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I met a musical hero


Mark Zeger

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Randy Newman

 

Last Saturday, my wife and I saw him perform with the Rochester Philharmonic. What an outstanding night of music. The first half of the program featured Randy conducting his movie music with suites from "Toy Story", "Monsters Inc.", "Avalon" (of which he said it's a movie no Gentile has ever seen), and "The Natural". If that wasn't enough, a film montage for each piece appeared on a screen above the orchestra (Newman synced the orchestra to the film using a second feed with streamers and pops on monitor). To hear and see "The Natural" in that setting gave me chills. It's one of my favorite film scores.

 

The second half had Randy at the piano with the orchestra accompanying 17 songs including "Great Nations of Europe", "Louisiana 1927", "Political Science", "Sail Away", and more. Hearing that music in a great concert hall is like 5.1 on steroids.

 

After the performance, I spent a few minutes talking with Randy backstage. Couldn't be a nicer guy and generous with his time for me and others who waited to meet him. We talked about film scoring, bad film scores, the unused lyrics for "The Natural" theme, and eyeglasses (coincidentally, we have the same frames).

 

After we left, my wife says "So, how long are you going to keep smiling like that?"

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That sucks. ;) I was expecting you to name some Cuban trumpet player I've never heard of it, not one of my musical heroes. Meeting Newman would be a big one for one, comparable only to meeting Elvis Costello or Andy Partridge or Tom Waits. Well, a Beatle would take the proverbial cake I guess.

 

I've been in a Randy Newman "phase" lately listening repeatedly to the four CDs of his I own: Sail Away, Good Old Boys, Bad Love, and Songbook Vol. 1.

 

Sail Away seems to me to be the quintessential Newman. Which of his other albums do you recomend, Mark? I hear 12 Songs is pretty great.

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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Mark, how cool! Congratulations. :)

 

The first half of the program featured Randy conducting his movie music with suites from "Toy Story", "Monsters Inc.", "Avalon" (of which he said it's a movie no Gentile has ever seen)
That's funny :D ...but wrong! ;) While Diner is my favorite Barry Levinson movie, I very much enjoyed Avalon.

 

Some of us LA forum members got to see Randy Newman perform at Elton John's Yamaha Lifetime Achievement Award concert last year; but as far as I know, none of us met him. You're a lucky man. :thu:

 

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Originally posted by Magpel:

That sucks. ;) I was expecting you to name some Cuban trumpet player I've never heard of it, not one of my musical heroes. Meeting Newman would be a big one for one, comparable only to meeting Elvis Costello or Andy Partridge or Tom Waits. Well, a Beatle would take the proverbial cake I guess.

John, I'd recommend waiting at least a few decades before trying to meet John or George...you're too young to make that trip! ;)

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Originally posted by Magpel:

BTW, do we agree that in his own quirky and maybe somewhat limited way, Randy Newman is a great Pianist?

That rolling, New Orleans style piano comes off his hands like water. I think it was during "Dixie Flyer" that he complimented the orchestra's flute section for articulating those licks as naturally as he does.

 

I'm not sure "limited" describes his piano playing. The voicings he chooses sound simple and "roots-y", yet profound. That's the best way I can explain it.

 

Sail Away seems to me to be the quintessential Newman. Which of his other albums do you recomend, Mark? I hear 12 Songs is pretty great.

Since you already have "Sail Away" (my favorite) and "Good Old Boys", "12 Songs" sort of completes the trinity of his best work from the '70s. You'd probably love the more recent "Bad Love", which is excellent (he included 4 songs from it in concert).
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Originally posted by Mark Zeger:

http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/markzegermusic/vwp?.dir=/&.dnm=Randy+Newman.jpg&.src=gr&.view=t&.hires=t

 

(This is the result of me spending 10 minutes trying to post a photo. ARRRRRGH!)

Hey Mark, why not take a break, relax, and watch a little TV? "Avalon" is on right now. :)

 

Seriously, it's on the Flix channel! (At least, here in LA.)

 

Wow, that's Elijah Wood at nine years of age. I didn't remember he was in the movie. I guess that's because he wasn't E L I J A H W O O D yet... :D

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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How wonderful. How did you get backstage? Did you have an invite, win a look-alike contest on the strength of your eye-glasses, or simply Horseswaggle your way?

 

BTW, shouldn't that be music hero? I rather think musical hero is a singing Rambo.

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Kewl! A friend of mine got to meet Jon Lord while he still was with purple. He called me up and said "I just met god..."

He also, at a diffrent occation, had a chat with Gary Brooker, who told him that he wore Hush Puppies when recording "Whiter Shade of Pale", (how about THAT info!!!).

My personal famous incounters are Peter Green, (yes I know he's a guitarist, but he IS famous), who though I was a journalist from Sweden and wanted me to interwiev him. (I've said that at the gates to get in free...) and Benny Andersson/ABBA since I know Annefrid's son, Hans, (this was when Benny and Annifrid where married), so I just passed Benny in his kitchen where he was having breakfast!

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Originally posted by Magpel:

Love the picture, Mark. that's a keeper.

 

Hey Per, are you Worra from Worra's place and the Bigga Gigga stuff? if so, cool. If not, cool.

The very same! But I'm no longer with Bigga Giggas, started a new company: SampleTekk!

Worra's Place is still alive and kicking! (www.worrasplace.com)

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