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How to say ‘NO’: Whitey’s perfect reply to a TV company who wanted to use his music for free
11.06.2013
02:12 pm
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Amidst the ongoing discussions about the value of music, British alt/rock/tronica artist Whitey has had enough of being asked to donate his music for free to large companies who, by rights, can and should be paying him. After receiving one such email from a company called Betty TV, Whitey, aka NJ White, wrote this caustic response:

I am sick to death of your hollow schtick, of the inevitable line “unfortunately there’s no budget for music”, as if some fixed Law Of The Universe handed you down a sad but immutable financial verdict preventing you from budgeting to pay for music. Your company set out the budget. so you have chosen to allocate no money for music. I get begging letters like this every week - from a booming, allfuent global media industry.

Why is this? Let’s look at who we both are.

I am a professional musician, who lives form his music. It me half a lifetime to learn the skills, years to claw my way up the structure, to the point where a stranger like you will write to me. This music is my hard earned property. I;ve licensed music to some of the biggest shows, brands, games and TV production companies on Earth; form Breaking Bad to the Sopranos, from Coca Cola to Visa, HBO to Rockstar Games.

Ask yourself - would you approach a Creative or a Director with a resume like that - and in one flippant sentence ask them to work for nothing? Of course not. Because your industry has a precedent of paying these people, of valuing their work.

Or would you walk into someone’s home, eat from their bowl, and walk out smiling, saying “So sorry, I’ve no budget for food”? Of course you would not. Because, culturally, we classify that as theft.

Yet the culturally ingrained disdain for the musician that riddles your profession, leads you to fleece the music angle whenever possible. You will without question pay everyone connected to a shoot - from the caterer to the grip to the extra- even the cleaner who mopped your set and scrubbed the toilets after the shoot will get paid. The musician? Give him nothing.

Now lets look at you. A quick glance at your website reveals a variety of well known, internationally syndicated reality programmes, You are a successful, financially solvent and globally recognised company with a string of hit shows. Working on multiple series in close co-operation with Channel 4, from a West London office, with a string of awards under your belt. You have real money, to pretend otherwise is an insult.

Yet you send me this shabby request - give me your property for free… Just give us what you own, we want it.

The answer is a resounding, and permanent NO.

I will now post this on my sites, forward this to several key online music sources and blogs, encourage people to re-blog this. I want to see a public discussion begin about this kind of industry abuse of musicians… this was one email too far for me. Enough. I’m sick of you.

FUCK and indeed YES.

You can see the original screen grab of this email on Whitey’s Facebook page. As Whitey is at pains to point out, he has no problem donating his music for free to companies who literally cannot afford to pay him. He told me this via email earlier today:

I don’t want payment for everything. I don’t even care that much about money, I give away my music all the time. You and I live in a society where filesharing is the norm. I’m fine with that.

But i don’t give my music away to large, affluent companies who wish to use it to make themselves more money. Who can afford to pay, but who smell the filesharing buffet and want to grab themselves a free plate. That is a different scenario.

So what do you think? I completely agree, but I’m sure there’s DM readers who don’t. Are artists and musicians simply behind the times to ask that their music be paid for by large companies? What do you think Whitey’s music IS worth?
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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11.06.2013
02:12 pm
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‘Ringo’: Beatles’ drummer in goofy 1978 TV special
11.05.2013
02:08 pm
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This Ringo Starr special, Ringo, aired on American TV in 1978 and is pretty much what you’d expect it to be: unpretentious, silly and, well, Ringo-esque.

IMDB contributor Haily 7 offers this synopsis:

In this update of the “Prince and the Pauper,” Ringo Starr is the most famous rock drummer in the world, but has become bored with his life as an iconic pop star, while Ognir Rats is a shy, bullied nobody with a lousy job and an abusive father. When Ringo sees Ognir and notices they share a strong resemblance to each other, they decide to switch places. Once, Ringo gets a taste of Ognir’s troubled life and Ognir is caught up in Ringo’s busy schedule, can things be straightened out before Ringo’s big concert, later that night?

The whole thing would be mostly forgettable if not for the number of cool people involved, including George Harrison, Vincent Price, Dr. John, Angie Dickinson and Art Carney. But even with the stellar cast Ringo is as cheesy as most rock and roll specials of the era. Still, Starr has this extraordinary knack for appearing in total crap and not getting himself in the least bit soiled. There’s a certain Zen in that.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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11.05.2013
02:08 pm
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Joey Ramone’s Wall Street crush: Maria Bartiromo talks about her favorite Ramone
11.05.2013
02:03 pm
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Maria Bartiromo is a popular finance reporter who has worked for CNN and CNBC television. She was the first reporter to broadcast live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, has won a slew of journalism awards and is in the Cable Hall of Fame. She’s also someone who Joey Ramone had a heavy crush on. Joey invested in the stock market and was an avid fan of Bartiromo’s and watched her TV appearances religiously.

Joey used to email Bartiromo to ask for stock tips, as she told The Guardian in 2006:

“I started getting emails from him and he would say Maria, what do you think about Intel or what do you think about AOL and I thought who is this person emailing me? It’s crazy, he’s calling himself Joey Ramone. Sure enough it was him and we developed this friendship. And he was attuned to the markets. He really understood his own investment portfolio. Joey Ramone was a fantastic investor.”

He even wrote and recorded an ode to his money muse “Maria Bartiromo” which appeared on his solo album Don’t Worry About Me released posthumously in 2002.

“What’s happening on Wall Street
What’s happening at the stock exchange
I want to know
What’s happening on Squawk Box
What’s happening with my stocks
I want to know
I watch you on the TV every single day
Those eyes make everything OK
I watch her every day
I watch her every night
She’s really out of sight
Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo”

 

 
“He said to me Maria, I wrote a song about you and he said just come down to CBGBs in Manhattan, be there at midnight. I said, Joey, I’m sorry to tell you but I have to be on the air at 6am and I can’t be anywhere at midnight except in my bed, so I didn’t go.” She did, however, send a camera crew. “Sure enough, the cameraman came back with the tape and there’s him and his band with this song Maria Bartiromo and I just love it. It’s a tremendous tribute. I just love that. It’s great, just great.”

In this clip Bartiromo reflects on her friendship with Joey and what it was like to be honored in song by a Ramone.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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11.05.2013
02:03 pm
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Disgruntled Bee Gees walk off talk show
11.04.2013
05:06 pm
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This ten-minute clip from 1997 is almost excruciating in its sublime awkwardness. The Bee Gees agreed to come on Clive Anderson All Talk (the show was a reworking of a previous incarnation in which it was called Clive Anderson Talks Back), and the lack of chemistry between group and host reached something like an all-time high. Anderson, who was trained as a lawyer before succeeding in showbiz as an odd variant of presenter, is best known in the U.S. as the host of the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Even in the best of times, he is best taken in smaller doses. 

It’s not really clear who comes off worse here, Anderson or Barry Gibb. There’s little argument that Anderson was being annoying that evening, but he’s not much different than everybody else who occupies that kind of role, and it’s unclear why Barry let Anderson get under his skin to the extent that he did. Anderson has a nattering style of humor that can be described as “I take the piss, you take the piss, everyone takes the piss.” So as part of his droll-esque comments, Anderson chose to poke fun at 1970s fashions, Barry’s famous falsetto, Australia’s former status as a penal colony, and who knows what else. It’s not so much that Anderson was making light of the Bee Gees, it’s that his every utterance bought into a kind of superficial understanding of the topic at hand, whether it be sibling rivalries, the sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll lifestyle, the songwriting process, or whatever. Whether Anderson was a big Bee Gees fan seems implausible but is completely beside the point—he was content to trade in barbs that accepted as a given the punchline logic of every imaginable human interaction.

Be sure to watch the whole video—it’s a slow build, and there’s no big unmistakable infraction that makes Barry’s departure inevitable—this is a case where it definitely takes two to tango. By the halfway point, Barry is visibly annoyed by Anderson’s inanities. The straw that breaks the camel’s back is apparently Anderson’s reaction to the news that the brothers once called themselves “Les Tossers”—when Barry gets up to leave a few minutes later, he takes a moment to call Anderson a “tosser” too.

The poleaxed look on Anderson’s face after the musical trio departed the set is priceless.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.04.2013
05:06 pm
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‘Cows,’ Eddie Izzard’s bizarre unaired sitcom pilot
11.04.2013
09:41 am
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In the mid-1990s, Eddie Izzard, in the years in which he was rapidly expanding his audience for his long-form stand-up shows, spent several years trying to get a sitcom into production at Britain’s Channel 4. The show was called Cows, and that title expresses everything you need to know about it. It was about a family of cows that lives in Britain like a normal family, except that they’re cows. Because of Izzard’s pedigree as a master of absurdist humor, it’s tempting to see Cows as some kind of an ingeniously brilliant and scathing anti-comedy casting a skeptical glance on Cool Britannia or something, but mostly it’s just really surprisingly stupid. Channel 4 was right to say no. The show went as far as shooting an episode or two, but it never made it to air.

The cast wore enormous cow heads that are quite unsightly and unfunny, considering that they came from Henson Corporation. The show isn’t, honestly, all that different from a lot of “wacky,” fish-out-of-water sitcoms in the manner of, say, Third Rock from the Sun, except that John Lithgow wasn’t obliged to do his emoting from inside what amounts to a massive Phillie Phanatic outfit. But even more fatal, Izzard and co-writer Nick Whitby appear to have thought that the risibility of cows would, in and of itself, carry them a long way.
 
Izzard. Moo.
 
The show was apparently in development for a long time—the pilot that was eventually shot is dated 1997, but already in 1995 Izzard was quoted as saying, “It’s now about a group of cows moving into a street, and how they get on with the people there who don’t know many cows. … It’ll either be great or it’ll be a pile of shit.” Well, Izzard seems to have gotten that one right, anyway. Easy as it is to take potshots at the show, who knows what the conception was at the outset and how that initial kernel morphed into this incomprehensible sitcom.

In this appearance at an Apple Store in 2009 with comedian Simon Amstell, Izzard fields an audience question about the failure of Cows. Izzard comments that his original conception was to do something similar to Planet of the Apes, but the bovine/simian differences ended up being a problem:
 

Cows by Eddie Izzard on Grooveshark

 
Izzard appears to have understood his limitations as a TV writer, commenting that he had a “problem with creativity without adrenalin” and “sometimes despaired of disciplining himself” in that field and that he missed “the lack of instant response.” According to Sunshine on Putty: The Golden Age of British Comedy from Vic Reeves to The Office by Ben Thompson, Izzard’s agent Caroline Chignell later reflected on the experience: “Eddie was absolutely determined to prove that he had the skills and the application to be a writer. I think as it turned out, [the rejection of the series] was probably the best thing that could have happened.” Clearly, he needed to get an experience of that sort out of his system.

It’s funny to think that Izzard’s successful introduction to American audiences was happening right around this time. His standup show Definite Article went to New York City in 1996, and he taped his breakthrough show Dress to Kill in San Francisco in 1998; the latter special, which appeared on HBO in 1999, ended up winning Izzard two Emmys. Izzard has always had boundless energy and is known for biting off more than he can chew, as his running 43 marathons in 51 days in 2009 and recently declaring his intention to be elected mayor of London in 2020 surely attest.

It’s hard to make head or tails of the 49 minutes of the pilot, it doesn’t hang together as a single story, and the episode breaks aren’t clear. Among the first acts the cow family engages in is to light up a spliff roughly the size of a cricket bat. The cow family goes to a casino, they host a posh dinner party, one of them marries a human woman who is “our” surrogate for the “humor,” one of the cows delivers an address at a political convention in which, unaccustomed to speaking in front of an audience, he steals and mangles a bunch of Winston Churchill quotations. And none of it makes a lick of sense.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.04.2013
09:41 am
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24 Hour Party Aliens: Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder BELIEVES
11.02.2013
03:39 pm
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ryder ufos
 
In what could be construed as an effective warning as to the risks of cognitive impairment that can accompany long-term ecstasy abuse, Happy Mondays vocalist Shaun Ryder has traveled the world seeking evidence of UFOs. His travels were documented for air on a forthcoming new program, Shaun Ryder on UFOs, for the ever-increasingly misnamed History Channel, TV home of God, Guns and Automobiles, Storage Wars, and Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy.

In advance of the show’s debut, Ryder spoke to The Guardian about the close encounters he believes he experienced in his youth, his ongoing passion for UFOlogy, and his most recent sightings:

His sentences become disjointed. “Well, all I’ll tell yous, right, is that I’ve seen one, really close up, about 50 foot above, and it looks like a cartoon. It doesn’t look real. It looks like it’s made out of Airfix kit. They look like toys. When you’ve seen something as close as I’ve seen – and bullshit drink, drugs, bollox, none of it, absolutely normal and straight – and you see it and you know they’re here … “

Tell me more, I say. “I can’t go into any more detail, apart from that it was literally 50 foot above me.” Did he have any contact with it? “No, no, but the thing is I wasn’t frightened one bit. I was very peaceful and placid when I was looking at the thing.” He says it happened after he finished making the documentary series.

Well, there you go, someone call SETI and tell them to turn off the machines that go ‘ping,’ England’s most wasted saw it with his own bleary eyes, so clearly the matter’s settled.

(Before any believers go all berserk on me in the comments, I’m not dismissing the likelihood of life elsewhere. I just think it’s telling that the world’s best and most dedicated scientific minds have thus far located none, despite decades of rigorous search, but we’ve got plentiful anecdotal testimony from hayseeds, drug and alcohol casualties, the mentally ill, and profiteering charlatans. In a universe as vast as the one in which we occupy a pitiful little corner, it’s incredibly unlikely that self-reproducing organisms and sentience are unique to Earth. But it’s even less likely that whatever technologically advanced E.T. life as may exist has made it its mission to traverse the vastness of the cosmos and stick things in our butts.)

Truth is, though, it’ll probably be a vastly entertaining show. Ryder is a gifted bigmouth. I was so fortunate as to interview him face-to-face in the late ‘80s, and though he was only just barely coherent from God knows what he and Bez were dosed on, it was massively enjoyable - captivating, really - just to be in a room with him talking. The sheer force of his lively personality is nothing to dismiss, which is why he’s lately experienced a career renaissance as a UK reality television personality. If his show turns up on Hulu, I will most certainly check out an episode or two. After all, the Mondays were basically a rickety band whose sheer energetic joy pushed them into transcendental greatness, maybe Ryder can tap that magic again on television? Failing that, he’ll still be himself, merrily opining, a sort of lumpen, less-literate Julian Cope. And that’ll be fun, too.

Enjoy Ryder in his prime, in 1989 on BBC Four’s “Club X”
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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11.02.2013
03:39 pm
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‘Interviews Before Execution’: Fascinating, disturbing Chinese talk show
11.01.2013
06:13 pm
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Interviews Before Execution
 
China and the United States are both among the countries that execute the most prisoners annually—but only one of them has ever had a TV talk show dedicated to presenting the death row inmates in a personal way. (According to Amnesty International, China executes the most people by more than an order of magnitude over its #2 competition, Pakistan. The United States is #6 on the list.)

From 2006 to 2012, the Henan Legal Channel in China’s landlocked Henan province ran a weekly TV show called Interviews Before Execution, with an appealing host named Ding Yu, who became something of a star because of the show. She has interviewed more than 200 inmates on the show. In March 2012, BBC Two, on its This World series, aired an hour-long documentary on Interviews Before Execution; with its typical light touch, the Chinese authorities, fearful of embarrassment in the international arena, quickly moved to cancel the show.

In China, citizens can be executed for any one 55 offenses, including endagering public security and “economic crimes” such as embezzlement, but Interviews Before Execution focuses almost entirely on brutal murder cases. Most of the prisoners are glumly contrite, resigned to their fate, inarticulate about the motives that led to the crimes. Providing an instructive snapshot into China’s sexual mores was Ding Yu’s extended interview with Bao Rongting, a homosexual man who was convicted of murdering his mother. In China, homosexuality was a criminal offense as late as 1999. The Bao Rongting episodes of Interviews Before Execution were a huge ratings success. Since 2007 a new safeguard has been introduced: all capital cases must be sent to the Supreme Court for review—it does happen that they occasionally return cases to the lower courts for further investigation.
 
Interviews Before Execution
 
Interviews Before Execution is a fascinating mixture of good, old-fashioned reporting, TV sensationalism, and an undefinable quality that is uniquely poignant and human. In its tone, the show feels like a cross between America’s Most Wanted and a Barbara Walters special. Regardless of one’s feelings about the death penalty—count me against—it’s difficult not to think that the show’s positive effects outweight its negative ones. As none other than Albert Camus pointed out (in “Reflections on the Guillotine”), if you argue for the death penalty because of its deterrent effects, it’s a contradiction to conduct the executions and everything surrounding them far from public view, as is done in the United States. Whatever your position, the show has featured some incredibly compelling television, and even if the viewers’ reactions may feel comparable to rubber-necking, the show does permit the audience to get to know convicted murders not as statistics but as complex members of the human race.

The BBC2 documentary is linked below; it’s one of the most interesting and powerful hours of TV I can remember watching.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.01.2013
06:13 pm
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This sketch from ‘The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting’ will leave you speechless!
11.01.2013
02:22 pm
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I noticed that the outrageous Australian sketch comedy series, The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting, is getting some well-deserved love at reddit this morning. Thanks to the 21st century magic of Bit Torrent and YouTube, good TV rises to the top no matter where it hails from (even Canada!)

The show, which premiered Down Under earlier this year, has a Monty Python-esque thing going on with the short animated segments, some of which were edited together in this YouTube collection.
 

 
But it’s this clip that really takes the cake. No point in me telling you anything about it, just hit play.
 

 
Thank you kindly Syd Garon of Los Angeles, California!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.01.2013
02:22 pm
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‘Aló Presidente’: Hugo Chávez was the David Letterman of Venezuela
10.31.2013
01:51 pm
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Hugo Chávez, Aló Presidente
 
Hugo Chávez was a unique figure in the world of geopolitics. The Venezuelan president was in office for fourteen years until his death earlier this year and was arguably the most successful communist head of state, ever. Venezuela’s status as one of only two South American countries in OPEC (the other is Ecuador) ensured the possibility for an unusual regime. As a popular communist leader harboring an open hostility to the United States (and especially George W. Bush—I can relate), Chávez was never going to get a fair hearing in the U.S. press. Not to excuse some of the conduct his government perpetrated, but it’s not that easy to be a populist Marxist leader in a neoliberal world.

Starting with his first year in office, Chávez commenced hosting an unscripted talk show, broadcast on both radio and television. It was called Aló Presidente, and it went on the air every Sunday afternoon for nearly 13 years (the show started at 11 am every Sunday and had no fixed ending time; it usually ended around 5 pm most days). The show ran 378 times. He required cabinet ministers to appear on the show and submit to an interview, and he occasionally forged important policy decisions on the program. According to Wikipedia, on the March 2, 2008, show, Chávez “ordered a top general to send ten battalions of troops to the border with Colombia in response to a bombing by Colombian forces inside Ecuador which killed Raúl Reyes, a top member of FARC [Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia].” In the event, the battalions were not deployed.

Below is a generous compilation of some of moments from Aló Presidente. Regardless of your opinion of his politics, it’s difficult not to concede that he wasn’t bad at all at being a talk show host. Of course, running the country probably helps to get people to play along.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.31.2013
01:51 pm
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Mad Villainy: Oliver Reed on how to play a bad guy
10.30.2013
10:13 am
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Since I couldn’t have a dog when I was a child, it became my ambition to turn into a werewolf. Vampires were dull and superstitious. Frankentstein’s monster was clumsy and no good with kids. The Invisible Man appealed, though he wasn’t too good at small talk, and being invisible could get awfully cold. My short list, therefore, was pared down to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the werewolf. Both had interesting dichotomies, but where Jekyll’s was about repressed guilt and sexuality, the lycanthrope was driven by a powerful animal nature, which I saw as my untamed spirit.

That summer, when I was six, I became a werewolf for a week or so, and howled at the moon.

I learned my lupine behavior from Henry Hull in The Werewolf of London, who was then my favorite lycanthrope, putting a beefy Lon Chaney Jr.‘s Wolfman into second place. This was, of course, until I saw Oliver Reed possessed by a silvered moon in The Curse of the Werewolf.

Reed had the werewolf routine down pat. He knew all the moves, and did a fine line in shirt-shredding and wet-eyed remorse. I quickly realized that being a werewolf wasn’t as much fun as being an actor, and I began to follow Reed’s on-screen career.

I caught-up with his early swash-buckling double-bills at the Astoria cinema, where I also saw Reed as the definitive Bill Sikes in Oliver!, then as a comic and unlikely brother to Michael Crawford in The Jokers, and finally as animal-loving POW taking an elephant to safety across the Alps in Hannibal Brooks.

Reed had a joy for living that radiated form the screen, and unlike all the other fodder on offer, Ollie’s films were different, quirky, and, most importantly, fun.

It was through Reed that I arrived at Ken Russell, the man who made me aware of just how brilliant and original cinema could be.

Looking back, Reed’s films were all peculiarly British. Moreover, during the 1970s, as every other Brit actor fled the country’s eye-watering rate of taxation (75%), it seemed like Reed was only actor keeping British cinema alive.

Ultimately, it proved a losing battle, as the American summer blockbuster brought an end to individuality, intelligence and the art of the cinematic auteur.

Of course, things could have been much different, if Reed had gone for the Hollywood lifestyle: those big budget movies, the box office success, and a life by the swimming pool sipping Evian water.

It wasn’t so far fetched, as at the height of his fame, in the 1970s, Reed was offered two major Hollywood movies that would have changed his career for good.

The first was The Sting, where he was to be the villain, Doyle Lonnegan; the second was Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, in which he was to play the wise, old fisherman, Quint.

Reed turned them down, and both of these roles went to Robert Shaw.

Going to Hollywood, Reed later admitted, “might have made all the difference,” but it wasn’t in his nature, as he explained to the actress, Georgina Hale:

”You know, Georgie, I could have gone to Hollywood but I chose life instead.”

Interesting how he made a difference between “Tinsel Town” and “life.”

But “life” had to be paid for, and over the next two decades, Reed made a small library of bad B-movies that hardly used his talent and did little for his reputation.

When his brothers, David and Simon asked Oliver to go to Hollywood, Reed would always shake his head and reply:

”I don’t think I can do it. I don’t really want to do it.”

Reed’s lack of confidence stemmed from his dyslexia, which saw him damned as dunce throughout his school years, and led him to doubt his own intellectual potential. He covered-up this lack of confidence with drink. Lon Chaney once advised his son to find a movie role he could make his own. Junior soon hit on The Wolfman and became a star. By the 1980s, Reed was making the role of a drunk his own. It was a performance that shortchanged his talents.

Robert Sellars in his authorized biography on Reed What Fresh Lunacy Is This? notes an exchange in an early Reed movie, which parallels the actors own fears.

There’s a scene in The System where Jane Merrow’s character asks Oliver’s Lothario of a seaside photographer why he stays in a small town, thinking him to be the type who would have moved on to a bustling city long ago.

Asked if he likes living in the town, he replies, ‘No, not particularly.’

‘Then why stay?’

‘Perhaps I’m a little nervous of going anywhere bigger.’

Reed was a star, it’s just the movies that got small. But in his work/life balance, Oliver probably got it right. He achieved a memorable body of work, with at least a dozen important films; and he lived a life of excess that became the envy of beer-bellied frat boys and suburban barflies.
 
deerreviloinatdeend.jpg
 
On British TV back in the 1980s, there was a show called In at the Deep End, where user-friendly presenters Paul Heiney and Chris Serle were given the challenge of mastering a different profession every week. These jobs ranged from working as a chef, becoming a female impersonator, making a pop promo (for Banarama), and acting in a movie.

In 1985, Heiney was given a bit part in the Dick Clement / Ian La Frenais movie Water, a flop that starred Michael Caine, Valerie Perrine and Billy Connolly. With no acting experience, Heiney sought out the advice of Oliver Reed, who gave impromptu acting lesson of how to be a bad guy.

As Heiney later told Robert Sellers:

’[Reed] was wearing a heavy army overcoat,’ says Heiney. ‘Like the ones the Russian army wear, and he said there was nothing underneath. I had no reason to disbelieve him. He was wearing a pair of wore-rimmed spectacles; one of the lenses was cracked. He had a sort of look of death about him, although I’m sure that was put on, and he had in his fist a pint mug with this clear, colourless liquid in it which he said was vodka and tonic, and I’ve got no reason to doubt that, either. Clearly he’d decided from the outset that he was going to play the bad man every inch of the way. Come in, sit down, shut up, don’t sit there, all that kind of stuff, and he was clearly enjoying it. And I wasn’t enjoying it.’

The advice Ollie gives in the interview is like a master class in how to play a villain on film. His big thing was not to blink: bad men do not blink. ‘You don’t see a cobra blink, do you?’ he says.

The next thing was the voice. Villains don’t shout, they don’t need to. Dangerous men have a great silence and stillness about them.

The one thing that’s missing from this clip is Reed’s finally, knowing wink to camera. But it’s all priceless, and shows a flash of Reed’s talents.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.30.2013
10:13 am
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