Snorting cocaine next to John Cage

Snorting cocaine next to John Cage


norman lebrecht

January 10, 2018

From a lovely obit for East Village writer-musician Rayya Elias, who has died of liver and pancreatic cancer at 57:

In the early ’80s, she moved to New York City, to a $245-a-month apartment on Mott Street, “to express my talent and sexuality without the watchful and judgmental eyes of my family and their community.” She found work as a hair stylist and art director and started doing drugs in earnest– she recalled snorting cocaine at the bar at Area, oblivious to the conversation that John Cage and Andy Warhol were having next to her….

Read on here.


  • buxtehude says:

    Overhearing — even subconsciously — the conversation of John Cage and Andy Warhol would drive me to drugs too.

  • Sue says:

    The poor woman would have gone through hell with those cancers. My mother died the same way at the same age and it was absolutely horrific. Peace from suffering for Ms. Elias.

  • Joe Ellerbrock says:

    After studying John Cage, and not so much of his “music,” I have concluded that HE must have been on drugs too, drugs that fried his sensibility of what art really is.

  • Joe Ellerbrock says:

    …extension from my post above: “… and not what art SHOULD be, but what it is intrinsically., i.e. from within the artist’s ability and desire to express himself. Cage himself denies – at least externally – that he is not an artist. He should be taken at his word, that he really had nothing to say. So why should anyone listen?