Sunday, 4 December 2016

Clint Eastwood UK visit 1985

I was sorting through a whole case of DVD-r discs earlier today and came across a disc marked Aspel & Co / The Guardian Lecture. Straight away I remembered it was a DVD I had made (probably back in the 90s) which I had transferred over from my VHS tapes (which I still have to this day).  On the disc were TX recordings of 2 programmes that Clint appeared on while he was on his visit to the UK.
I really wasn’t sure if this DVD-r had survived the test of time, the format was always a little unreliable over a long time period. However, slipping it into my Blu-ray player I was quite surprised to find that they were really quite perfect. Yes, of course the old Analog signal was not the best and there is still a little ‘ghosting’ on the title graphics, but apart from that the picture and audio are really nice and solid. I remember buying E-60 tapes especially for these 2 shows, and the tapes were used once for these specific recordings, so there was no wear or drop out problems which would appear on tape that had been overused and recorded on multiple times.   
I can still remember what a great period this was in time, there was so much publicity surrounding Clint’s return as Dirty Harry in Sudden Impact and then there was the teaming of Clint and Burt Reynolds in City Heat. I know City Heat (as a movie) was something of a disappointment to the fans, but it certainly created huge amounts of publicity.
It was a period where Clint was being celebrated and honoured throughout Europe in general. He had just received the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ in France and later in 1985 Clint’s return to the western genre would see his film Pale Rider in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Clint’s would appear on the 2 UK programmes sporting a beard as he explained to Michael Aspel on Aspel & Co he had just finished shooting Pale Rider in Idaho and in the process of filming he had dislocated his shoulder and discontinued shaving due to very little movement in his arm. The Aspel interview (Broadcast by LWT) was much lighter in context, with the show being shared alongside co guest Dennis Waterman. My old friend and former president of The Clint Eastwood Appreciation Society, Dave Turner was also lucky enough to attend this show. The Guardian Lecture show (Broadcast by Ch4) was naturally a little more intellectually shaped and was not particularly helped by the interviewer Lynda Myles who looked a little intimidated in her role.
I was later lucky enough to see Clint at a Guardian Lecture while he was in the UK for Mystic River, and the following evening I was lucky enough to see him at the BBC Parkinson recording, and as close friends will already know, this lead to a meeting with the man himself after the show which for me, also marked another great ‘Eastwood’ period in time.
But the mid-eighties period was really something special, and these 2 TV interviews that Clint gave really are engraved on the mind. The downside for Clint of course was the seemingly endless request for him to quote the line ‘Go ahead, make my day’ – a request that saw him never looking entirely comfortable with. It probably didn’t help that his old friend and then president of the United States Ronald Reagan used it during the 1985 American Business Conference, when he stated "I have my veto pen drawn and ready for any tax increase that Congress might even think of sending up. And I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers. Go ahead—make my day."

On reflection, it was a pretty fabulous time… 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Clint returns to Carmel as The Man with No Name / Don’t Pave Main Street VHS

Actor-turned director took centre stage at the town's celebrations wearing the same poncho which he made famous as The Man with No Name in spaghetti Westerns. Carmel-By-The-Sea just turned 100 this week meaning the beautiful ocean-side city in California is only 14 years older than the Hollywood star that helped to make it famous.
One-time mayor Clint Eastwood turned out to help celebrate its centennial on Saturday, a few days ahead of its official October 31 incorporation date.

The legendary 86-year-old actor-turned-director dressed as one of his most famous characters, The Man With No Name, from the trilogy of spaghetti Westerns directed by Sergio Leone that kicked off with A Fistful of Dollars in 1964. And he even wore the original poncho from the films as he climbed aboard the stagecoach to ride shotgun and lead the parade as Grand Marshal.

The veteran added to his Western look with a heavy grey shirt (possibly from High Plains Drifter), blue jeans, brown leather boots (from Rawhide) complete with spurs and the cowboy hat (from Unforgien) and of course the Poncho from the Dollar trilogy.
All he was missing from the No Name part was the cigar that he continually chewed throughout the movies. Clint once lived in Carmel and was elected mayor, with a whopping 72.5 per cent majority, when he stood in 1986 on a ticket of reducing bureaucracy. During his tenure he made it easier to build or to renovate property, saved the land around the Mission Ranch which was earmarked for 80 condominiums and opened the library annex dedicated for children's use, according to his website.
Clint served for two years before returning to his film career.

Related items:

Don’t Pave Main Street (VHS, 1994) This OOP video is well worth searching out. It is a fascinating feature length documentary narrated by Clint and includes a special appearance by Carmel Resident Doris Day. Through personal interviews and historic photographs, you will come to know the story of Carmel, the jewel of the California Coast. It’s the place that also inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island. Produced by Julian Ludwig and released by Carmel Heritage – it runs for 113 minutes. It can still be found occasionally on outlets such as Ebay and Amazon. This has never had a DVD or Blu-ray release. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Interview with Sully Composers Christian Jacob & Tierney Sutton

Varese Sarabande recently sat down with composer Christian Jacob and Tierney Sutton who worked on and wrote music for the Clint Eastwood directed film starring Tom Hanks about the airline captain who landed a commercial plane on the Hudson River.

1. Describe the SULLY soundtrack on Varese Sarabande.

Christian Jacob: The Tierney Sutton Band (TSB) has been together for over 20 years and has been known for its collaborative process of arranging music. The scoring began with an improvisational approach over several themes written by both the director (Clint Eastwood) and myself. Every member of the band was watching scenes on the screen and improvising their own parts by following a basic lead sheet. We know each other so well, that our musical ideas fell beautifully in place. We each brought something special to the various moments of the music. Director Clint Eastwood was present during the entire recording process and guided us while still allowing us complete freedom. I later added orchestral parts on some of the cues to give them more depth.
2. Which scene did you score first and why?
Tierney Sutton: We scored the film from the first scene to the last. Then spent a few weeks perfecting the cues. We spotted the film again with Clint and decided which cues could be "sweetened" with orchestra and then Christian orchestrated those and wrote the end title suite. While he did that, I worked on lyrics for Clint's theme and one of Christian's.
3. Did the director give you any interesting instructions or feedback to help you create the tonal palate?
Christian Jacob: Being a fan of Tierney's beautiful voice and of the band for the last 10 years, Clint was very familiar with our "sound", and he believed we could bring something interesting to his film. Because Clint had used some of our recordings in the temp music for the film, we had a good idea of what he was looking for. He guided us with a soft touch and was interested to see where we would put a music cue, even when he felt nothing was needed there. He would also give directions by mentioning his preferences like:  "only piano there"; "let’s try one with more space", "have just the bass and voice there", etc.
4. What does it mean to you to have your music released by the pre-eminent soundtrack label?  What is your favorite Varese Sarabande title in your collection?
Tierney Sutton: Having Varese Sarabande release the soundtrack is a singular honor. I am a fan of so many of the composers whose work has appeared in Varese releases -- the modern masters like Michael Giacchino, Alan Silvestri and John Debney as well as the classic film composers like Alex North. This is truly the icing on the cake of the experience of creating the score for "Sully".
5. What kind of ensemble did you use to record the score?  Did you use any interesting or unusual instrumentation or soloists who deserve a shout-out?

Christian Jacob: While some moments in the film were colored by single instruments such as piano, drums or voice, the central nucleus of the soundtrack was the sound of our band: piano, bass, drums and voice. The natural way to expand on the band's personal sound was orchestral.

The first track of the Sully soundtrack is an orchestral Suite with the band being featured. It recapitulates all four themes of the movie and features every member of the band. It was intended for the end credits of the film but we ended up only using part of it. Besides the irreplaceable Tierney Sutton, Trey Henry, Kevin Axt and Ray Brinker, we had the very best musicians in the orchestra and the wonderful Conrad Pope conducting.

(Photo Credit: Dave Alloca) (Christian Jacob & Tierney Sutton at the NY premiere of Sully)
Read here

CITY HEAT to receive world premiere release on CD

CITY HEAT is to receive its world premiere release on CD 
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Lennie Niehaus.
The soundtrack to the 1984 action comedy starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds. The score was composed by Lennie Niehaus (Million Dollar Baby, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Bridges of Madison County).  The soundtrack also features songs performed by Al Jarreau, Joe Williams, Irene Cara, and Clint Eastwood.
1. Sweets For My Sweet
2. Sugar And Spice
3. Listen To Me
4. Needles & Pins
5. Ain't That Just Like Me
6. Don't Throw Your Love Away
7. Someday We're Gonna Love Again
8. When You Walk In The Room
9. Love Potion Number Nine
10. What Have They Done To The Rain
11. Bumble Bee
12. Goodbye My Love
13. Each Time
14. He's Got No Love
15. Take Me For What I'm Worth
16. When I Get Home
17. Take It Or Leave It
18. Have You Ever Loved Somebody

Release date: 18th November 2016 from Varèse Sarabande Records

Sully Soundtrack to be released

Sully Soundtrack - Press Release from Varese Sarabande Records
Tom Hanks plays pilot Chesly Sullinger in the critically acclaimed film, "Sully." The album features the original music composed by Clint Eastwood, (Grace is Gone, Million Dollar Baby), Christian Jacob and the Tierney Sutton Band. A seven-time Grammy nominee, Sutton has received nominations for every project she has released in the last decade. Her new album, The Sting Variations, was released last September.
01 Sully Suite
02 Sully Wakes Up
03 Flying Home (Sully's Theme)
04 Boarding
05 Hospital
06 F4 Malfunction
07 Hudson View
08 Sully Reflects
09 I Could Have Lost You
10 The Arrow
11 Sully Running
12 Times Square Run
13 Simulation
14 Sully Doubts
15 Vindication
16 Grey Goose With A Splash Of Water
17 Sauna
18 Rescue
19 Flying Home

Varese Sarabande 302 067 452 8 – Release Date: 28th October 2016

Monday, 17 October 2016

Clint and Maggie shop for scuba diving equipment

Here are a couple of great shots for today. Clint and his then wife Maggie are caught out shopping for scuba diving equipment, circa 1960. By the look on his face, it appears that Clint has time to play around. Superb pictures courtesy of Getty Images and taken by Darlene Hammond.  

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Clint and Jayne Mansfield

A lot of fans are probably very familiar of the Clint Eastwood photo (left) taken with Jayne Mansfield.  
It has appeared in numerous books over the decades and like me, there are probably plenty of collectors who have a 10x8 still of them, on what appears to be an aeroplane - it's a famous enough photo. But have you ever wondered where both Clint and Mansfield were? 

Was it just a coincidence that they were travelling on the same plane? Perhaps it was just a one off photo opportunity? Well actually no... 

The photo taken in 1962 was of them arriving at San Francisco’s Barbary Coast Fandango. Below is the original story as published in the San Francisco Chronicle – and features a couple of much rarer photos AND the original advertising poster featuring both Clint and Mansfield as the star guests.

Come one, come all, to the Barbary Coast Fandango

When long-entrenched Chronicle departments move from one part of 901 Mission St. to another, reporters, editors and photographers often discover old photos and newspapers. These treasures get sent to the librarians.
A recent file of photos caught my eye when I recognized a young Clint Eastwood, but the shot’s setting seemed odd and I didn’t recognize anyone else. No written information was included on the back of the photos, but one of the subjects turned out to be actress Jayne Mansfield, the Hollywood actress and performer who was one of the best-known blonde bombshells of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

She and Eastwood were going to appear at San Francisco’s Barbary Coast Fandango, an Old West-themed festival sponsored by The San Francisco Chronicle and California Historical Society.
Eastwood and Mansfield were to join San Francisco Supervisors Peter Tamaras and Charles Ertola and artist Lorrie Bunker to judge the costume contest. Attendees could ride a Wells Fargo stage coach that was robbed 15 times by Black Bart, pan for gold or try to win a new sewing machine by finding a needle in a haystack. On the final day of the Fandango, Mansfield would present a trophy to the winners of the fast draw competition, one of the highlights for the lucky few who attended the Fandango alongside the celebrities.

Photos taken by Bob Campbell, The San Francisco Chronicle
Below: The original 1962 poster