Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nat Shapiro's Birthday

Today is the birthday of my late friend Nat Shapiro. Were he alive now, he would be 87 (he died in '83).

The only Twilight Zoney psychic thing that ever happened to me was when Nat died. He was NOT a touchy - feely person, but the last time I saw him---in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel yet---he hugged me goodbye. The time before that---in New York---he told me to raid his office and take anything I wanted in the way of books and records. (Hunh?) Mind you, he almost certainly did not know that "Mister Death from the Village" was hot on his tail. Then a few weeks later at what must have been the very instant of his demise, I began thinking about him and sobbing (?). The next morning someone from the east coast phoned me here in L.A. and told me that Nat's body had been found in his NY office that a.m.

I went to New York for the memorial service. Everyone in the music biz was there. The entire affair was videotaped and copies eventually given to those who attended. Among other things, there was a lengthy musical presentation by Michel Legrand, Nat's only. . . "client" (it was a handshake deal). And even though Michel is IMHO---even today---the greatest living composer/etc. (he's even just about my favorite male singer), in all likelihood it probably would never have "happened" for him had it not been for Nat Shapiro. Surrounded by so many of the things Nat gave me, I still think of him almost everyday. Not that I wouldn't anyhow.

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