John Cage, Mycologist (!?)

Catching up on a bit of magazine reading recently, I came across this article in The New Yorker (subscription required) about the legendary composer John Cage. I've always admired him for all the normal reasons—his adventurous exploration of what music is, what sound is, his sense of curiosity and enthusiasm about art and life, etc, etc. Reading the article I learned something else very fascinating about Mr. Cage—he was an avid hunter and lover of mushrooms. From the article by Alex Ross:

"After moving to Stony Point, he began collecting mushrooms during walks in the woods. Within a few years, he had mastered the mushroom literature and co-founded the New York Mycological Society. He supplied mushrooms to various élite restaurants, including the Four Seasons. In 1959, while working at the R.A.I. Studio of Musical Phonology, a pioneering electronic-music studio, in Milan, he was invited on a game show called "Lascia o Raddoppia?"—a "Twenty-One"-style program in which contestants were asked questions on a subject of their choice. Each week, Cage answered, with deadly accuracy, increasingly obscure questions about mushrooms. On his final appearance, he was asked to list "the twenty-four kinds of white-spore mushrooms listed in Atkinson." Cage named them all, in alphabetical order, and won eight thousand dollars."

Check out the New York Mycological Society here (does their logo look familiar?). And check out our very own San Francisco mushroom lovers here.