Virtual Memories Show 282:
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“We focus so much on the people on the stage, we forget about the people in the wings who help them get there. I wanted to write a book about the people in the wings.”
House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row tells the story of two brothers who grew up above a trucker cafe in Wales and managed to achieve glamorous heights in London and New York. Author Lance Richardson joins the show to talk about telling a queer history in Nutters’ clothing, the realization that he’d struck gold with Tommy and David Nutter’s lives, his education in tailoring, Savile Row culture and the transformation on London in the ’60s, the impact of AIDS and survivor’s guilt, the professionalization of celebrity, and the joy of getting a bespoke jacket from Tommy’s cutter. We also talk about Lance’s upbringing in rural Australia, his culture shock about America’s bureaucracy and healthcare system, the blessing and curse of being a generalist of a writer, scaling up his reporting skills for full-length non-fiction writing, his next project (a big bio of Peter Matthiessen), the time he accidentally stalked Julianne Moore, the question of whether The Paris Review was a crutch for George Plimpton, and the reading list he had to build for himself as a youth, and more! Give it a listen! And go buy House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row!
“There are so many stories that were lost because of the AIDS epidemic, and I saw an opportunity to restore at least one of them.”
“The ‘I’ in a book isn’t about the writer; it’s about creating a space for the reader to inhabit.”
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About our Guest
Lance Richardson has written for numerous publications, including The Guardian, New York, The Atlantic, Slate, The New Yorker (online), The Sydney Morning Herald, and several international iterations of GQ. He holds a masters degree in longform journalism from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, NYU. Originally from Australia, he now lives in New York. His first book is House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row.
Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at Mr. Richardson’s home on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 Microphones feeding into a Zoom H5 digital recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photos of Mr. Richardson by me. It’s on my instagram.