himself. And he has a whole line of handsome Smythson of Bond Street leather-bound products as well. (We feel fortunate just to be carried by Urban Outfitters.)

We have altered our “Ben Schott” link in our Snobroll to direct you to his Miscellanies site rather than his personal site. And we are delighted that Ben took up a few of our suggestions for the new, U.S. edition of Schott’s Sporting, Gaming & Idling Miscellany, specifically, that he document every one of Evel Knievel’s broken bones, that he include a collection of Muhammad Ali’s spoken-word poetry, and that he include a list of famous catchphrases of sports announcers. Just for the heck of it, we’re going to give you a little item that Ben chose not to use, but which is of interest to Rock Snobs and sports enthusiasts:

The Beatles and Sport
“None of us are athletes… And we don’t particularly like any sport, except swimming.”
—George Harrison, Los Angeles press conference, August 23, 1964

And yet…

U.K. footballer Albert Stubbins, U.S. boxer Sonny Liston, and U.S. swimmer (and later Tarzan star) Johnny Weismuller are on the cover of Sgt. Pepper.

“Faster,” a song about auto racer Jackie Stewart, is featured on the George Harrison album from 1979.

“He got toe-jam football”
—John Lennon, “Come Together,” 1969

“Ken-ny Dalglish!”
—chant uttered by Paul McCartney, alluding to a Scottish soccer player, in response to the crowd’s chant of “Paul Mc-CART-ney!” at the end of “Coming Up (Live at Glasgow),” 1980

The animation of “Eleanor Rigby” in the film Yellow Submarine (1968) features a melancholy soccer game.

October 01, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

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