All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
The HeldenFiles Online

The Interview Game (Revised)

By admin Published: August 6, 2007

Interesting piece about the contemporary challenges of the celebrity interview in the Washington Post.

Since the piece talks about Gay Talese's landmark "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," I have added an excerpt after the jump, and some remarks of my own.

I'm pondering the argument made in terms of a couple of recent profiles: A June 14 Rolling Stone profile of Amy Winehouse which seemed to be very much about the singer, and not always in a flattering way, and did that recent look at Sly Stone in Vanity Fair, which is a great deal about the piece's writer, though part of that stems from Sly's own elusiveness.

While I certainly believe that the dance described in the Post happens all too often -- although the Post's classic dismantling of celebs in the '70s may have contributed to the wariness of the famous -- I'm not as pessimistic as the writer.

As for Talese, having been a fan, I dug out my 1981 paperback of his collection "Fame and Obscurity," and transcribed this opening:

Frank Sinatra, holding a glass of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, stood in a dark corner of the bar between two attractive but fading blondes who sat waiting for him to say something. But he said nothing; he had been silent during much of the evening, except now in this private club in Beverly Hills he seemed even more distant, staring out through the smoke and semidarkness into a large room beyond the bar where dozens of young couples sat huddled around small tables or twisted in the center of the floor to the clamorous clang of folk-rock music blaring from the stereo. The two blondes knew, as did Sinatra's four male friends who stood nearby, that it was a bad idea to force conversation upon him when he was in this mood of sullen silence, a mood that had hardly been uncommon during this first week of November, a month before his fiftieth birthday.

Just that little bit gives me a sweating admiration and envy. But I should also mention why the title, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," is significant.

...when (a cold) gets to Sinatra it can plunge him into a state of anguish, deep depression, panic, even rage. ... Sinatra with a cold is Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel -- only worse. For the common cold robs Sinatra of that uninsurable jewel, his voice, cutting into the core of his confidence. ...

Print
Add This
The HeldenFiles Online Archives

SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS

OHIO.COM VIDEOS

Blogs:

Heldenfels' mailbag

Prev Next

INFORMATIONAL PAGES