Monday, November 18, 2013

We Breathed the Same Air

Some people I’ve known, pressed flesh with, bumped into and knocked down, ridden in the elevator with, or. . . ?

Nico, Dusty Springfield, John F. Kennedy, Lotte Lenya, Sir Ian McKellen, Sammy Davis. Ricardo Montalban, Bette Midler, Priscilla Presley, Norman Rockwell, Salvador Dali, Frank Zappa, Brian Wilson, Chris Connor, Miles Davis, Michel Legrand, Cloris Leachman, Cybil Shepperd, Gore Vidal, Djuna Barnes, Tim Hardin, Janis Joplin, Barbara Parkins, John Philip Law, Charles Manson, Nanette Fabray, Charles Mingus, Danny Proper, Allen Ginsburg, Timothy Leary, Michael Feinstein, Elizabeth Montgomery, Anita O'Day, Santa Claus, Billy Wilder, Mieko Hirota, Grady Sutton, Charles Lane, Myrna Loy, Neal Cassady, Lily Tomlin, Chet Baker, Wavy Gravy, Helen Merrill, Jo Stafford, William Burroughs, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Carter, Oscar Brown, Jr., Elmer Bernstein, The Nicholas Brothers, Joan Collins, Diahann Carroll, Carl Van Vechten, Fred Katz, Fuzzy Knight, Ruta Lee, Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon, Ruth Brown, William Claxton, Tony Bennett, Anthony Quinn, Betty Carter, Blossom Dearie, Matt Dennis, Mary Ann McCall, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Piper Laurie, Stan Freberg, Jackie Paris, Charles Laughton, Jacques Demy, Margaret Whiting, John Hammond, Betty Garrett, John Kerr, Peter Bogdanovich, Eve Arden, Sarah Vaughan, Paul Weston, Carol Channing, Cecil Taylor, Page Cavanaugh, Jean Bach, Little Richard, Donald O’Connor, Donyale Luna, Maurice Sendak, Yma Sumac, Maxine Sullivan, Dorothy Lamour, Jackie Cooper, Michael Moore, William Steig, Algier Hiss, James Baldwin, William Saroyan, Diana Sands, Peter Marshall, Fran Allison, Marsha Hunt, Lash Larue, Gene Raeburn, Soupy Sales, Big Jon Arthur, Rex Reed, Polly Bergen, Johnnie Ray, Link Wray, Connie Frances, Christine Jorgenson, James Taylor, Little Jimmy Scott, Sam Fuller, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert DeNiro, Herbert Huncke, Tuesday Weld, Barbara Harris, Julia Sweeney, Barbara Stanwyck, Leslie Nielson, Jackie DeShannon, Richard Berry, Margaret Leighton, Joe Franklin. . .
A smattering appear in my memoir Early Plastic.


Unknown said...

Please give us at least a story.

I request one about Yma Sumac.

My friend always said she was actually Amy Camus, a failed opera singer from the Bronx. But then, he never met her.

Bill Reed said...

I met Sumac when she played the old Vine Street Bar and Grill here in L.A. The Place was packed to the rafters with baby boomers, no one over thirty. I intro'd myself and that was the extent of my contact with her, i.e. pressed flesh. I thought that Amy Camus story had died the death years ago. About 20 years ago, my friend Alan Eichler actually accompanied her to her tribal beginnings in the wilds of Peru.

Unknown said...

It is interesting how many performers, all great artists and even some of them stars, form an emotional bond very quickly with an anonymous fan who simply expresses heartfelt appreciation for their work. And if you meet them a few times, they almost consider you to be "family".

I've enjoyed these relationships with many, and it is nice to give back to these artists by offering friendship.

Bill Reed said...

In addition to fan-adulation, I've worked professionally with several dozen of these folk, especially as a producer of special editions for Criterion video.