After Lenny Kaye and I played a few songs we invited Paul's longtime very dear friend, and one of rock journalisms first female voices to come up and offer her respects. Ellen Sander read a beautiful piece of poetry she prepared for the day.
I slept on Ellens Venice Beach couch a good number of times that first year I met Paul, 1992. He introduced us and we'd hang out with her after a day of running around and visiting cool LA music people, (mostly friends of Brian Wilson's). Then we'd report back in with Ellen's and tell her of our adventures and I'd play her some of my new songs, like I Wonder Why and other songs that became the Garage Orchestra album. Ellen I've always appreciated your belief in my music.
My pal, political documentarian/film-maker, Matt Kohn really surprised me, he showed up with celebrated, and sometimes controversial, scifi author Norman Spinrad. Wow, Matt.
Michael Lydon was an early influence on Paul's writing and they became friends in the early days of Crawdaddy Magazine. Michael is a writer of books on music and as indicated above a songwriter. He had us singing along on a very uplifting tune that day.
Wayne Robins spoke to us of Paul Williams influence on rock journalism and read and excerpt from Outlaw Blues. He wrote a beautiful tribute to Paul after the event...scroll down to the March 30th post to read it:
If it was overwhelming to me, the event was surely overwhelming to our son Alexander. There was a lot to take in. Many people speaking of his father with so much respect and love. Some of the time he listened and some of the time he sat in the big brown chair and read a book, a kind of comforting escape I believe.
The many facets of Paul Williams; Crawdaddy creator and writer, Dylan scholar, Philip K Dick literary executor and friend, Theodore Sturgeon Collected Works editor, Common Sense philosopher, hippy journalist (Time Between), music fan
I met Steve Greenberg back in 1993 when I was being trotted around to different New York record labels. He was a young record company a+r guy and we hit it off. Whenever I'd come to town we'd have lunch and catch up on our lives. Steve was the producer behind some pretty popular groups like Hanson, Baha Men (Who Let the Dogs Out), and Jonas Brothers and currently heads S-Curve Records.
Andy Shernoff, founding member of The Dictators, in the house.
Ira Robbins of Trowser Press. I was introduced to Ira by my record company Rhino when my first album came out. He said some good stuff about so the label had us meet up in New York. I seem to remember us meeting at a soul food kitchen in Harlem and having peanut butter pie or something.
At the end of the day, a very tired me, Lenny Kaye and Boo-Hooray owner/curator Johan Kugelberg.
It was an absolutely wonderful event and I still feel deeply thankful to everyone involved and all that came to show their respects. It was a moving and pretty overwhelming day, all the good vibes and stuff for Paul and his family.