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Everybody Loves Raymond Loewy, Including David Lynch, Who May Prefer to Call Him ‘Robert’


American Spirit. Industrial designer Raymond Loewy with one of his designs, the Pennsylvania Railroad’s S1 steam locomotive; filmmaker and Loewy admirer David Lynch.

The late-night show of our dreams is hosted by David Lynch. What this theoretical program lacks in guests or commercials (you’ll recall how the filmmaker feels about product placement) it would make up for in good ‘ol fashioned variety: one night our distinctively coiffed host is screening The Seashell and the Clergyman or enthusing on his favorite hobby of chopping wood (especially pine) and the next he’s shooting on site in the dream forest at Club Silencio, the members-only Paris nightclub he designed. The Wall Street Journal recently caught up with Lynch in the penthouse suite of the Chauteau Marmont, where Steve Garbarino posed “20 Odd Questions” that covered topics ranging from his accessories (“I have a deep love for my Swatch watch.”) to his stint as a WSJ deliverperson back in the 1970s, when he was making Eraserhead.

In Lynch’s words, his L.A. paper route has all the makings of a haunting film. “I’d pick up my papers at 11:30 at night. I had throws that were particularly fantastic. There was one where I’d release the paper, which would soar with the speed of the car and slam into the front door of this building, triggering its lobby lights—a fantastic experience,” he says. “Another one I called ‘The Big Whale.’ There was a place, the Fish Shanty, on La Cienega. A big whale’s mouth was the front door you entered through. I’d throw a block before it, and hit the paper directly into the mouth.” Lynch is not inclined to fandom, preferring to get his kicks from a mix of coffee, transcendental meditation, and American Spirit cigarettes, but he does cop to a love for Loewy…Robert [sic] Loewy. The famed industrial designer usually goes by Raymond, but as far as we’re concerned, Lynch can call him whatever he wants. Meanwhile, the WSJ has corrected the error in its online edition.

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