Brian Eno

by William Gibson

From Arena, No. 63, November 1996.

Eno's song "King's Lead Hat", from Before And After Science, has been a terrific influence on my work. Not that I don't admire and enjoy the rest of his work, but this one song is so stark in its singularity as to seem a temporal apport from some tooned-up future of inverted world-music funk. I've used it for years as a sort of benchmark of peculiarity.

The man himself, it turns out, is a nattily self-contained unit, sharp but essentially benevolent, that comes equipped with polymath plug-ins and more sheer wit, behind eight hours of jet-lag, than I can muster in my own time zone. Quite the guy, our Brian.

Transcriber's note: Brian Eno supplied a self-portrait to accompany this article. And because you're lovely, we've got a rather dingy scan of it for your collection. Click here for the 54K jpeg or the 93K gif.