Glenn O'Brien

Glenn O'Brien on How To Be A Man: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Glenn O'Brien

Glenn O'Brien is the author of How To Be A Man, and the Style Guy columnist for GQ. He also created and hosted TV Party, the seminal new wave television show, and edited Interview magazine in its early days.

The book is a collection of essays on the subject of masculinity: from dandyism (he's in support) to how to handle your old age.

JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. There's been a recent rash of advice on the subject of how to be a man. It's come from all corners; maybe it's fueled by economic insecurities, maybe it's fueled by social change. Rare among those doing the advising though has been, frankly, much qualification in that area. My guest Glenn O'Brien, however, is flush with such qualifications; he's been the style guide columnist in GQ magazine for a number of years now. He's also had a distinguished career elsewhere in the magazine industry, serving recently as Editorial Director of Brandt Publications which publishes Interview, Art in America, and Antiques, among his many other jobs in magazines. In the early 1980s, in fact, he served as one of the first editors and Art Directors of Interview; a job which came to him through his involvement in Andy Warhol's Factory. He was also the magazine's first music critic.

He wrote the film Downtown 81 with Jean-Michel Basquiat in the early 1980s, but not released until just a few years ago, and he hosted the iconic new wave television program TV Party. His new book is called How to be a Man, but it isn't really a book of advice, it's a collection of meditations ranging from clothes to the utility of celebrity to the best ways to handle ones dotage.

Glenn O'Brien, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

GLENN O'BRIEN: Hi, thanks for having me on.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview, or here to jump to the podcast audio.

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