Glenn Gould From A To Z (by Michael Stegemann)

A B C D E F G H I M N O P R S T
GOULD DRIVING Don Hunstein / Apr 1974

DRIVING

It is almost a miracle that Gould never had a serious accident or lost his licence: he regularly drove through red lights, turned where he shouldn’t have done, crossed double white lines when overtaking other drivers and frequently exceeded the speed limit. His black Lincoln Continental, which he called “Longfellow”, was a well-known, not to say notorious, sight in Toronto. On one occasion the police stopped him for driving erratically: he had been gesticulating wildly while conducting a Mahler symphony that was on the car radio. “Let’s go and do my favorite thing,” Leonard Bernstein reports him as saying, adding: “So we went down and got into his car, he being wrapped up in all his furs and gloves and hats, with all the windows up, the heat turned on full blast, and the radio tuned to a good music station, also full blast. […] I said, Do you do this often? He said, Every day.” His favourite pastime was to drive north along the Queen’s Highway 17 for hours on end at night until he reached some truck-stop motel or Burger King. It was a road trip to the anonymity of a world far removed from urban pressures.