"Give this guy a drink!"
On Jan 17, 1994 at 4:30 am, I woke up and saw my wife standing naked wide spread in the framework of our bedroomdoor. The Northridge earthquake was hitting, quite a biggie.
That late afternoon I was invited by our Belgian Consul to a screening of an Oscar considerated Best Foreign Picture, Farinelli - a splendid movie, on Doheney Drive in Beverly Hills.
I expected some obstacles and left early but it was quite the opposite and I arrived way too early. So I entered the 'oak room' of the grand Beverly Wilshire hotel bar. It was packed with suitcases and passengers who clearly couldn't leave. I saw 1 barstool empty at the bar, so I dashed for it. To my left sat a gray older man who'd clearly been there some time, bent over his glass.
- "I'm a mister Barry!"
- "I'm a John Barry!!"
"Thé John Barry... the film composer?!?!?!"
He finally looked up and yelled:
"Kevin, give this guy a drink!"
I never in my life asked for autographs or pictures, just to make sure I didn’t dwell on the superstar-fan threshold. That attitude has led to many fine and insightful conversations, like this one.
Barry was in town for a screening of his next assignment, The Specialist with Stallone and Stone. He was very sad as he got the news on his way to JFK airport about the passing of his friend, brother in law, and keramic artist.
I was just on a job to compose a theme that reflected Gustav Mahler's Adagietto from his 5th symphony, used by Visconti in his Death In Venice soundtrack, with Dirk Bogarde. As Barry accepted me immediately as a colleague and using that same reference for his wonderful score of Somewhere In Time, we hit it off right away.
Obviously I missed the Farinelli screening, and I can say proudly I even put maestro John Barry to bed, undoing his shoes and pants, and off I drove into the night, fortunately to a house still standing strong after the earthquake.