(This letter was signed by most of the people interviewed for the article "Sleeping with Weapons," and sent to the New Yorker Magazine. The New Yorker Magazine was unable to respond.)

To the editors of The New Yorker,

As friends and colleagues of John Lurie, we are offended by Tad Friend's article "Sleeping with Weapons". Many of us were interviewed for the piece only to have our words misquoted, twisted, or ignored. We are writing after so many months because, due to its constant presence on the internet, the article continues to affect John both personally and professionally.

John has advanced Lyme Disease, and we question the ethics of denying its existence by referring to it only as a "mysterious ailment".

By giving credence to the point of view of someone Mr. Friend states was stalking John, the article made light of and in fact exacerbated an already dangerous situation.

We are dismayed at the profile’s near omission of John's significant work as a musician and painter.

We assert that the man presented in the article is not the man we know.

Evan Lurie
Flea a.k.a. Michael Balzary
Willem DaFoe

Nesrin Wolf
Stephen Torton
Sara Rychtarik
Tony Garnier
Jill Goodwin
Liz Lurie
Patrick Dillett
Lisa Rosen
Brenda Visceglia
David Baron
Rebecca Wright
Steve Wolf
Michelle Marton

(Names in italics were interviewed for the article)

Steve Buscemi
Rick Moody
Richard Glickstein
Chris Martins
Mauro Refosco
Tony Faulkner
Nicola Graves
Paul McCormack
Tom Otterness
Coleen Fitzgibbon
Michael Blake
Peter Littlefield
Kim Ames
Mary Ann Babula
Andrew Gurian
Rudy Graham
Ray Henders
Douglas Wieselman
Marina Skiadaeresi
Karen Martin
Daniel DiPaola
Tony Scherr
Dina Brown
Steven Bernstein
Alex Tomaras
Jane Scarpantoni
Delphine Blue
Billy Martin
Kathy Goodell
Larson Sutton
Jaime Scott
Tania Maxwell
Stephen Konig
Chris Osborne
Curtis Fowlkes
Paul Haggerty


  1. Andrea Schroeder10/15/2012

    I sign this too!

  2. Anonymous10/15/2012

    Nice job helping to set the record straight!

  3. I knew there was something seriously wrong with that article. Thank you for posting this.

  4. Kaitlin10/15/2012

    What happened to responsible journalism??? One more reason to cancel my subscription to the New Yorker!!!

  5. Cullbert10/15/2012

    Check this out on the "What Sucks Blog":

  6. Alexa McGueen10/15/2012

    Lyme is a nasty horrible disease Mr. Friend!!! I've been dealing with it for years now! How dare you call it a "mysterious ailment" ?????

  7. karen martin10/15/2012

    it's years later. and it is still bothering the people in john's life, and those who were interviewed enough to want to do something about it. "We assert that the man presented in the article is not the man we know." absolutely. but it really would have been great to read an article about him, his paintings and how he has persevered through all this.

  8. Anonymous10/15/2012

    Tad Friend would seem to not be much of a writer or even much of a human being.

    To Mr. Friend, if he happens to read this: If your article is so true and beyond reproach, then why not write another piece taking a second look at Mr. Lurie and how he's doing two years later? Why not detail how negatively the previous article has affected his health and sense of place in the arts scene?

    And then maybe you could detail how Mr. Lurie's artwork has grown in popularity and illustrate all the love and support he's received from both old fans and new ones in the last two years, how well he came across in his recent NYC radio appearances and how he continues to inspire others in their own creativity.

    Why write to tear someone down, Mr. Friend? Why be part of the problem?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Anonymous10/15/2012

    I was out of work for a year and a half with lyme disease. I almost died several times and almost went blind from it! I couldn't breathe, couldn't walk, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't sleep, couldn't think.... It was torture and caused me to have some hallucinations, and made me feel like I was losing my mind. This is not a mysterious ailment!! It's a disease that most people are too dumb and ignorant to perceive as life threatening, most doctors don't even know how to treat it, let alone recognize it. So much for the New Yorker being up on the times!! I'd say if you haven't done your lyme research or any other research pertaining to what you wrote, then you are in the stone age! I'll get my up to date information somewhere else! John Lurie is an intelligent, and creative individual whose work and what he's accomplished is being ruined and trashed! Long live John!! Fight that lyme disease and the people that try to bring you down! ;)

  11. Eventually people will understand that the NEW YORKER is never to be trusted. Not only do they publish things done by a lying deceptive "journalist" like Tad friend, they outright LIE. Stop buying this shit. Do you understand that these same assholes are part of the Dave Eggers/Tom Bissell Group fighting against dissident voices like the next Bukowski (Gene Greogorits) and do their bests against such as the ULA to stop their voices being heard. Political Correctness? It all came from Tad Friend and the New Yorker. It's not just idiotic lies, trust me, they are against justice and you and me. They want to limit our speech. Subjuigate us to moronic feifdoms. David Remnick is a dickhead. See who he poses with. he's not objective. He's just a douchebag. THESE PEOPLE ARE THE SAME ONES THAT FOUGHT AGAINST Monk, X, Jefferson, Paine, Thoreau and Twain. These are the bastards that are responsible for people uttering nonsense. Listen to Paglia. These are the stupid fuckers that worship "Piss Christ" and turn it into the emblem of liberals, which it isn't. This stupid magazine is defamation and a bunch of egomaniacs masterburbating themselves on a high rise apartments piying the lower class as they piss on them collecting their useful garbage. FUCK TAD FRIEND. FUCK THE NEW YORKER.

  12. I have only known John personally for a couple of years. However, I first met him as a fellow audience member watching his bandmate Curtis Fowlkes play with Henry Threadgill at the Village Vanguard in 1990. He was gracious then and he is now. When we first got in touch 2 years ago he was surprised I had a pleasant memory of him and then he told me about his recent struggles. Most of us would have died under the strain he has faced. He is a good man, one who has not abandoned his friends, despite his disease and persecution. I know him as caring and thoughtful. To see people standing up for him on this page brings me joy. May this only be the beginning of his vindication.

    1. rebecca gozion.10/17/2012

      oh dear. oh dear. i am scrolling from the bottom up, & cannot contain my sadness & distress at what i amfinding here, starting with the friends & family of john lurie. i cannot agree more with yusef, about john's qualities as a truly lovely human being, whose art, especially his profound music, has forever altered my life. his kindness towards me---here "on paper"--perhaps even moreso! out of respect for john, i refused to read more than the first few lines of what is apparently a viscious article, a literal attack upon his person, & for one with a memory that is a curse, the fact that i remember none of what i read is astounding. i will not ever go look at what mr. friend has written; i am quite stunned to learn that the NewYorker has done absolutely nothing to mitigate or alleviate, in even the smallest way, the excessive stress, even suffering, the magazine's spokesperson, tad friend, has caused this gifted, generous artist at such a time when he can sorely afford it. i have not picked up another new yorker magazine since, nor will i ever, despite the fact that my sister, a gifted musician herself, is a lifelong subscriber to yr publication. i recently spent time at her house in pittsburgh, & ignored that stack beside my bed. i suppose i should not be even the least bit surprised at yr own treatment of lurie: u are simply parasites feeding from the gifted. i know u all too well!! i myself am quite ill, quite ill, & have held out my neck to the likes of u; have lifted my dress in public, at exhibitions of truly honest work, only to have u, or those just like u, ask me for a bite outta my thigh!
      so no....i suppose one ought not be surprised at yr aktions, or lack there-of.
      i, however, would never ever want lurie to have to sit down & speak gently & honestly with tad friend ever again!! no!! i keep telling him, tad is already dead....get outta the car, john!! i would hope that a far more reputable, concerned, conscientious & truthful writer speak to mr. lurie. & i do assure u that he does indeed deserve that respect. Mr. Lurie ought to be caring for his fragile health, rather that peering over his shoulder now for that very real danger that is not only some berserk stalker, but tad. not mr. friend. tad. i cant squash the name down any frther. thank u one thousand monkeys for using at least 1/4 of the profanity that i will normally write in a lovely missive to a friend! i am attempting to behave like the professional artist that i am, the spiritual human being that i am, out of respect for mr. lurie, & i wish u had even an eighth of the fckng guts i have, u lowly fckng parasites! again! leeching what cant pull outta yr own fckng asses for all the fcking money in the world!! again! forgive me, john, that i blow this. that i put myself anywhere near u, & what u have spent yr life contributing not only to yr bleoved friends, but also, by the nature of this life, to those such as tad friend, only to have such a thing as that tear u to smithereeens! samuel clemens u say>? the thomases paine & jefferson>? well, john lurie, we remain in excellent company, i say! u are absolutely NOT defined by this pack of wild creatures ( i could not think of an animal i wisht to insult!!) but by yr magnificent spirit. & that spirit ...that work...ach, shut the fck up now reBecca!! i'm so very sorry john lurie, so very sorry, that i will say what they will not: yr dignity & beauty, yr loveliness & yr work, uplifts me from this fucxking hell, this horrific jar of piss, that is life in this little fcking box we call planet earth. yrs most very definitly & sincerely honestly, ReBecca Gozion.
      john, was i okay>? not too manic>? not too depressive>? i didnt call them, uh,....well....thank u & good night.

  13. marina skiadaresi10/17/2012

    How dare does this Tad Friend and The New Yorker not take this seriously, and at least have the dencency to write about John Lurie's work, thoughts and apologize publicly! Tad Friend is a disgrace to the human race, putting John Lurie in a state where he has to suffer even more, rather than consentrate on his unique art. Both Tad Friend and The New Yorker are a bad influence in the society we live in. Makes me very sad!

    Marina Skiadaresi from Athens,Greece

  14. Anonymous10/17/2012

    John is a beautiful man with a generous soul and radiant creativity .... I hope that people can begin to focus on his works and less on the horrors that have befallen him.

  15. John is an amazing talent and a very fine artist. Please try to focus on this and not just make sales on his tribulations.

  16. Where is John Lurie? Does anyone even know?
    This really was a strange article, I remember it when it came out. What was the idea? Lets give the stalker equal time? I can't imagine the impact this had on Lurie's life where he is living in hiding from someone he considers dangerous and then the New Yorker comes along and does something horribly irresponsible like this.
    Has the New Yorker said anything about this other than the standard nonsense?

  17. I'm a longtime fan and admirer of John Lurie, from 1989, and love him more each time I see something new. This is a story of how much John Lurie means to people who don't even know him. I'd like to address this directly you, John.

    Your art in music, film and painting is soul baring. Beautiful and honest. I remember when you moved to Chelsea in 1988 or 89 with your girlfriend (or was it my move?!). I would see you from 2 blocks away and my knees would shake. Every time I saw you, you always looked me right in the eyes and would give me your beautiful smile. I was walking my Akita once and you passed smiling and commented that she was the one walking me more often. I had had this grand plan to ask you to go for some coffee with "us" if I ever ran into you with my "Michiko" again. When it finally happened that day, all I could get out was this "Heh!", and a little too loudly at that. I've continued to tell this story for over 20 years. Ask my friends, they'll roll their eyes. You even popped up right behind me while I was at the launderette to drop off some laundry. You smiled wide at me and I was lost. This went on for a few years. The gigs you played and the Fishing With John nights at The Knitting Factory were such highlights. What fun! I still have my copy of Details with you on the cover and Steven Saban's story.

    In 1991 I moved to Milan and was sad to leave Chelsea, giving up my regular John Lurie habit. Then you played at Teatro Smeraldo and I had a group of about 15 friends with me that night to introduce them to your music. They knew you as Benigni's friend. What a hero! Your music left them on the floor. Following that, you did a gorgeous shoot for Romeo Gigli (my boss at the time). Your music continued, your artwork took off. The world knows you as a creative genius.

    I know Lyme disease personally and through a dear dear friend. My soul aches to know that you're ailing from this. If you need someone to make you soup or to take your laundry in, I'll be your neighbor. Always.

    With love,

  18. Anonymous10/23/2012

    Brenda Visceglia

    When you are in the business I am in, accounting, you see the true person. How a person deals with their money is a reflection of who they are. As someone who provided accounting services for John I can attest to the fact that he is benevolent, he is kind and he is not mad. He is there for his friends, for his family, for his friends' kids, for his friends' strangers. I'm sure he doesn't want people to know that he is this way but he truly has a heart of gold and it is a very rare and exquisite thing to know someone like that. I have seen him save lives , some of whom may be reading this right now. John is a renegade and a poet (naughty and nice); he is an artist and an actor; he is a writer and a musician.

    Most of us know that John is not well. Whether you know his diagnosis or you've decided on one or two of your very own and what he should do to make himself better...he has probably tried it. He is sick. The New Yorker jeopardized his health and his safety in supporting a stalker. They should be held accountable for provoking a situation that was slowly trying to resolve on its own. If you've ever had a stalker it is a terrifying thing because "you never know" when they are going to show up and get you. And if you are ill and you have a stalker and you do not have a means to protect yourself other than a closed door, well then, you stay behind a closed door while your stalker runs free and you remain imprisoned.

    The New Yorker was supposed to write an article about John Lurie the artist. Where is that article? When has The New Yorker taken upon itself to imprison one of the world's most wonderful and original artists?

    John, the artist, makes me laugh hysterically or cry uncontrollably...he reminds me that bunnies hump (especially when you get closer to the painting!) and people sit on toilets and read newspapers and that deep textures can result if you mess around with your watercolors enough.

    I'd like John to have another art show in New York and not have to worry about anything other than the show itself. Those friends and fans who have benefited from learning something from him, I hope, remind themselves how much John has made them grow.

    The true artist. The true person. A plethora of brilliant wisdom and original color should not have to hide behind a locked door. I am disgusted any magazine would support a stalker for any reason whatsoever. It is truly criminal. Bring John Lurie back to the art galleries of New York City! We miss you John!

  19. Anonymous11/25/2012

    John Lurie on Facebook regarding the New Yorker article. "18 people told him who I was and he wrote what he wrote. If 18 people say something to a cow and the story comes out "Moo!" does David Remnick stand by the mooing?