It’s an ever-vexing journalistic conundrum: what do you do when the interview falls through? You’ve promised your editor a certain amount of words or a bunch of column inches and what you’ve got is bubkas, a bunch of research and old news and nothing straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
An intern at Style apparently had to deal with that in her recent attempts to sync schedules with Idina Menzel, the Broadway chanteuse most recently celebrated for her run in “Wicked.” I quite enjoy Katy Johnstone’s “what she could be doing instead of talking to me” take on the situation, just as I enjoyed her “online only” review of Richmond Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” last week.
I will always have a small chip on my shoulder when it comes to Chris Rock who proved to be a bit of a tool when it came to committing to an interview with me some 9 years back. I used a fair amount of borrowed material and duct tape to put an article about him together just the same, but still resent that he couldn’t spare 10 minutes to give me an original quote or two.
But Brent Baldwin did an epic job in recounting his challenges in trying to score a chat with rocker Lou Reed, who, if you’ll pardon the language, seems to be something of a shit. On the other extreme, I just talked yesterday with Michael Clem of “Eddie from Ohio” for a piece I’m doing for Playlist magazine and he was about the nicest guy I talked to all week. He even emailed me a picture of his bandmate Robbie Schaefer and his pals Barenaked Ladies (one of my favorite bands). It’s great experiences like this one that clears the slate after a bad interview, making you realize that “celebrities” are just like other folks -- some are jerks and some are the salt of the earth -- only more so.