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ON THE SCENE: Baby’s Got Back Story

January 22, 2011

So you are watching this weekend…blog hits are spiking after ON THE SCENE airs, thanks for that. I appreciate it.

Since a lot of you are coming here for more on the show I wanted to give a little more behind the scenes info and give my impressions of the artists who are on this weekend: Darlene Love and Timothy White.

There were many unknowns for me going into both interviews because I had never met Love or White, had seen very little video of them, and until I sat down to interview Love, never had the chance to speak to her. That’s not uncommon for a tv interview, but I just didn’t have a sense of her personality.  I had read Love’s autobiography the weekend before the interview.

I knew immediately Darlene Love came ready to talk and reveal. The expression on her face is open, she’s vibrant, friendly, and on a high with her upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. As I say in my previous post, what locks her in for me is the up and down story of her career, all those almost-but-not-quite big breaks, trying to emerge from being a background singer to stand in the light. All those things the rest of us can relate to in our own lives. Three things I am hearing about her from people who have seen the show: she looks amazing at 69 years old, her voice sounds stronger now than on her early recordings, and her story about gun-toting Phil Spector shooting up the bathroom at A&M Records has people stunned.

I reached Timothy White about three weeks ago, I got his email from someone we have in common. I had just recently become aware of White’s photographs. He called me and we had a short conversation and that’s when I asked him to be on the show. But he asked one question that stood out.

“Is this going to be sound bites or a conversation?”

I’ve heard the question before and it’s a dead give-away…he’s no doubt had bad interviews in the past, or a disinterested interviewer just wanting to get it over with, or felt pressured to synthesize his thoughts into 10 second snippets to make the editing easy.

“It’s a conversation,” I assured him. “I want to hear about why you decided to be a photographer, your relationship with the camera and of course stories about the celebrities you’ve shot, people are very interested in that.”

The studio you see in my show is his work space on 54th Street. It’s where he keeps his digital and analog archive (that’s what’s in the rows and rows of metal file cabinets you see behind me at one point.)

I think it’s a fascinating juxtaposition…here’s Darlene Love whose career didn’t go as she wanted for decades….she ended up working as a maid after 20 years in show business. And Timothy White, a success since he was in his 20s…one of the most prolific celebrity photographers in the United States, a Hollywood insider with a lucrative specialty in shooting movie posters. I understand his success, now. Besides his talent for photography, he has a way of connecting with people one on one, and an engaging energy that the stars he shoots respond to.

If my tv station is available on your cable system, you also have access to  its premium website http://www.news12.com where I have another blog, and there’s video posted there of Darlene Love describing the role Bruce Springsteen played in her getting into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

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