http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/musi ... ory=490700
This British sunday `paper profile of Randy Newman
includes this -
I suspect that Newman's perfectionism and
self-deprecation reveal a justified conviction that he
will be remembered as one of the greats. He guards his
back catalogue with a jealousy associated with
"I heard the record producer Hal Willner was planning
a Randy Newman tribute night in Los Angeles," I tell
"Yeah, he did it, last month."
"Did you go?"
"It was my son's birthday."
"Did they want you to go?"
"I don't know."
"Are you saying you think it would have been difficult
for you to listen to other people doing your songs?"
"Hey - I don't think that. I know it. I really
appreciate Hal Willner doing that evening. But I
worked hard on the opening chords of 'Sail Away', you
know?" So, yes - what the fuck - I want to hear what I
did. Anything is not great with a song like that, you
know? Some musicians I would trust. Van Dyke Parks I
would trust. Elvis Costello I would trust. But you
know what? I would be real careful if I did 'Watching
Earlier in this feature this
tyically-Randy-Newman story is told -
"Don't you think you might have sold
better in Britain," I ask him, "if you hadn't been
"I don't know," he says. Newman, whose eyesight is
seriously impaired by his crossed eyes, peers at me
like a professor acknowledging an impudent but
possibly useful interruption from a first-year
student. "I do well in London. But on my one foray to
Liverpool and Manchester, in the late 1970s..." he
frowns, "I just didn't draw. I mean - I enjoyed it. I
saw some beautiful country, Jesus. And I had an
interesting experience when my car broke down and I
had to hitch to Manchester in a truck carrying rat
"Rat rope. The truck was driven by a husband and wife;
they made that rope with knots in, that stops rats
getting on ships. They dropped me off, then came to
the show. I talked to them afterwards, and they just
looked so very tired. They'd been hauling rat rope
since five o'clock that morning; I guess it just
wasn't the best preparation for an evening with the
Dean of Satire."
"Are you still in touch with them?"
"Yes," he says, clearly not joking. "They wrote to me
the other day, actually."
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