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Joe Kane: I Got My Gig Through the East Village Other

JoeKane by Nancy NaglinNancy Naglin Joe Kane

A veteran of The New York Ace, High Times, The New York Daily News and many other publications, Joe Kane describes how he got his start at EVO.

When I first migrated to Manhattan from Queens in 1970, it was with dreams of becoming a working scribe, preferably writing Beat fiction (unfortunately, one of the few things I was born too late for) and/or covering film in some capacity. Instead, I landed a boring temp job typing at a downtown insurance firm. During this time, somewhat happier circumstances led me to Screw, where the magazine’s then-art directors, Larry Brill and Les Waldstein, were going halves with publisher Al Goldstein on a new spin-off tab titled Screw X, a satirical variation on Screw (the height of redundancy, no?)

I auditioned for a writing/editing gig, with no guarantee Larry and Les would even get back to me. But a couple of days later, the phone rang in my East Sixth Street pad with promising news from the pair: Seems my work had been extolled by another of their writers, Dean Latimer, who told them it was “almost as good” (accent on almost) as his own stuff and that they should hire me straightaway.

For me, this was a frankly stunning turn of events. It so happened that Dean, whom I had never met, was already something of a personal hero; his “Decomposition” column and other writings were my favorite sections of The East Village Other. I considered Dean one of the most vivid and versatile writers I’d ever read anywhere, one equally adept at reportage, “think pieces,” memoir, criticism and totally devastating satire. That he had encouraging words for my fledgling efforts cheered me no end, and I resolved to thank my benefactor for his unsolicited largesse. Read more…