Luna Cutie Deflates Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy

When asked whether he was concerned whether the book might piss people off, Mr. Wareham admitted “lots of it gave me pause, but finally I just said fuck it.”

The idea of writing the book came when Luna called it quits back in 2005, and Mr. Wareham, who says he wanted to try his hand at something other than songwriting, began writing a chronicle of his life and career. “Those are the phony stories, right? Songs,” he chuckled, self-deprecatingly. It was an odd moment. For a second he seemed unsure whether he was joking or not. “It took a good year,” he went on, “writing the book, and I initially turned in a whole lot of pages to my editor, half-expecting him to finish up for me, but instead he gave it back and told me to give it some chronology.”

Mr. Wareham managed pretty well on his own, and seems to have crafted a work he’s proud of. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he admitted. He said, too, it was among the most rewarding, up there with his work on friend Noah Baumbach’s The Squid And The Whale, for which he oversaw the soundtrack.

“I was lucky to work on a good film, because like indie rock, most indie film sucks.” By the end of the book Mr. Wareham seems relieved that Luna’s career had come to a close, and excited to be working with Ms. Phillips on material he feels is more mature, more sophisticated, more refined. It wasn’t that Luna was bad, or had been an unpleasant experience, but that he seemed finally to have grown out of the lifestyle–or lack thereof–that the band offered.

“Of course now I’m back on the road,” he mused, aware of the contradiction, “and playing to small audiences again too. Each time you have to kind of start from scratch, but I think I’m doing it differently now, and last year we went to Taiwan, and I met people who had been waiting 20 years to hear me play a Galaxie 500 song, so that’s a pretty amazing feeling.” So which is it, one wonders, the past or the future, the scrappy indie kid buzzing around Europe or the wise, grown-up dad with the sophisticate pop band having a sentimental moment halfway around the world? It’s both, of course, because it’s all Mr. Wareham, and the story happening again and again in his life is a love story, with music the cheating, lying, no-good and irresistible quarry. And that makes people do strange things.

Dean Wareham will be reading from Black Postcards tonight at Club Midway, 25 Avenue B, at 8p.m.

Luna Cutie Deflates Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy