Archive for November, 2010

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I Love Dirty, Naked Artists

November 26, 2010

This has everything to do with the fact that I was watching a Marianne Faithfull concert dvd late last night. It’s an odd bedtime choice, I know, she doesn’t exactly sing lullabies.

But it got me thinking how much I’d like to interview her. For the same reasons I want to interview Amy Winehouse: They are dirty, naked artists.

By “dirty” I mean complicated, extreme emotional temperatures, gaping highs and lows. And by “naked” I mean willing to expose all of themselves, strip away showiness and pretense down to the raw nerve.

And if they are willing tell the truth about their lives, especially the beginnings and the conflicts, outrage, dependencies  and relationships that seem to have inspired their music, what a spellbinding conversation it will be.

Creativity is not tidy. Sometimes it’s not sane.

I want dirty, naked artists.

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ON THE SCENE: My Life Comes Full Circle

November 14, 2010

When I was in journalism school at Northwestern we had an ethics class. We were learning about privacy, how it applies to public figures and how  you determine who is a public figure.

There was a lesson about a photographer who followed Jackie Kennedy around New York, shooting pictures of her in Central Park, on the street, outside her home, walking right up to her and snapping away. She sued him twice and eventually succeeded in getting him to stop.

Fast forward. Many years.

I’m on the 7th Avenue subway, a No. 3 train, on a Friday morning reading the arts section of the New York Times. There’s a review of the documentary “Smash His Camera,” a movie about a photographer fascinated with Jackie Kennedy.

“I remember this guy, from grad school…he was the First Amendment case they taught us about.”

I had an appointment over by NYU, and after my meeting, stepped around the corner only to see the marquis of the Village East Cinema…”Smash His Camera” was playing…a matinee in 20 minutes. I’m in.

The photographer is Ron Galella, the most determined of paparazzi who shot every famous face for decades and from time to time got his own face punched while doing it.

I left the movie, which is very entertaining and won best director at the Sundance Film Festival and knew I had to interview him. I emailed him through his web site and within two weeks I was at his incredible home looking at stacks upon stacks of photographs in his warehouse sized basement.

That is the backstory of how this weekend’s ON THE SCENE piece on Ron Galella happened.

It’s also a little nugget of my life coming full circle…here I am interviewing someone whose controversial and colorful life I learned about when I was just studying to be a journalist.

It’s very cool when something like this happens.

Galella did not exactly adhere to ethics in the way I was taught. He did whatever he had to to get his pictures…hiding in bushes, telephone booths, behind coat racks and jumping out to ambush stars. But he was not working for a publication, either, he freelanced his way to fame.  Do I agree with all of his tactics? No. But google “Jackie Windblown.” It’s the best picture of her ever taken.

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An Editing Marathon: A New ON THE SCENE Hits The Air

November 12, 2010

Whew, we made. It’s around 3:30 Friday afternoon and we just finished editing  this weekend’s show.

This week we put together three pieces for ON THE SCENE..two segments on the legendary paparazzi, Ron Galella. What a fascinating character. He’s the subject of the documentary, “Smash His Camera” and a living lesson the First Amendment. Some viewers will hate his tactics of how he gets his pictures, but everyone stops to look at them.

And then the very quirky, spunky and funny artist, Katie Truk. She makes sculptures from pantyhose.  Sheer genius. Is that a pad pun?

If you’re local you’ve got six chances to see it on the air this weekend, 6:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 1:30 PM. (Who’s up at 6:30 on a weekend? I don’t pick the times, sorry.)