Open Notebook: Will Oldham

Will Oldham is a musician, actor and all-around creative mind who has recorded under several names over the years, including Bonnie Prince Billie and Palace Music. He has recorded many great albums, and made this video of a Kanye West song with Zach Galifianakis. I asked him to share an image and some information about his notebooks.

PLUMB: What kind of notebooks do you use?

WILL OLDHAM: I keep notes on pocket memo pads, have done for years, so I have bunches and bunches of these . . . then there are the set-list notebooks, then there are the lyric notebooks. Three styles! But no sketchbooks, I don’t doodle.

PLUMB: What’s inside the ones we see here?

WILL OLDHAM: These little notebooks are how I keep the head ungummed.  All ideas that are finite and final and unexplorable go into these memo pads, whether it is a lyric change or an address or a record concept or a recipe.

PLUMB: Have you ever lost one?

WILL OLDHAM: I have lost a couple, and I lift my chin and move on.


WILL OLDHAM: I just found four more full ones, among the clutter on my desk.