From The Desk Of Amy Rigby: Eve Babitz

Amy Rigby is back with The Old Guys (Southern Domestic), her first solo album since 2005’s Little Fugitive. A veteran of NYC bands Last Roundup in the ’80s and the Shams in the ’90s, Rigby recorded the 12-track The Old Guys with husband and musical partner Wreckless Eric in upstate New York, where the couple resides. Not only is Rigby currently on tour in support of her new LP, she’s also guest editing all week.

Rigby: I work part-time in a bookstore/bar, and when a certain type of young o,r really any-age woman asks who to read, I say Eve Babitz. It’s not that men won’t be interested, and I’m sure some of them are, but Eve wrote books about the type of girl I wished and still wish I could be—sexy and tough and brilliant and powerful—in sentences that are all of those things. Her novels and/or memoirs are set in 20th century Southern California when Hollywood and European émigré culture gave way to rock modernity, and it all just feels so glamorous in a slightly shabby way.

Her characters are kind of aimless and sometimes her prose is, too, but that’s part of what make them so enticing—they dazzle just by being, while I pant in envy and admiration and forever feel like one of Helen Gurley Brown’s mouseburgers in comparison, sweating to keep up.