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Funny - 2012 must have been the year for depressing documentaries about aging great singer-songwriters.
Like the Neil Young Journeys fiasco, this film disappoints. It's not boring like Young's film, but it is sad, sad, sad!!!
And why did Stephen Kessler hound Williams until the end, with old video clips that only humiliated him and made him want to throw Kessler out of his house?
I was a writer for Downbeat magazine years ago and I profiled famous jazz musicians, some of whom had personal rough spots and most of whom had seen their careers die down with age. But I knew enough not to make them uncomfortable or embarrass them with insulting questions...and, in the telling, I didn't emphasize the darker side of things. Yes, tell the tale, but with giants like Paul Williams (those of you who weren't around might not know he was on the top of the world once, having written scores of great hit songs sung by many - including himself - and he rose to celebrityhood also on his wit and charm) need to be treated with a little more respect.
And PS Kessler, I - the grandson of a great songwriter and bandleader - can tell you that the music industry eats you up and spits you out. It's a rare person whose fame or popularity lasts a lifetime and it's no fault of the artist.
The Monkees' Davy Jones, may he rest in peace, had a career in later life much like Williams. This is what happens in the fickle music industry. Even Boston's lead singer, Brad Delp, who sadly took his own life not long ago, experienced disappointment after having been on top of the world in one of the best rock bands ever.
So...there's a bigger story here and it's not told.
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