A couple months back when I was in Los Angeles I had the pleasure of spending a quiet evening with Robert Evans, the (in)famous movie producer. We’d talked on the phone before for something I was trying to put together for Esquire which never quite panned out, and at the end of the call he’d said “Any time you’re in Los Angeles, give me a call. Come by my place.”
I was floored. I’d read both of his books and have been a huge fan of his since the early 2000’s when I practically devoured a dog-eared copy of The Kid Stays In The Picture, his (in)famous first memoir. When I arrived at his house in Beverely Hills, ten years after finishing that book, the sun was setting. It seemed fitting. We talked for close to two hours about life, love, magazines, movies, and everything in between.
We were both failed actors and had found other professions that had taken us beyond our wildest dreams. We had that in common, and he really latched on to that when he found that out. He’s used (these days, anyway) to talking in well-worn stories and finding out that we had that in common switched him into another gear entirely. From that moment on he swore and laughed and sighed and opened up and seemed very, very happy.
He had damn good wine, too.
For those of you that know of him or know him, you know that he has a way with words. He’s witty, quick, and has a baritone that makes everything he says sound like a car commercial. He’s somewhat of a cheerleader, too, in that he’s quite positive about what you’re doing and is genuinely interested, asking me a lot of questions. He doesn’t wait for you to finish speaking so he can talk–which is a great quality to have, you know.
Anyway. I called him today. Another magazine wanted me to do a feature on him–a full photo spread, a few thousand words–airfare and hotel included for me and everything. I called him excited and gushed.
"Bobby, they want to do a feature on you. They want to fly me out towards the end of the month. Will you be free? Isn’t that great?"
An long, unexpected silence.
"Ned, I can’t do it. (long pause) Not right now. Now isn’t good."
An unexpected silence, this time, from me.
He continued, “I do love speaking with you. Know that. But I’m sorry. Give me a little time.”
An hour later I was walking to meet with a friend and I couldn’t shake not the words but the tone. He sounded ill, different, like he was speaking in a whisper a mile away. At risk of repeating what’s in his latest book, I’ll simply say he sounded distant. Which is unlike him. Or what I know of him, anyway.
I don’t know why I’m writing this.
I really like the guy, and I hope he’s ok. I had a grandpa who was pretty terrible. Evans reminds me of what a cool grandpa would have been like. Maybe he saw something in me, I’m not sure. I don’t know. I’m just typing this to type it out, really. I don’t like losing people in any sense of the word, and Evans is one of those guys who you always want to have just one more drink with, just to hear one more anecdote, one more story.
Personality transcends age, never the other way around.
This is one of those things that doesn’t jibe with the discussion on FB, so I’m not going to post it there on this Valentine’s Day. But Dave Dondero posted it and I liked it. I’d say I agree with it, but I don’t really. I used to for sure but that’s because I think I misidentified what love is.
What he’s saying is really the perspective of an addict. It’s this desire to be perpetually elevated. So you meet someone and you have that magnetic attraction to them. And you talk and you click. You make each other laugh. And everything is fucking firing and your brain is going crazy. And it’s only been 3 weeks but you want to say the “L” word. And the only reason you’re waiting is because you’re not supposed to do that so soon.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome feeling to have. But it’s a high. A chemical high. And as with any high you settle back to stasis eventually. And it seems to me that a lot of people (and I’ve been there) feel like when that explosiveness wanes (and it does), that’s when the love dies. But I think that’s a fallacy. To me, love happens at that stasis level. Love happens when your life’s pH reading is 7. When there are no outside variables. Just you and your partner. You’re not blinded by the newness of it. You’re not slinging hyperbole. You’re just sitting together with the schedule cleared on an idle Sunday afternoon feeling fucking satisfied.
When you learn to stop chasing what you can’t catch, that’s where you find it.
Song: Rainer Maria - Mystery and Misery (2003)
Sent by: Clayton H.
Date: October 18th, 2011
Time to learn about Rainer Maria. First off, they started in the town of Madison, WI. Madison is pretty much Austin, TX north. It’s like a little socialist commune in a state where kooks paint anti-abortion messages on the sides of their barns (I’m not exaggerating). It can really be a utopia if you want it to be. It’s where I saw Simon Joyner for the first time at Kiki’s House of Righteous Music, aka the basement of this hippie woman’s house. It’s also where I met the wonderful band Theodore (R.I.P). And if you have a little time to kill, I highly recommend drinking a beer on a sunny day at the University of Wisconsin Student Union. It’s basically a big patio/pier on the edge of Lake Mendota. Lots of boats and happy people. Just lovely. Madison is also where Patrick Kane goes to black out and choke students, but I won’t get into that!
But Rainer Maria left Madison for Brooklyn, which I guess makes sense. Seems if you want to gain some traction for your band, that’s the place to go. And I can’t really argue against living in New York if you can afford it. But they would’ve gained SOOO many cool points with me had they not left Madison for a place where the kids power their turntables with potato electricity (anyone?).
Lastly about Rainer Maria before I get into the song, they named their band after German-language poet/novelist Rainer Maria Rilke. Wikipedia says he was “intense” and “mystical” and adds, “…he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety.” Wikipedia also categorizes Rainer Maria (the band) as “emo.” Call me crazy, but I can’t help but be dubious of a late 90’s emo band with that kind of an influence. But I’ve been wrong before. Here goes.
Well hey! I like it! Songs like this make me feel youthful. It reminds me of a time when you’re young but not dumb. This singer probably got the best grades in her creative writing class. Not that this is mind blowing poetry or anything, but it’s introspective and thoughtful. It’s also written by someone who clearly has not been beaten down by life yet. Someone who hasn’t been burned too many times and still obsesses over the “wicked” boy with the “detached glare.” I dig. Also, I like her voice and in general, the song makes me want to bounce around.
My only real problem was that the song probably should’ve been two and half minutes and not bordering on five. They basically just played the song twice, going through all the lyrics a second time. And it didn’t really build all that much musically the second time around. I could definitely see it being really dynamic live and something they’d want to extend a bit, but on record there’s just no need for that.
I guess I’d put it somewhere in the B/B+ range. Look at this! A new wrinkle. A mid-range grade. Just when you think you’ve got this project figured out, I throw out a B/B+ grade and blow all your minds. And I’m doing it because I think I liked the Kenna song slightly more, though it’s close. Welp. Let’s close this out Nardwuar-style. Keep on rockin’ in the free world and doo do da loot do, *DOO DOO*