Last Updated 13th October 1998
- PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
THE LOS ANGELES TRIBUTE CONCERT
(When you click on the red/green
below you will be taken to a page with more
detailed information. If click on the song titles mentioned, you will be
taken to a list of Paul Williams albums/singles/TV shows where that song
BRENDAS EXPERIENCE OF THE PAUL WILLIAMS
Last Updated 12th September 1998
"I will briefly tell you about the night. Paul &
Buddy Arnold (who founded M.A.P - 'Musician's
Assistance Program'.) were on the radio on station KLSX 97.1 FM while
I was in the parking lot of club! I didn't know about this or I would have
arranged to tape it. They talked about M.A.P. and appearance. About 22
bands were lined up. (I think Dave Ponak can give
you the exact line-up--I am not sure of spelling of some band names, etc.).
I was the first paying person in the club (there were musicians setting
A few minutes later I heard Paul, but I waited until
he was settled in and seated at his table. I briefly introduced myself
to David Ponak, then Paul.
He was taken aback by that Demo LP I asked
him to sign. ("Words
And Music By Paul Williams). Paul had never seen it before. However,
he exclaimed "The Hunter" was the first song I ever wrote! Then he proceeded
to sing some of it. He underligned that song title and wrote "My first
song!" and he signed it to me. He was very nice. Then I had him sign my
Some of the bands did traditional versions of songs,
and some did let's say very different versions. At the end, Paul came on
stage and basically he was very happy and he sang "We've
Only Just Begun", "Loneliness",
that new one he wrote for Diamond Rio "You're
Gone". He got a bit tear-eyed on "We've
Only Just Begun" and couldn't finish it. He said it will always be
Basically, it was a fun event, and I think it
was another big boost for Paul to show how much people appreciate his music
and I think that it will also very much encourage him to write more music!
I mean you should have seen him. His face was all lit up and he was having
a good time and so was the crowd. It was a very positive event.
Let's hope he will be encouraged to write more
and possibly do a full performance on his own!"
(Thanks Brenda for providing us with this account
so soon after the event.)
JJS EXPERIENCE OF THE PAUL WILLIAMS TRIBUTE
Last Updated 3rd October 1998
JJ & Paul
I'm so excited about last night I can hardly stand
it! Yesterday my husband and I drove to LA to attend a tribute concert
for Paul Williams, that was held at a place called Spaceland. I don't really
have the words to describe my feelings, but I'll try.
Paul Williams is one of the nicest, most humble people
I have ever met. Before the program, he mingled freely with everyone in
the coffee house. When I introduced myself and my husband to him, he remembered
that I had done a tribute
page on my web page, and he told me that he really loved it, and he
thanked us again and again for coming all the way from Phoenix.
My husband took
pictures of me and Paul, and later, of Paul as he autographed my The
Holy Mackerel album. (Thank you Dana for that treasured album!!!).
I asked him what other song of his he always wished
Karen (Carpenter) would have sung, and he said "You
And Me Against The World". And then he said that some of the songs
he is writing right now he imagines Karen singing them!!!
The concert was sort of like "If I Were a Carpenter"...
it was really incredible. 22 bands, each performing one or two of Paul
Williams' hits in their own style, "Evergreen",
And Me Against The World", "Let
Me Be The One", as well as innumerable songs from the movie Phantom
Of Paradise, the Muppet Movie album, etc.
But of course, the real thrill was when Paul himself
got up on the stage and talked and sang his heart out. It was amazing,
he never sounded better, even on the albums I love so much. He talked about
Karen and Richard!!! He said he was just a young songwriter, with no particular
future, when Richard and Karen "gave me a life" (of course I was cheering
at the top of my lungs!) . He sang "Rainy
Days And Mondays" and then let it lead into "We've
Only Just Begun". Then he talked about Karen. "This song will always
belong to Karen". He sang it with so much feeling, and then I started to
cry, and suddenly he stopped singing, and he had tears in his eyes, and
he said "I think about her and I can't sing".. and he gestured towards
the sky and said "It's all yours, lady!", and finished the song. He also
sang his newest hit, sung by Diamond Rio, "You're
I wish I could express the way I felt last night.
As we started to leave Paul came over to me and gave me a hug and thanked
me again (!!!) for coming!!! Am I dreaming or what?????
He was so sweet at the concert, and so sincere,
as he talked about the work of the MAP
(Musicians' Assistance Program), and how much it meant to him to be
able to help other Musicians come back from drug/alcohol addiction. He had invited a lady named Ruth, who counseled him, and suggested
he return to his songwriting, and he acknowledged her to everyone and gave
her so much credit for his return.. so amazing.
I have rarely met anyone in my life who is more loving,
caring and sincere than Paul. I tried to tell him how wonderful his lyrics
are, how much his songs have meant to me, but honestly, he wouldn't let
me. He was talking about me, and my webpage,
and us coming from Phoenix, I was just so amazed.. he is TOTALLY unselfish!!!!
When I suggested a picture that Ron could take, he was so cute about it,
put his arm around me, I can't wait to see it!! and Ron took a total of
7 pictures. People were so cute, some of them were wearing "Planet of the
Apes" T-shirts, and lots of them were freaking out over his Phantom
Of Paradise movie
I need to rent it now, cuz I want to understand stuff
they were saying ... some of them were obviously children when it came
out and they got really into the movie, like repeating lines and memorizing
Most of the groups did a lovely job with his songs.
All of the bands were volunteers, you know, in fact, I remember that I
had seen something from Spaceland a couple of months back actually asking
for volunteer bands to sign up!! It was truly an amazing evening! Paul
said that to him it was LIKE CHRISTMAS, hearing all of the songs
sung, and some that were never even released as well, he was so tickled
that the organizers went to so much work to "find" some of his songs. What
really amazed me is that he was autographing for others outside afterwards,
and I thought I already got to talk to him, so I walked past, and to the
car and then we got in the Explorer and started to head out and I called
his name, and he left the group of people and came to the car window and
hugged me through the window and told me again how much he appreciated
us coming!!! I went back to the hotel and could hardly sleep, I was soooooo
overwhelmed and excited.
(Thanks JJ for providing us with such a personal
account of your wonderful evening along with 3 great photos. JJs has her
own "JJ's Mood Music Page"
dedicated to the talents of Paul Williams, The Carpenters, Carol King and
"CITY OF NIGHT" - REVIEW OF THE PAUL WILLIAMS TRIBUTE CONCERT BY LISA DERRICK, OF THE NEW TIMES INC. LOS ANGELES, ON 20TH AUGUST 1998.
Last Updated 13th OCTOBER1998
The photos with this story are courtesy of Elaine Manning. Elaine said they "were taken in Canada and sent to
me years ago by a friend." Thanks Elaine (If anyone recognises the concert I'd be interested to hear about it.)
Williams--who put his songwriting
career on hold almost a decade ago to
work as a drug and alcohol
counselor--had long been a favorite
composer of concert organizer Dave
Ponak of the MelloCads and the
Negro Problem's Stew.
The Negro Problem's manager Brian
Bullen is on MAP's advisory
committee; Paul Williams is on the
board of directors of the non-profit
MAP, which provides services and
funding for musicians and music
industry professionals in need of drug
and alcohol rehab.
To date, MAP has successfully put
over 200 individuals through
programs to get them clean and keep
them that way. Saturday's benefit
went towards "rehab scholarships" for
those who lack the insurance and/or
funds to afford detox and rehab.
With local faves like the
Wondermints, Single Bullet Theory,
Sissy Bar, and 20 others on the bill,
the $10 tickets and no guest list didn't
dissuade a soul.
The house was
packed with bands and fans like Ann
Magnuson, E from the Eels,
Gwynne Kahn (who is busy working
on her new project Nipper and the
Sea Turtles), local LOCA authoress
Gwynne Garfinkle, and boy-wonder
film producer Jon Schwartz, who
owns one of three 35mm prints of
Of Paradise in existence.
Also on hand, of course, was the man
himself, Paul Williams--who
enthusiastically chatted with
enthusiasts of his music (one of whom
had driven from Arizona to attend the
benefit! - see her report above ).
Five songs from Phantom were
featured on the second half of the
evening's bill--The Jupiter Affect
doing a rousing version "Goodbye,
Eddie, Goodbye"; WACO's brilliant
rendition of the classically themed
Theme (Beauty And The Beast)" performed by the Bell
Starlings; Lisa Marie and Robbie
Rist (who could double for the cuddly
Williams) duetting on "Old
Souls", and Simon Glickman of Spanish
Kitchen belting out "The
Hell Of It" with its oh-so-cutting lyrics "Good for
nothing/Bad in bed/Nobody likes
you/You're better off dead," backed
by the 'Cads.
The MelloCads opened the show with
Drifter", which has been
recorded by opposite ends of the
musical spectrum from Harpers
Bizarre to Steve Lawrence, while Sissy
Bar covered two tunes from the The
Williams, who was in
the audience, was thrilled by the
variety of musicians performing his
songs, especially by the Michael
Whitmore Quartet's dissonant
version of "Park
Ave" and Double
Naught Spy Car's surf-rock
instrumental on "An
Old Fashioned Love Song"
MAP founder, jazzman Buddy
Arnold, joined the Negro Problem for
In The Country", adding a soulful
sax as other band members climbed
onstage to sing along. During the
intermission, MAP's PSAs played
over the video screen, with artists like
KISS and No Doubt discussing the
stupidity of drug and alcohol abuse.
After the last band, Cockeyed Ghost,
You Really Have A Heart" Ponak called Williams up to
the stage and the singer/songwriter/TV
movingly thanked Stew, Ponak, the
audience, his wife, and MAP for the
"It's like Christmas, I am so amazed,
thank you, thank you! I can't believe
the songs I'm hearing, that Dave
found all of these, some of them are
demos that were never released" (He
must've been referring to Probyn
Gregory's version of "When
Love Is Near".) "I was embarrassed for a long
time about the Hallmark sentiments of
my songs, but tonight has just been
wonderful, thank you!" And then the
crowd shouted out requests, some of
which were for songs previously
"No," said the gracious Williams,
"Those were already done so well."
But he did not completely disappoint,
giving the audience a medley
including the "Love Boat Theme,"
Only Just Begun", "Rainy
Days And Mondays", along with full
versions of "Nice
To Be Around", "Rainbow
Connection", "Loneliness", his current chart hit
Gone", and the title track
from his 1970 release "Someday
Man" (from which many of the evening's songs had been played).
Along with raising cold hard cash and
awareness (if you think you can use
MAP's services, give them a call at
323-993-3197--it's confidential, and
could save your life), the night proved
that classic songs can be fitted to any
genre and that Paul Williams is more
than a Someday Man; he's an always
© 1998 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.
(Thanks to Sarah for telling me about this review)
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