David Lynch on sheds

In The Guardian’s Guide on Saturday, Jacques Peretti wrote about sheds, apparently flavour of the season in the worlds of fashion and style (it’s entirely possible this article is on the site somewhere, but I couldn’t find it). This reminded me of something from Lynch on Lynch (US, UK) that I’d read only the day before. A hidden, dark and terrifying side to David Lynch…

Chris Rodley: What else were you doing at the time [after Eraserhead], besides writing?

David Lynch: I was building sheds, and whenever you can build a shed, you’ve got it made.

That’s probably a very personal thing, I’m not sure!

Well, they’re small houses and they can be used for storage, and they can be used for little places to be. As soon as you capture some space and design how the shape of it is, moods start occurring, light starts playing on the wall, and just to see it happening is unbelievable! [Laughs.] I like to build things, and I like to collect things. And when you collect things, you need a place to put them. I built a very elaborate little studio shed out of found wood. But you never have the right tool for the job, and that’s always been a frustration. I wish I could build everything on my movies, but that would take for ever. Like Eraserhead. But I’m such a frustrated shed builder!

My landlord, Edmund Horn, was also a collector of wood. He was a very strange guy. He was a concert pianist and travelled with Gershwin. He started playing when he was three — a child prodigy — and he came out here in the thirties to California and started buying up real estate because he had all this extra money. So he became a very eccentric millionaire, and he would walk everywhere he went and he would dress like a bum. The bum in Eraserhead is wearing one of Edmund’s sweaters, filled with holes. And he would shave his armpits with rain water! He would watch colour TV in his kitchen at night under the light of a forty-watt builb. Every other light in the house was out. He was a real miser, and he would collect wood from trash around and he developed, over the years, huge piles of really good wood, which I talked him into letting me use for my sheds.

And then my paper route took me through two different zip codes and Wednesday and Thursday nights, say, were trash night, and people throw away a lot of good wood. And to me a stick of wood was like a stick of gold, it was so expensive. I had a rack on my car four feet by eight feet and I had tons of rope so I’d just strap it on and off I’d go. It was hard for me to stop, because I’d try to get my route down to under one hour, but all this wood was extremely important. I could plan to build things with what I had. Since then, all my sheds, Edmund’s house and my little bunglaow in back have been bulldozed and it’s just a vacant lot.

Comments

  • So, David “Two Sheds” Lynch, do you do most of your scriptwriting in the shed?

  • I love David Lynch.

    He is a genius. He took up a paper route while makinf Eraserhead?

    How wonderfully trippy! I wish Twin Peaks had lasted at least five seasons!

    Much like Star Trek — it needed to last five seasons instead of the three it lasted!

    Star Trek said in the opening credits “it’s five year mission”. And it lasted only three seasons.

    Who knows what we missed by it lasting only three seasons?

    But we would have never seen the great Star Trek IV if it lasted five seasons!

    Yay!

  • Was this Edmund Horn from South Hadley,MA?

    Did he have a sister named Mildred.

    If so I would like to find out how to get in touch with him. Only because since his sister died about 15 years ago. no family member has put the date of her death on her grave stone.

    I am a 2nd cousin.

  • Edmund Horn grew up in Holyoke and he had a sister named Mildred.
    He was a friend of the family. Edmund was so special. Any family occasion that involved Edmund at the dinner table or around the piano
    or traveling in our car to Pine Island Lake or elsewhere, was a time filled with Edmund’s stories of his travels and his unique perspective on life. My sister and I always attribute our passion for the piano to our hero, Edmund. As kids, we would beg him to play our favorite pieces while we gathered around the piano at our home in Holyoke…..memories never to be forgotten. Thankfully, on one of his last visits to the area, he stayed at my home in Southborough and of course as always, Edmund was the center of our affection.

    We were so sad to hear that Edmund had passed away. His dear friend sent us a tribute video of Edmund that was produced for his memorial event.

    Edmund….always missed and never forgotten.