Thursday, October 14, 2010

'You should be interviewing Andre Watts!'

Yesterday, what a day! It started with my getting no sleep. I was nutzed up because of my dinner party for my piano teacher and on top of that I had to call Andre Watts. That is Andre Watts pictured above! Also you might want to watch him on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

Ha, ha! I love how Mister Rogers is leaning right over his shoulder. Also what Mister Rogers says at the end. "I'm so proud to be your friend!" Too funny.

Anyway I was just looking at a lot of excitement for one day. I was up. I was down. Up. Down. There was excitement around 4 a.m. when a group of emergency vehicles suddenly and noisily assembled on the corner. Fire trucks, police cars! I still have no idea what that was about but I watched that for a while.

Finally I got to sleep about 5:30 a.m. Three hours later I awoke and at the appointed hour of 10 a.m. I called Andre Watts.

I am lucky it was Andre Watts I was calling and not some jerk. I mean, as long as you have not slept much you should be able to talk to someone nice. I had talked with Mr. Watts once before and had recalled that he was nice but even so, yesterday he surpassed my expectations. He is one of those one-in-a-million, out of the ballpark great people to talk with. He listens to you, he's funny, he's relaxed and right away, we got along.

About a half an hour into our conversation I felt comfortable enough to mention the Leonard Pennario situation. We were talking about Liszt so it fit with the conversation.

Andre Watts said, "Wait a minute -- you knew Leonard Pennario???"

You never get that kind of response!

That was amazing!!

There was another thing on my mind too. I wish I could have brought it up but it is too complicated and silly.

When I first started working at the paper I used to write about rock and heavy metal. The paper needed someone to do it and so that was what I did. I used to wear all black, pack ear plugs and go on in. I covered Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Great White, Faith No More, Todd Rundgren, I could go on and on.

My dad, who was still around back then, was disgusted with the turn my career had taken.

One day I showed up to have dinner with him and my mom and he had just been watching Andre Watts on TV. Watts had played Brahms or something and he had been interviewed and now my dad had turned off the TV and was sitting there brooding.

"You shouldn't be writing about these creeps you're writing about!" he burst out. "You should be interviewing Andre Watts! An intelligent man." And he stalked off to fix his Manhattan.

As I was talking to Andre Watts yesterday I could sense my dad smiling down on me.

Because here I was, interviewing Andre Watts!

It is funny, the turns your life takes.

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