Robert Mailer Anderson interview on "Windows on the World," music and San Francisco


Hi I'm Susan Schlesser and I'd like to invite you to listen to my podcast as plus. It's a fun look at the Oakland. A.'s and you can hear the personal side of many of the as players coaches and team officials plus analysis every week on as plus from our nine. Oh one mission street studios. You are listening to the San Francisco Chronicle. Welcome to the PODCAST. I'm chronicle Nicole pop culture critic Peter Hart Lub here with reporter Dean very welcome. I Dean thank you for having me so we have Robert Mailer Anderson today. Interviews already happened happened. I had a really good time quite a bay area character. How'd you guys meet well? One time I made a list of the worst bands in the history of rock and roll as you do. It was a pop music or they got a ton of letters and the number one. We should was once stood out in pretty. Oh the number one band was Pearl Jam. Yeah okay okay disagree but go write a letter but one of the letters that stood out was like has there been a worse writer the history of mankind riffing bring on my <hes> riffing on my list and it started you know listed a monkey with a typewriter and then out of the blue it said Robert Mailer Anderson so I had to meet him because there's only two terrible writers in San Francisco so we met we hit it off and we've been writing terribly ever since you've left that you bonded over an angry chronicle letter writer not the worst writer in the World Moonville was a great great novel people locally we love it and beyond he had a movie pig hunt which I remember it was like a drive in horror thing and he's got a new movie windows on the world. I think people will be we surprise totally different direction yeah. It's it's I mean it's a topical movie into addresses the current immigration crisis and but it it's set around nine eleven and it's about a family in Mexico where the Patriarch Phil feels the need to provide for his family so he finds his way Erica ends up working in the windows on the world restaurant on the top of the twin towers and then the planes go into the building and so here's this person who's undocumented unaccounted for an his son comes to find him <hes> also undocumented coming up cross-border. We're going to go spoiler free with this but there's a lot of great surprises in it. <hes> you'll we'll have to wait to see it. It's on the festival circuit now but the soundtrack with members of Los Lobos the S._F.. Jazz collective and Charlie Musselwhite who's in the movie a lot of Bay area ties. That's out on August second yeah. It's it's a wonderful eclectic soundtrack that even though the movie is not set in the bay area it feels like a Bay Bay area soundtrack. It's really cool yeah and <hes> Robert has mentioned in the recording. You will get to see this movie. It'll be out later this year one and final note. We had a little bit of an audio problem here transition near the end apologized for that day book podcast. Thanks for listening hi. I'm Greg Thomas Travel Editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and host of the wild West podcast if you like getting into the outdoors and exploring California Wild West is a great listen tune into here exclusive interviews with the world's top adventure athletes like rock climber Alex handled old who came onto talk through his incredible free solo climbing El Capitan in Yosemite big part of the film is like the whole love story with my girlfriend and all that but I hadn't even met her when we started listen in wherever you get your podcasts wild west welcome to the San Francisco Chronicle great to have you been here before we brought you through. I have been a couple of times yeah. I've come come over to to see the newsroom to see how the news goes and greet other other friends here over the years. Ah It's changed. It's changed a little bit in my memory isn't so great either about about that but you have a news background <hes> in your family <hes> <hes> absolutely my uncle Bruce Anderson is the editor publisher of the Anderson Valley advertiser <hes> he started publishing me when I was about fifteen after he took over over the newspaper and fully believed that <hes> you know a newspaper has no friends and you have to be as radical as reality itself he sort of took on Mendocino county like a beat cop like everybody's sort of used to the newspapers and <hes> I think a lot of people thought it'd be short-lived <hes> he would burn out or someone would kill him. <hes> and I think he's done it now. He just turned eighty the other day. I think it's over thirty five years and still working still still working working. Is You know and people always say you know did that happen on specific articles and we always say last the way we're telling what were some of the earliest Scienc- gave you when you started started writing for his newspaper <hes> <hes> I did movie reviews and I would do <hes> one of the things we called that just taking out the garbage was the M._c._A._T.. Meetings and so he at one point <hes> for the second time got in a fight and punched out the superintendent of schools who was my former our principal at U._k.. High and he was banned from the meetings and my other uncle Robert Major Anderson had done it <hes> and my dad Ken Anderson had uncovered those meetings and I think my cousin Zach had also covered those meetings and so it was clearly might turn to take oh take out the garbage and do the meetings <hes> but I would write very thinly veiled poor stuff like fear and loathing Yucai a high <hes> you know my my version of Hunter S. Thompson and bad attitudes and <hes> and I would do interviews with Kelvin Chapman who was a local baseball player. I remember doing a restaurant review. <hes> and I remember you know at a a certain point. I was scooping Anderson during an informal internship. You know a piece of airplane would fall on a farm in Filo and you'd you'd go out and check it out. Sir You do the local elections you know I cut my teeth doing that kind of stuff but I was always playing fast and loose with the facts <hes> and always an opposition addition even of of Bruce not not a you know I had my own ax to grind and Bruce would be around the table sometimes with all the other kind of <hes> local heroes from around the bay area that you guys are probably familiar with people like Fred Gardner and Warren Hank Hall and his only real friend for ever really Alexander Cockburn and and you know Bruce would not run pieces of mine and instead of just reading keenum he would just pull Joseph Mitchell or you know off the shelves or he would give me George Orwell would say this read this. You know that that was kind of like your practice for writing your first novel Moonville though is kind of your training ground writing for the newspaper right well to my father was an English teacher <hes> before he was <hes> kind of soundly run out of <hes> Tampa applies high school he taught Nevado high and he was kind of <hes> there was a period where you could be a jock and kind of an intellectual who is it was short lasted. <hes> <hes> brought on by recently death. Jim Bowden is kind of one of those guys or the professor <hes> Jim Brosnan <hes> and so if you remember those Burt Reynolds films as you know like of a semi tough for the Gentry <hes> North Dallas forty there were there were kind of wise Acre guys who who were kind of doing too two in the thing and somebody my my uncle and my dad they all kind of fell into that and so my dad helped unionized the first Teacher's Union in Marin County and he was the president of that and then you know times are very radical with the free speech movement in Vietnam and the Brown Power Movement and the Black Panthers and he was completely involved with all of that got to the point where he was accused <hes> never convicted of <hes> helping one of his students set four bombs off to be surveys <hes> and then along with a lot of other stuff so he was sort of drummed out of that and him and my uncle both started homes for juvenile delinquents so <hes> <hes> one of the kind of interesting things about myself is that I believe that by the time I was eighteen my folks were divorced and so by the time I was eighteen my mom and Dad Todd separately had about twenty five twenty six different residencies by the time I was eighteen so we moved a lot <hes> and then I was partially raised by my grandparents. The parents <hes> on my mom's side and my grandfather was a prison guard who fought in World War Two and then re up for the Berlin airlift and then Korea tough Guy <hes> <hes> the my grandmother is half Mexican <hes> born in rust which has since become El Cerrito but it was rust at the time rushed California California <hes> her mom died she was raised in a convent by nuns here in San Francisco and she's the Mexican side of my family and you know her her family family my my family. The Martinez is and <hes> the guerrillas in the Ba- Rhonda's <hes> some of the first settlers to California so I'm like ninth or tenth generation ration- we fought against the U._S.. Invasion of Mexico <hes> otherwise known as the Mexican American War we had to surrender in Monterey <hes> so my dad always said well. It's all good writing material so <hes> as much as I'd like to credit bruce with with with with some of that my dad always gave me fiction. Can't my dad always told me to kind of I don't know if it was a defense mechanism but to look at life as a as a narrator to kind of remove yourself away <hes> so that you could you could see what's happening in a way to kind of bear witness and then to try to to to translate that into film I mean to two sentences sentences two words to language story so that you you can corroborate what you're seeing is is actually happening and so things became very radical very very crazy very early in my life and I was trying to piece it together and so as much as Bruce was giving me those <hes> kind of people to read my dad was giving me a steady daddy diet of Flannery O'Connor and John Steinbeck and other sort of handbooks about how to read the world and radicalism too you know from autobiography of Malcolm X. Felix Means the enemy man child in the Promised Land I mean this was all just sort of standard equipment and we read to as a defense mechanism before writing. We're going to talk a little bit about your no. Don't don't ever apologize <hes> we're gonNA talk a little bit about your new movie windows on the world which <hes> <hes> I greatly enjoyed. I mean a collection of artists and personalities both on screen and behind the screen <hes> behind the camera <hes> but I wondered like did you realize when you were young that collecting these personalities in your life these families stories this history might benefit you later on as as a writer and even as a filmmaker were even thinking about film. I was always thinking about film to. I was raised at the movie theater. <hes> I think you said that you're a couple years Close with and so it makes sense to continue to talk about him also in terms of windows on the world I co wrote that with my cousins Zack who's his oldest child <hes> and and so they not to get more into family history bruce after you know being juvenile delinquent somewhat like my dad he was given a choice to join the marines or go to jail essentially and so joined the marines came out of the belly of the beast and then <hes> joined the Peace Corps went to Malaysia and his radicalism machoism there <hes> got him in trouble where he was given rumor. Has It twenty four hours forty eight hours to get the hell out of the country because the beginning of the domino theory over them and they apparently killed everybody on his basketball team and he got out of the country but he had a son Zach and a wife my aunt Lang <hes> were there so we had to send for them and when he sent for them and they finally could come they lived in a Chinese tenement building so we were raised in and around Chinatown to we being means act and I and my dad would go in there and being a good beat remember North beach is right up against Chinatown so uncles and oil boys and all that was you know stomping being grounds and also cheap seats for according you could get a pork bun which doesn't cut into your moving money so <hes> so the theaters then were were some of the theaters market street. <hes> we did hit the Castro. <hes> I remember like the Strand the cannery there would be all these kind of art house <hes> places as well and he would take us to see things like Claudine you know a you know other other sort of <hes> you know problem films or you know like <hes> <hes> other other things that captivated needed him and then the rebel theater for sure and then every theater in Marin that had their own name of the town Really Fair Fox and and <hes> we also had the drive ins to the cinema and we would also over here near the cow palace. We're GONNA those drive INS Geneva uh the Geneva which lasted a while a long time passed passed its day <hes> and then he moved up to Mendocino County and we're talking about seventy five and my uncle was already there and so the Yucai a theater and then you drive in and then the cloverdale theater where Zach and I saw Robert Mitchum's Yakuza you know because it was just a hot day and we just went in you know our parents didn't really care was it looked upon that way or we were not getting that kind of guidance. Were you reading like at a young age. Sirvan tests but survived tastes is a is a framing device and I'm not GonNa this is going to be a spoiler free podcasts but survived. His quotes are a Don Quixote. Quotes are a framing device in the film. Were you reading that at a young age. What types the things were you reading early on? Were you Kinda. We weren't weren't reading survive. I wasn't really savant. Zach Zach had different reading reading list than I did <hes> <hes> but we were eating early on <hes> anything we could get our hands on including the newspapers newspapers to in commerce working at hurricane and <hes> <hes> we went. There's a point I think like fourth or fifth grade. Can you just we just made the switch and so at school. There's like I would either be getting into fights or I would be reading in the library alone. Just with the same sort of intensity that you might throw a punch you know our duck <hes> and so right around fifth grade I remember making starting to grab like James Bond you know and then that leads towards to you know all of a sudden you're reading like Mickey Splaine novels you know and then my dad giving me stuff like you know the the primer sources of of like John Steinbeck and not the Grapes of Wrath but you know <hes> sweet Thursday oddly first and then cannery row and then you arena pony and you know the Perot's never my favorite but <hes> you so that becomes adult fiction right. I just a lot of us read those books because we had it to somebody put them in front of us and it sounds like right when it voluntarily which I think is one of the things that happen when so Marin did have better public schools than <hes> Yucai in Mendocino Sinoe County and Bougainville and so most of my life. I've been reading the tax before it was given to me in classroom so it's all a training ground so then when you're fifteen fifteen and you start writing from Uncle Bruce <hes> are when you're eighteen or nineteen twenty start trying to write a novel and I felt Moonville if I couldn't make <unk> sense of the characters out of Bougainville and the constant flow of information around the V._A.. And I should just give it up you know I mean that that's pretty pathetic <hes> <hes> but <hes> poor follow through in the second one <hes> but but working working on it and have done a bunch of other things in the meantime but again never never stopped thinking that it's all good writing material. I'm curious what drew you to telling the immigrant story <hes> based on on a story around nine eleven what why was that the peg <hes> for telling the story of windows on the world well there are so ah La Lottery nine eleven was the big you know a big event in a way and the big biggest event that to hear our country tell it in a really longtime so that made an interesting focus also there was a whole you know why us how can people hate us like you know <hes> and it was the world the trade center so you're talking again we were we were we were raised his communist Socialist and social anarchist. You know get back to what we had to read. We had to read co <unk> homage to Catalonia. Almost you know be able to recite what the different parts of the Spanish revolution where <hes> in terms of party structure so we looked at commerce and we were always trying to tell working class stories in a way because that's who we are for the most part <hes> <hes> and so that seemed like a really good spinner also I came home from a weekend away <hes> with the kids and and the New York Times had a <hes> New York Times magazine had a photo essay of of families holding pictures of loved ones that they that were <hes> they said we're in the building and they were from all around the world and I was just I was hugely. I was moved to tears. Yes and I was like and I zack that's our story. That's our way and not only are these working class. People never you know that we know we went to school with and we are kind of a little bit <hes> unseen and underappreciated <hes> especially the migrant workers <hes> around <hes> Anderson Valley <hes> the whole workforce all of labor. You know all the Eugene debs stuff. We got all the you know he here's a way to look at Labor and here's a way to look. We're not just in America but America affects everybody you know and so they were like well. What do we know and where can we set it makes the most visual sense and everything and so we're like well Mexico of course because that's kind of what we know a little bit more and it's a we always pictured that scene in the desert of of a crossing of of various kinds kinds you know to get here? <hes> the trick of course is the wide New York as you know. I lived in New York for five years. I think they're really sixty thousand Mexicans there but you know people people always have a real reason to get somewhere and if you talk to immigrants about how they ended up in Des Moines or how they ended up in Portland and you know there's there's usually a trail Elena train sometimes not sometimes somebody just knows somebody in it like anything else sounds like a good idea you know and so we we went nat we went at it and we always knew that there would we always knew there would be a reckoning between father and son and so with with that proposition we we set out to try to tell the story right so for those who haven't haven't seen the movie yet. It's about it's based on the windows on the world restaurant at the top of the World Center World Trade Center but it's about this family in Mexico where the Patriarch leaves comes to America crosses into America legally to <hes> to provide for the family and he's undocumented working in the World Trade Center and the planes hit and then from there becomes his son's quest to find out what happened to him because there's no record of families in Mexico Toco and there you see everybody stunned like we all were by the the attacks in the buildings going down and then one of the family says that's dad worked and now they gotta see if he's okay but there's no way <hes> except for him calling and he doesn't call <hes> and so they you have a hard time because he doesn't exist in America figuring out what happened to him and they kind of assume that he's dead until the mother who's a little bit of an unreliable Bob Narrator at this point due to trauma <hes> swears that she sees him getting out of the building alive on news footage so are the the youngest son takes his savings across the border to look for someone who's either dead or does it want to be found <hes> also for possible closure and for for other other reasons but but with great challenges because there were so many services then but he can't he can't use them all because he's in the same position as father was in that's right yeah and he's literally living seen on the streets because he doesn't he doesn't have he doesn't have New York money and again. You can't just get on a plane for any particular reason and then they were also cutting down the you know the the crossings of the border anyway so he doesn't have that kind of money has to take a bus <hes> and then he has to to look look for his dad and a pretty low to the ground hardscrabble way <hes> <hes> and then he gets a job <hes> from a Nigerian gentlemen to wash windows to extend the metaphor of windows on the world and instead of maybe your angle white guy you know <hes> riding shotgun or helping you know we decided in the end that it should be somebody who's WHO's country country has experienced a civil war <hes> and where to me and people were dead in satellite five years to give a little <hes> <hes> scope <hes> and other outside like idea of what what the rest of the world is going on there and you know so that's a Nigerian immigrant that comes to New York the sees this kid and helps them and to make to make the movie you actually had to recreate these scenes in New York of post nine eleven with with the <hes> pictures of the missing people on the on the street <hes>. How did that go over so again? I lived in New York for five years and I was waiting for <hes>. I would say maybe half the people to be angry about it. <hes> it. Certainly you know someone's going to be angry about something in New York especially Ashley if you're you're making these <hes> I'm ago. What's the word whenever we made the what we call? Shrines were making shrines thank you we had to make the shrines especially and they're very public as we constructed them. <hes> not one person complaint and people came up to us and we paused because we were we were trying to be sensitive to it and we had to here and did hear their stories. We we bore witness to a lot of other people's stories a lot of tears <hes> and a lot of people telling us <hes> at the time before we even made the movie movie before it. was you know they could see anything <hes> just by what we were trying to do <hes> thank you and that it was Cathartic for them to see addition to re-experience this You know really resonates with a lot of people not that the other stories don't 'cause they. They certainly do but our story was. You know <hes> much <unk> much more closer to home I think <hes> in terms of again being immigrants and a nation of immigrants and and in one generation know generation five generations generation's off or something you know and so it became tapped into everybody's psyche about what their story was and why they came and what they wanted you you know and and here we were and here we are are grieving you know here here's this trauma. How do we get through the trauma after the other trauma <music> of crossing and leaving and disrupting family you know how do we get through this other trauma of being being attacked for for for what what we are what we become dot com? What what we <hes> we want to be <hes> and I it just resonated with people <hes> that's partially when I knew we were right on the on the right track <hes> with with the film into a deeper resonance when we've been playing at festivals I haven't we haven't had one screen where I haven't seen somebody cry or that? Somebody has come up to US afterwards instead we've cried and in fact Zach and I were crying when we wrote the which is a little goofy and we have a graphic novel version done. It's going to come out <hes> via fancy graphics and the illustrator John Sack said that he just reread back through everything because we do a global at it and he he he in fact cried again Dan <hes> and it's different places because it you know the immigrant stories big <hes> father and son stories are big in terms of family disruption <hes> and then you know nine eleven is is just just backdrop. You've taken this film to different distributors. It's an it's been a challenge selling ailing it even though you have Edward James Olmos in you have this fantastic soundtrack with the members of Los Lobos and members of the S._F.. Jazz collective <hes> and it's the you know completed finished beautiful film out what are why are some of the reasons people are not willing to pick it up the these major videos. There's a picture here. I just happened to see a boots Riley on the wall. So I mean we're up against corporate America Gotcha and we can talk all we want about who should do what and where but it gets to be a small number of true distributors that would put out a film like this <hes> and they're not going for it <hes> because they're are the same people for the most part that told us that you couldn't have a girl as the lead in an action film you know until you have the hunger games or you know the MOCKINGBIRD. Whatever the hell right are you certainly couldn't have a girl in an animated fell because boys won't see that either until you have frozen right and you damn whoa can have a black guy you know in a superhero fouled because who's going to see that you know so the universal truth is again like kind of a Hetero normative white male and we'll all see that and and basically that's who's in charge studios in decision making and then they have to <hes> decide that Lo and behold you could see truth yourself humanity in another sex another ethnicity than their own? If you go through the ORG charts not just in Silicone Valley Oy but if you go into the ORG charts Hollywood you're not gonNA see Latinos in charge <hes> and so it becomes very difficult and you're not pitching that many people people and in Hollywood is historically full of cowardice. Just you know rampant with it and it hypocrisy <hes> for all of their celebration celebration every Oscar year or something you know it's a corporate it's a corporate world and they're also under siege by net flicks create any huge power play a monopoly <hes> since the forties. I believe you know they were trying to separate. You know the distributors I mean the the <hes> what do because the basically the movie theaters from the people that make them right because that's monopoly and they have their one in the same now <hes> so they're streaming own it and they have the means to put it out there on top of that they're buying several theaters so that they also qualify for academy award so little films that were working the margins by people who believed that they had quality right would occupy. Maybe that space and Netflix is eating add up to you know they bought the corruption and some other other stuff and so it's it's really difficult again. Latinos mean different I I went to you know. Cubans Cubans in Florida are not you know Mexicans in <hes> southern L. A. or Northern California or Guate- I it's a different thing to say Latino but sixty Bela Dido's biggest group ethnically that goes to movies you think somebody would economically push the by aside from the fact that the film works but the loss of tell you to your blue in the face that oh well. I guess you can do crazy rich Asians but so because Rom com the Chinese Rob GonNa to work but God forbid like Latino drama especially around people raised on telenovelas especially around a whole nation that could use some catharsis from the news you know where were where people families are being. You know <hes> separated at the border kids are being separated from parents <hes> that we could use a little amphitheater and catharsis versus in a conversation starter the Dow would fly so what it's not. What's what's your work around? How are you showing it to people out there? <hes> <hes> there's another kind of industry that a little bit familiar with from having done a lot of nonprofit work which is basically the festival industry <hes>. I'm kind of like you guys are writers. It's <hes> in the same way that you write your novel often and it's difficult to get an agent like that becomes a whole process of its own an agent may or may not get your book contract even but you have to go do that dance. That's what the festivals are sort of like so there's this other adjunct of again mostly upper middle class white people in charge of of showing the film that that usually the festivals run <hes> <hes> or nonprofits that run very much like my experience with jazz or I was on the board of <hes> as if opera or the ballet and other things you oftentimes on a cocktail cocktail napkin run fifty percent donations fifty percent you know attendants ticket sales right. So who are they looking at to show to show what are they looking at for advertising and then who are they looking at to be the big donors back to corporate America back to to to to org charts and they don't see it as being that Latino stories are gonna going to move the needle but you walk around with you jail Edward James almost and yeah. He's a hero in those communities they know everything he's done you know and from you know from zoot suit via battle-scarred Galactica <hes> to American me and it's super important <hes> or or you'll get a reverse thing about Ryan Guzman our lead <hes> where here's somebody that was in the last couple of step up films that made you know I don't know one hundred twenty million in worldwide and yet you know his on <hes> the show called the number one drama on Fox called nine one one and somehow that doesn't equate to it but if you were somebody that used to be in John Hughes film or something while now here we go and again I don't have anything against those particular stories or those particular people people but it just seems that the bandwidth would be wide enough to show something else and independent film has been something that's been a misnomer for a long time you know if Clint Eastwood's which making independent film I don't have chance yeah and we have these discussions. I'm in the San Francisco Film critics circle and we actually created a committee <hes> <hes> and several people of Color on the committee who are just looking for films that you that are hard to find <hes> and and I think the the negative is that you know those films are hard to find for a reason that you just mentioned the positive is that we now have have the resources when a film is good that people can look and find those films and tell people in a way that doesn't have to involve the corporations nations and I I think that's the that's a tough flipside the absolutely right about yeah which is at some point somewhere especially given the net people just bootlegged us and watch it right and that's and that's in some ways partly fine with me actually. I've I've never you know. Don't tell anyone but I've never done anything to actually try to make my my whole life. Just never never been my outtake ever. I've chosen chosen projects once in a while thinking that this might have a little bit more viability or something so why not this one is opposed. You know all things being equal <hes> but I I've never done anything because of the money that way <hes> so if it gets out there and has its effect great we we made this film film also because we sold it to Miramax a long time ago I like two thousand three like we had this idea and we wrote it <hes> and then it went into turnaround around turnaround turnaround and doing a lot of work <hes> political work and some of it <hes> a little more conservative than my family would normally do you know I I did a bunch of work for UH Obama and trying to help holder gerrymandering and stuff like that <hes> and other political candidates they continued to tell us including our Attorney General Hey hey we we have to change the narrative. Aren't you a writer. Aren't you a storyteller and so we need films like this to be out there so that we can change hearts and minds so that everybody's image of Latinos isn't gang bangers in maids or something <hes> so you know in my head. I'm like well all right. We got gotta change fifty thousand votes across those three states right so it has to play those malls so there were concerns about that as well that we did do. It's not in Spanish. You know it's not dot it's with the American cast you know they're they're not from Mazatlan where it set so there. There are those kind of considerations <hes> and so I I do think it will get out there. The downside is I don't know how many people like myself there are and I don't mean that in itself congratulatory way but if you can't do things it's not viable for profit <hes> then that's GonNa cut way way way way way back. <hes> and there's a design here to lessen the value are you is something because it's Hispanic because Mexican you know like that. Just you know take five bucks off to you know <hes> in the same way way that like you know you get Chinese food. How would you pay for Pork Fried Rice? That's only it's got a Cap French food on the other hand or you know what I mean you can you can you know thanks to Charles Fang for you know changing the some of that around a little bit <hes> but <hes> the slanted door but you know it has to be viable <hes> in right now especially freshly Amazon and Net flicks and people they've created a system such that people will do good work and they'll snap it up for nothing and it just makes it hard for other people to do that that because then you go back to Hollywood with a good product and the first thing they look at was. How much did it make and you tell them? Nothing and they're like we'll see you don't get to do it right now now that I'm you know super very very happy about what's happening. Mostly in Oakland seems to me <hes> with <hes> you know sorry to bother you and blind spotting line spotted. I really like blind. Spotting Yeah my best friends growing up we had a lot of those conversations and being black and bb way and that was there's fantastic important moments. It's in Africa digging deep into the quay hamburger stand that was I still a couple of blocks from there. We used to go the serenade her. That wasn't wh let's <hes> if you don't mind let's <hes> let's talk about so you you live. You're working. You're living above Yes in a S._R._O.. Writing absolutely and but your your personal fortunes changed so you'd come up you know lower class and Moran and and remarriage you came into money we we always joke that my wife and I made our money the old fashioned way she inherited ferreted it and I married it did that. How did that change your values or your perspective on on the world? It's always hard because is when you get older. It's not one one particular event you know it's a lot of things that they put you on different paths and so as you go along those pass you learn different things <hes> so yeah I I I never really lived in San Francisco and wanted to live here but could really only afford to live in an S._R._O.. And so I I want I didn't go into there was a murder in like six weeks later and the one I chose was a pretty benign place in north beach which fit me perfectly and <hes> yeah I said about writing and I Jack coffey Trieste <hes> which was fantastic and then I met I met my wife <hes> I did a lot of personal work <hes> to to get to that that particular place and then yeah when for my family was very difficult very much. Guess WHO's coming to dinner like if you fall in love with you know <hes> <hes> somebody who had money that's the enemy and all people with money are horrible people and and so it challenged me that way. I think it's still challenging my family because some of them. I think who didn't think I was a horrible person. You know the day that you're you're you have a bank account in my horrible person then okay. I didn't have I didn't I never had a checking account until until I met my wife for example in so that threw me into a different world of challenging my perceptions and misconceptions conceptions of things and in some ways <hes> you kept me away from the darker parts of myself in terms of trying to to to right I mean that's that's the truth I've <hes> so <hes> I took on other stories and Zach and I started to write together as well because I start having children and that change if I didn't meet my wife I wouldn't. I don't think I would've children <hes> <hes> and so I could only handle a coffee and eight hours of doing that with somebody and and writing scripts is you can do that together. There's not a lot of grace in sentences and it's good camaraderie and Zach and I were two peas in a pod and finishing gene each other's sentences and <hes> it's not lonely <hes> but then it you come into this sense of what can you do to try to change. I guess your own nature but the nature of your community to and as occupied a lot of time and then also how does money really work pass you know some some Bernie Sanders type broad approach which is not very nuanced or my my parents not very nuanced kind of approach. I used to do my dad's taxes when <hes> fill them <unk> out for him when he was when I was sixteen seventeen and even then I was like these numbers don't work you say just put the numbers in you know they didn't they weren't good with money <hes> and they didn't really know oh how work even on a small budgetary level let alone on a large global level let alone on a personal level and so you know I did my wife to set twenty two years of marriage and I've spent twenty years time in financial meetings and also seen how things work <hes> in terms of economics and terms as of possible that you can do in terms of arts <hes>. I clearly did a bunch of work for for S._F.. Jazz to try to raise sixty five million dollars for the I stand a little building for jazz in America congratulations on that that's a wonderful building. It's awesome <hes> again. Not I'm not the target demographic. Go there because it's just got a good vibe and architects did a great job as Randall as did jazz. I mean we knew that was viable. I mean there's another thing that we we heard you know you're not going to be able to make the building and with you make the building. It's no one's going to calm and I think we're dealing with a it. Crazy ninety six percent capacity both both <hes> venues and this is our sixth season so all the naysayers including a lot of people were on the board you know we we kind of proved them wrong and <hes> but that was really wonderful <hes> and it got me involved again in a hardscrabble way of of how to raise funds what that means and nonprofits done some of that before <hes> and then also I got to use my skills to to come up with campaign paint slogans like the world is listening to see that there's a cross pollination of donors between the Moma and US potentially and that we could steal those donors by <hes> putting together photography books you know and that off otographer worth their salt seemed to be listening to jazz in the dark rooms so they were donating stuff no problem and then we'd have to get bared their patrons to see what was motivating now we can we can close it all up bringing it back to the movie. <hes> people who listen listen to the soundtrack or see the movie. You're going to hear some familiar voices and Charlie Musselwhite is in the movie <hes>. I believe carrying a Shotgun Yep. AH which is fantastic. My parents live up in Healdsburg and see him at coffee. <hes> and there's a lot of other people to <hes>. It's it's not a San Francisco movie. It goes from Mazatlan to New York but it's a San Francisco Bay area movie with your ears. I feel like it's an you know we we were I I was raised at clinically and so I've always had friends. Luckily they're artists and stuff too as well as just you know <hes> no my friends who literally you know parents Rand Georgios pizzeria and stuff like you know so. There's there's there's a combination of people but Eileen really having vision rents. That's because the budget got killed and we had to use the Song New York New York in the movie because I couldn't figure my way around it and I even asked my musician friends well what other song is like it and the answer is none so we had to get to work writing songs and <hes> and recording them and so <hes> <hes> Charlie who was actually also in our owed to the drive in pig hunt <hes> we automate. He's like you know he's like a brother. All these are like brothers so it becomes. It sounds like it's something to say like in Hollywood but you know I I lean on these people heavily both artistically and otherwise so Eric Harland right away onboard. What do you need? How can I put this together? Okay Sing. The song as well as you can into you know Jr is phone. We'll send it out. Let's talk about it. Who can we get? I can record at New York. The collective five guys from the collective came in and Jeff craftsman one of the recording engineers S._F.. Jazz you know they gave us time two hours or hour and a half before they went on stage and they you know recorded. <hes> you know this every tear cry for you song. Don't break my heart again you you know and then gave us other stuff Ethan Iverson comes in you know before his gig with the bad plus and has written something for me and then we play stump the band kind the thing of I tell him a scenario and he makes something up on the spot that we record you know and then yeah <hes> Eugene Rodriguez from listens only Salaam mazing Latino Cultural Center and a band that he started doing music and Eugene's in it and I've been Los Lobos Fan I saw them <hes> play New Year's Eve at the fillmore when I was sixteen and I'm fifty now Dwight Yoakam Open Forum and they've been my favorite band for for ever you know and so when I wrote I had to write the kind of anthem it starts off the movie for the credit sequence and stuff. I always heard David he'll dogs voice and so through Eugene we got the word out to David and I had met him before for doing a fundraiser for listen someplace and he agreed to play guitar and do it now. I asked Charlie if he would he would jump on for harmonica he said absolutely and that's inside of us all inside of US ause <hes> working in we'll finish off where can people get the soundtrack and our bay area residents. which is our core listenership going to be able to see the movie? What's their best last thing best way to do that? So the soundtrack is coming out April August second soundtrack will be out August second Europa Dope nope and in fact snippets are dropping now. We have a really amazing new version of Newark New York. The poem by the last poets written by Donna Kelley who also is in the film has a street poet and again that goes back to my youth. My Dad had the last poem albums around around the House and he came to the first S._F.. Jazz gala that I ever hosted so when I knew we needed a counterbalance a book again to the New York New York we call him to see if he would spit that poem and indeed Sanchez's music behind it makes it sore so <hes> that has is already sort of dropped online <hes> but rope adult August second <hes> you can get the soundtrack <hes> that is pretty wonderful <hes> uh-huh and then to see the film we are probably going to figure out how to release it by November so she'd be in a theater near you by November otherwise there are festivals inter coming up and you know you probably could just call me. Ah Hopefully you have a festival for you want to see it. Hopefully there's distribution some of that has to be wrapped up clearly. You have to keep a tight ship around that stuff but again that's not the way I go through life so I'm not worried about. I want more people to see into experience it and to spread the word all right well. I I <hes> looking forward to it. I enjoyed it and <hes> my I mother and <hes> my mother my grandfather's from months of lawn and she's GonNa love it. I immediately saw this GonNa Watch it again with with my family so when it comes I'm going check it out and soundtrack on August second. That's absolutely yeah. We should probably get a quick shout out to Richard Crubaugh. Who's WHO's fantastic in the there's so many people who were fantastic aside from Edward and Ryan <hes> Glenn term is in the film is up for Ami Right now who's in Cooley Hi and before that was in the first production of A. Raisin in the Sun City Party Ivy? He is fantastic. I'm glad I didn't wouldn't you said that his name blurred out a different world visit or he's known as mayor. Willie Brown told me that he saw them in town and he said as he said No. You're you're the mayor mayor on the wire and Chelsea Gillian has this

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