One day while I was composing, the
telephone rang. A lady’s voice said,
“Is this John Cage, the
percussion composer?” I said, “Yes.” She
said, “This is the J. Walter Thompson
Company.” I didn’t know what that was,
but she explained that their business
was advertising. She said,
“Hold on. One of our directors
wants to speak to you.” During a pause
my mind went back to my composition.
Then suddenly a man’s voice said,
“Mr. Cage, are you willing to
prostitute your art?” I said, “Yes.” He
said, “Well, bring us some samples
Friday at two.” I did. After
hearing a few recordings, one of the
directors said to me, “Wait a
minute.” Then seven directors formed what
looked like a football huddle.
From this one of them finally emerged,
came over to me, and said,
“You’re too good for us.
We’re going to save you for Robinson Crusoe.”