Saturday, August 23, 2008

Proust the Musical…..

We must confess to being fans of both Vanity Fair Magazine and James Lipton and his TV show Inside the Actor’s Studio. Our favorite part is the questionnaire that closes each. The questionnaire is “adapted” from French talk show host Bernard Pivot, who “adapted” it from Marcel Proust, who “adapted” it from an English source, who “adapted” it from heaven only knows. Let’s just say that the use of a questionnaire to get to know the deep inner thoughts of relative strangers has a long and distinguished history, as anyone who has ever gotten certain email forwards knows all too well. Your Redheads certainly like the idea of using a few well-worded questions to reveal their current state of mind, but felt that existing versions of it didn’t specifically address their musical needs. With a tip of our lady-like bonnets to all the sources that came before here is our more musical version.

What is your current State of Mind?

LM: Happy

WLB: Expectant Agitation

What was the first song you ever performed in public?

LM: The Ballad of Davy Crockett

WLB: Paper Roses in the third grade Talent show.

What was the first musical act you ever saw in person?

LM: Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians

WLB: The Osmonds at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. (Give me a break, I was nine….)

What is your idea of perfect musical happiness?

LM: Perfect harmony with all

WLB: Being surrounded by musicians I love and respect to collaborate on projects that let me use my skills as a singer, writer, and creator.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of musical misery?

LM: Being prevented from doing my best

WLB: Watching other musicians have all the fun while I do the paperwork and schlep the bags.

Name three composers you wish would write a song for you?

LM: Randy Newman, Adam Guettel, and James Taylor. But if they're too busy... Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Chris Thile, Lorraine Feather, James Bassi, Amanda McBroom and Michele Brourman, and Ann Hampton Callaway. And me. I wish I would, too!

WLB: I think I’m going to exceed my limit on this one, but here goes…Amanda McBroom & Michele Brourman (since they frequently write together they count as one), Gretchen Peters, Willie Nelson, Stephen Sondheim, and John Bucchino. Johnny Mercer too, but since he’s no longer among us I think he falls into a different category.

What virtue do you consider essential for every musician?

LM: Compassion

WLB: The Ability to listen

What Profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

LM: Other profession? I am completely happy being an artist, and I would
like to expand with writing and public speaking. But a different
profession? Hmmm. Chat show host? Traveling evangelist? Dog trainer?

WLB: Historian/Museum Curator

What profession would you not like to attempt?

LM: Formula One racing. Definitely.

WLB: Anything that involves being confined in a cubicle.

What is your greatest extravagance?

LM: Books and the time taken to read them.

WLB: Wildly impractical and terribly expensive shoes.

Who are your heroes in real life?

LM: Everyone who walks or stumbles though life with a measure of grace and compassion, and is able to change the lives of others for the better. Some get more publicity than others: Mother Teresa. Dr. Martin Luther King. St. Paul. Some are unknown. It might be you, beloved reader.

WLB: My mother, who taught me to love fiercely and that to survive with wit and grace, is the highest art form.

Not being content to gaze endlessly at our own navels in a fruitless search for answers we want to hear from YOU. We’re inviting you to take one or all of the questions from the questionnaire and answer them yourself, or if you’re feeling especially inspired make up your own question. Post it in our comments section and you will be eligible for our current fabulous give away. The winner, chosen at random, will get a free ticket to see the taller half of your redheads (that would be the fabulous and fierce Miss. Laurel) at Birdland in New York City on September 15th. If you don’t happen to be in the NYC area don’t let that stop you; if you’re our lucky winner we’ll send you one of Laurel’s CD’s. All entries are due by September 10th so get to questioning…..

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