I did things in my 30’s that were ignored by the world, that could have been quickly labeled a failure. Here’s a classic example; in 1974 I did a movie called Phantom of the Paradise. Phantom of the Paradise, which was a huge flop in this country. There were only two cities in the world where it had any real success: Winnipeg, in Canada, and Paris, France. So, okay, let’s write it off as a failure. Maybe you could do that.
But all of the sudden, I’m in Mexico, and a 16-year-old boy comes up to me at a concert with an album - a Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack- and asks me to sign it. I sign it. Evidently I was nice to him and we had a nice little conversation. I don’t remember the moment, I remember signing the album (I don’t know if I think I remember or if I actually remember). But this little 14 or 16, whatever old this guy was… Well I know who the guy is now because I’m writing a musical based on Pan’s Labyrinth; it’s Guillermo del Toro.
The work that I’ve done with Daft Punk it’s totally related to them seeing Phantom of the Paradise 20 times and deciding they’re going to reach out to this 70-year-old songwriter to get involved in an album called Random Access Memories.
So, what is the lesson in that? The lesson for me is being very careful about what you label a failure in your life. Be careful about throwing something in the round file as garbage because you may find that it’s the headwaters of a relationship that you can’t even imagine it’s coming in your future.
So I’m sitting in a diner called Little Henry’s this morning eating breakfast and having coffee. Although, I guess it isn’t morning anymore. It’s 12:30 pm. (For the curious, Little Henry’s is off Post and Larkin in San Francisco.)
I recently registered for my SF Public Library card. I love libraries. I love hallways lined with books and hushed voices. I love the smell of old paper and getting lost in words.
Air Guitar by Dave Hickey is the last book I’ve checked out from the public library. I’ve only just reached chapter 3 but would already recommend it.
It’s sunny today in the city (birds flying high, you know how I feel.)
Message me something to read: a quote, a short story, a book. Write and tell me how you are doing. Let me know, what are you working on today? Let’s share our lives with each other.
Thank you for being here with me; for sticking around. If you need it, I’m here for you too.