After reading the Tweets following news of J.D. Salinger's death on January 27 at the age of 91, it seems as though very few people made it through adolescence without reading The Catcher in the Rye. The book was a revelation for many, serving as some sort of hard proof that anyone who told you that your teen years would be “the time of your life” was delusional. For many, too, Catcher opened up the floodgates for Salinger's other work. So, it makes sense that Salinger has been referenced by those purveyors of angst, rock stars, time and time again.
We've put together a very small sampling of bands, songs and albums that owe a bit of inspiration to Salinger. Feel free to mention your own favorites in the comment section.
The Cure “Bananafishbones”
Taking its cue from Salinger's short story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” Robert Smith and the gang create a moody, synth-y and totally underrated gem with this song from the album The Top.
Beastie Boys “Shadrach”
If anyone has more stories than Salinger, it's those Beastie Boys, or so they tell us on “Shadrach,” from the landmark album Paul's Boutique.
We Are Scientists With Love and Squalor
We Are Scientists hit it big with their major label debut in 2006, which took it's name from Salinger's work “For Esmé– with Love and Squalor” (this writer's favorite story title ever).
Irish indie rock bad Rollerskate Skinny derived its name from a line in The Catcher in the Rye. Theirs too was the sort of music that you might want to hear while reading the book, as noisy as it was melancholic.
Indochine “Des Fleurs Pour Salinger”
The French new wave band released this ode to Salinger in 1990 on the album Le Baiser. Even those of us who don't know French can grasp the romanticism surrounding the writer's reclusive character in this song.
A_Scissors “Hey Franny, It's Zooey”
We randomly stumbled across A_Scissor's MySpace page and, hence, know close to nothing about this one-man electronic project. But, the song title references Salinger's beloved third book and the music has a cool ethereal quality, so take a listen.
Belle and Sebastian “Le Pastie de la Bourgeoisie”
We love bands who write about bookworms, which is part of the reason Belle and Sebastian ranks high on our list of favorites. “Don't be scared, like the books you've read/You're the heroine,” the song advises, before urging the protagonist to “Give yourself up to the allure of/Catcher In The Rye.” You too can find your rebellious side in books.
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