ArtBeat Nation Season 1 Episode 8


Uploaded by AZPBS on 04.01.2013

Transcript:
>> And now an eight special
presentation.
>> In this edition of "Artbeat
Nation," the record executive
with the Midas touch.
>> I wanted David Geffen to be
as involved in as many aspects
of my career as possible.
>> A real life guitar hero who
makes each instrument a piece of
art.
>> It's taken me a long time to
be completely comfortable with
the notion that I make really
nice acoustic guitars.
>> A filmmaker whose movies give
a glimpse of the past.
>> What do I see in life that's
interesting to talk about that I
don't see on the big screen?
>> And a painter with die vine
inspiration.
>> Every piece of art I do, I
can't explain how I did it.
It was meant to be.
>> It's all ahead on this
edition of "Artbeat Nation".
>> Funding for "Artbeat Nation"
is made possible by
contributions to eight from
viewers like you.
Thank you.
You have heard of the eagles,
Bob Dylan and Cher, but do you
know the man behind their music?
David Geffen is an influential
record executive, film producer,
and theatrical producer, and
philanthropist, and even at the
start of the career, many
musicians saw David Geffen's
determination and jumped at the
chance to work with him.
>> At the time, most of us, we
would do anything to be with
David Geffen.
We didn't ask any questions.
Here, sign this.
It's gonna be fine.
Here, I'm gonna get you a
publishing deal, sign this.
Here, you are going to record
for me.
You are going to be my manager.
Why I can.
I wanted David Geffen to be as
involved in as many aspects of
my career as possible.
>> Glenn Frey and John David
Souther were a duo, and David
listened to them, and said jd
can make a solo album and looked
at Glenn and said you should be
in a band.
You really need to be in a band,
go get a band, so Glenn put
together the eagles.
I like the way you sparklin
earrings swing
against your skin so brown.
>> At the other labels, there
was no gestation period, no
curing period, no period on
which people had a chance to
develop the singular voice, and
I think that David was, you
know, had his ear to the ground,
and he was paying attention to
what, what the artists
themselves were feeling.
I got a, an easy feeling.
>> David said worry about the
music.
I will take care of everything
else.
He put me on a small salary so I
could pay my rent and get a car.
And he turned me onto a dentist
to get couple of bad teeth
fixed.
>> He supported them for a long
time, while they practiced and
became the eagles and let them
together while they really
learned to sing the way that
they sang.
David did say to me, he says,
you know, don't worry, Glenn.
You're going to be rich.
I'm gonna be richer, but you're
going to be rich.
And that's exactly what
happened.
[Laughter]
well, I'm run-in down the road
trying to loosen my load
I've got seven women on my
mind
four that wanna own me
two that wanna stone me
one says she's a friend of
mine
take it easy
take it easy.
>> I remember when I decided to
put out their greatest hits
after four albums.
Everybody was shocked, you know.
They said, you don't put out the
greatest hits until they are on
the way down, and I thought no,
put it out now.
And it's the biggest selling
album of all-time.
>> The label in a very, very
short period of time became
very, very hot, and everybody
talked about them.
I mean, if there's such a thing
S.zeitgeist of that time, that
was asylum records.
>> Asylum was the voice of the
1970s.
In 1973, the percentage of
records we released that were
successful, was higher than any
record company in the world.
>> One of the interesting things
about asylum, I think, is that
it, perhaps more than any label
that I can think of, reflects
the musical tastes of the person
who runs it.
You have specific musical ideas,
don't you?
>> I think that I like music.
Whatever strikes me as being
good is something that I want to
record.
I don't think that every record
we make is a hit or every artist
we record will be a star, but I
think all the music we put out
is valid, and that all the
people making these records are
making good records.
And I think that's what's
important.
Neglect free opportunity to make
these records.
And if we believe in them we'll
stick with them.
We are not going to drop an
artist if they don't sell.
That's not the company we are.
>> David wanted commercial
success.
He wanted to sell a lot of
records, but he was balancing
the roster with not just those
people he thought could break
through the golden platinum
status but also people who
disserved to have their music
heard and marketed.
>> If you are an artist, to have
somebody who is in your corner,
and willing to really go fight
for you, David was that guy.
>> I've heard him say, you know,
that I would rather die than
fail.
He has this tremendous will to
win.
>> And from one musicmaker to
another, next we meet Charlie
Hoffman, an artisan who has been
hand crafting acoustic guitars
since 1970.
Watch as he takes us through the
artistic creation of a Hoffman
original guitar.


>>> My first guitar was finished
in June of 1970.
I played it.
I thought it sounded good.
But I needed feedback, and one
of my very good friends who was
a good guitar player and a
musician, immediately asked me
to make one for him.
It's taken me a long time to be
completely comfortable with the
notion that I make really nice
acoustic guitars.
When talking about what makes a
guitar sound good, the simple
answer is everything.
The issue that we're constantly
dealing with, with guitar tops
specifically, is that they're
being subjected to 175,
200 pounds of pressure, 24-7,
from the strings being on them.
And left to its own device, this
piece of wood, which is about
110,000 thousandths of an inch
thick would blow up soon so what
we have to do is apply braces
inside.
This is called an x brace.
It's actually two pieces of wood
that are notched and glued
together.
Hyde glue is essentially
gelatin.
It is the oldest form of glue
that we know of.
There is the least some reason
to think that Hyde glue makes
guitars that sound better.
The point heating um the wood is
so that the glue will not get
cold.
The size, the placement, the
design of the braces to the top
has more to do with the sound of
the guitar than anything else.
Just flat out.
And so the process of carving
braces makes or breaks a guitar.


>> For me, what I'm doing is
partly the woodworking thing.
It's partly that I love guitars.
I think that they are artful.
They are beautiful.
They are fun to hold.
I love the sound of them.
But there is another part of it,
and this may sound a little
grandiose, but I really believe
that music is important in this
Portland.
I'm not a musician.
But I can contribute by making
guitars for other people who
make music.
>> It's a very delicate quality,
but my specialty is kind of a
naked sound.
I don't have a lot of effects.
I'm just playing with just the
acoustic instrument.
Every guitar has a personality.
And the kind of vocabulary you
will play on it, will spring
from that personality on the
guitar.
One of the great things about
this guitar is it plays very,
very well.
Everywhere.
>> The guitars that I choose to
make are ones that follow the
tone that's in my head.
I like guitars that tend to be
very clean, not muddy.
Crisp.
Have a lot of projections.
Power.
Dynamic range.
That's what I like to hear.
>> Of all the things that people
ask me about building guitars,
how do you bend the wood is the
most common.
This is indian Rosewood.
I soaked it in a tray of water
for a couple of hours.
I'm going to be clamping it to
this form here, which is heated.
It's currently about 4 or
500 degrees.
The water and the heat are what
make the bending work.
The hard part is the starting.
And getting everything lined up.
And then the actual bending
around the jig is pretty
straightforward and pretty easy.
Done.
There are people in this world
who buy expensive guitars and
hang them on the wall and look
at them.
And to me, that's not just the
glass is half empty.
As opposed to half full.
It's the glass is empty.
They are supposed to make music.
So, I love the look them.
I love the feel of them.
But if the other part of it, the
making music of course is not
there, then somehow, that guitar
is being cheated.
This particular piece, the
bending went very well.
The curves are smooth, no kinks
or anything like that.
A very large part of the
enjoyment of what I'm doing is
that with any guitar, any model,
whether I'm making it for an
individual or just on speck for
hanging on the wall.
Is at some point, I string it up
for the first time.
And I get to hear it.
And I enjoy that.
And they are all different.
Maybe not radically different,
but they are all different, and
it gives me pleasure to hear
that.

When Tim is playing, my
response to it is partly, oh, my
God.
He's playing my guitar.
How cool is that.
But an awful a lot of my guitar
are in the hands of the people
who just play them and enjoy
them.
To date, I have made 602
guitars, and seeing somebody
come in and pick up their new
guitar and play it and there's a
light in their eyes, is
gratifying.
Charlie Hoffman has built more
than 600 guitars in his
Minnesota shop.
To find out more, visit
Hoffmanguitars.com.
>>> Next, meet filmmaker and
award-winning fiction writer
John Sayles.
Through his career, Sayles has
continued to pursue both his
passions.
Rafael pi roman sits down with
Sayles to talk about his most
recent film, his latest novel,
and his fascinating career.
>> What is your name?
>> Me noble.
Amigo.
>> Now, John, your most recent
film, amigo, deals with the
Philippine, men war.
Why did you decide to make a
movie about a war that most
people haven't even heard of?
>> When I was research for my
novel Los Gusanos, I went back
to the Spanish-American war.
And in that research, I kept
running into this phrase, the
Philippine invection or the
Philippine-American war, and I
never heard of it.
I started asking some of my
Filipino and Philippine-American
friends what do you know about
this, and they said, you know,
it was not taught in our
schools, either.
And that got me suspicious.




underneath the stary planks
and return us to our own
beloved home.
>> How do and you why do you
make a war disappear where may
be million people got killed?
But why don't we know about it?
We won the war, and the wars
that we win we usually brag
about.
>> I think it was combination of
a little bit of shame.
At the time that it was
happening, the justification for
it was almost all racial.
Rudyard Kipling's poem, pick up
the white man's burden, the
subtitle is, the U.S. and the
Philippines.
It's this open letter to the
United States saying you are
white Christians, they are
little dark people.
It is not just your opportunity.
It is your white Christian duty.
In the Philippines, it was we
did not want them to know their
own history.
We did not want them to remember
that they had a Philippine
republic with very educated
people as elected officers.
With a constitution that was
partly based on our
constitution.
That they were not bunch of
people in a hut somewhere making
things up over a cook fire.
>> Now, your new book, a moment
in the sun, also partly deals
with the Philippine-American
war.
What is the relationship between
the book and the film?
>> Well, they kind evolve from
each other.
I wrote a screenplay 12 years
ago, or so, called, sometime in
the sun.
That dealt very specifically
with the 25th infantry, which
was an all-black infantry, white
officers.
Black soldiers.
Who fought both in the Cuban
campaign in Santiago and were
later in the Philippines.
And the fact that while some of
them were away, their right to
vote was being taken away in the
southern states.
The last kind nail in the coffin
of reconstruction was in North
Carolina.
In Wilmington where in 1998, in
1898 there is this racial coup.
The connection is race.
The.
>> The novel, a moment in the
sun, includes so many topics,
the Spanish-American war, the
Philippine-American war, the
racist coup in Wilmington, the
gold rush from the Yukon, the
birth of the movies, the power
of the yellow press, this novel,
which comes into about 1,000
pages?
>> 960.
>> It's truly an epic.
How long did it take you to
research it and write it?
>> Because I started it as a
screenplay, and then I kind of
realized we'll never get the
money to make, this I put it
aside for a while, I always felt
like I was cramming so much into
a two-hour movie of the.
What if I made it into a novel,
I could expand it.
And then as happened with Los
Gusanos, my previous novel,
there was a strike of the
writer's guild of America, and I
had seven or eight months where
I had, I was unemployed, and
really couldn't be working on
anybody else's stuff.
So I just had time to sit down
so I did most of the actual
writing of it in a year.
>> A moment in the sun is your
first novel in 20 years.
>> Something like that.
>> But you started out as a
fiction writer.
What was the transition from
being a novelist and short story
writer to writing films, and
directing films?
>> it's interesting.
Certainly as a kid I read books
but saw more TV and, and movies,
than I read books, but when I
started, it was obvious I don't
have any money.
I didn't go to film school.
I don't know anybody in the
movie business so I started with
the thing that I could do.
Which was to write stories.
Always in my head, wouldn't it
be cool to make movie, and my
literary agent, his agency had a
deal with a Hollywood agency, so
I came out to L.A., and the
first job I got was rewrite on
the jaws rip-off thing and the
movie did very well.
And then I wrote couple other
movies.
And all of a sudden I had
$40,000 in one place at one
time, which I had never had
before


>> And I wrote "the return to
the secaucus seven," very much
with what can I do well for
$40,000, and I wrote it for
bunch of people who were about
to turn 30 because all the good
actors I knew were about 30.
And they weren't in the screen
actors guild.
So it was very much a, here's
what I have got to make the
movie.
What I make well for that much
money.
>> But baby, it's you came out
in 1983.
That was a studio movie.
>> Yeah.
We shot it for what was even
then very low budget movie for a
studio, which was $3 million.
Almost all in New Jersey.
>> What's your name?
>> Jill.
>> What?
>> Jill.
>> Pleasure to meet you, Jill.
They call me the sheik.
>> A sheik?
Are you an Arab in.
>> No, I'm Italian.
>> So the making of it was
wonderful.
The editing was fun until the
point that the studio said, this
doesn't look porkys or a teen
comedy, well, it was never meant
to be.
>> What happened?
>> We started fighting over the
cut.
I was kicked out of the editing
room, they did their cut, it did
not test any better, at one
point worse than my cut so they
let me finish the movie.
I was happy with the movie.
But they did not kill themselves
distributing the movie.
>> But you never did another
studio film?
>> No, I did eight men out, was
done with orion.
It was one of the last movies
they did.
>> Say it ain't so, Joe.
Say it ain't so.
>> And they pretty much said,
ok, if this is two hours, and
under, you can make this movie.
And the movie is an hour and 59
minutes and 37 seconds, and
everybody talks really fast.
>> So most of your films are
self financed or with --
>> Are independent money when
that was around so for is a
five-year period, we were able
to finance things by selling it
to a home video company first.
They would put up two or three
million to make the movie, and
together, we go and look for
theatrical distributor, but that
was back when there were 25, to
30 independent movies made every
year.
Sundance film festival will
probably get this year over
2,000 feature films submitted.
>> So would you say that the
secaucus seven couldn't happen?
>> Probably wouldn't get into
sundance.
>> You know in your film, men
with guns, the protagonist,
Dr. Fuentes is so concerned
about his legacy that he's
willing to risk his life to make
sure he leaves one behind.
Are you in any way as concerned
about your own legacy?
>> No, I don't think so.
There's already filmmakers that
I think are world class
filmmakers who are almost
forgotten.
And they have only been dead for
20 years.
I think that's pretty rare and
pretty much random that anything
lasts for than a couple of
generations.
So really, what I think more
about rather than legacy is
mostly about the cultural
conversation of the moment.
What do I see in life that is
interesting to talk about that I
don't see on the big screen?
One of the reasons I wrote, a
moment in the sun, and got into
the Philippine-American war is I
had never seen anything about it
and didn't know it existed.
It should be part of the
conversation.
And we should remember, you
know, our history because the
official version is not a very
good version.
>> Well, John, it's been a
pleasure.
>> Yep, thank you.
>> Thank you very much.
>> Thanks.
>> John Sayles has written or
directed 28 films and published
12 books.
To find out more, visit
Johnsaylesblog.com.
>>> Finally, meet Islamic artist
uzma mirza who paints Arabic
words as musical notes.
Take a look at how she combines
music and faith.
>> God, the creator, my
architect.
He speaks to me through my hand
when I draw and paint.
Every piece of art I do, I can't
explain how I did it.
It was meant to be.
>> Call fort Wayne's uzma mirza
an architect by trade, a poet, a
musician, a philanthropist, a
painter with shows around the
country.
But if you ask me, she's a
seeker.
>> I was born and woke up in
this world.
Forgot where I came from the
journey is about remembering,
which is a reminder of who I am,
dhik.
And that's quest.
It's this word that's often
misused in the Islamic world,
called Jihad, the Jihad really
means, is a war with the self.
It's to know the self, so my art
is about knowing the self.
>> Uzma was born in Nova Scotia
and worked in the states, and
wants her followers to cast all
preconceptions aside for in
spite of the ancient roots, her
art is uniquely home grown.
Part of uzma's Islamic art takes
the Arabic names from the quran
and arranged them as musical
scores.
>> Like al ghafur, which is the
forgiving, or an nur, the light.
And each of these are actual
names with the Arabic letters.
These are notes.
They are flowing.
They are flowing and we can
reflect them, and they are like
the notes of God.
>> I go further and say, it is
finding the heart of the tin
man.
The sustainable human is a tin
man, the art is finding that
heart of a Muslim woman.
I have found it but I'm cleaning
and polishing it every day 'til
I die.
>> Some of the money uzma mirza
makes from her paintings goes
towards her foundation to
promote sustainability.
For more information and to see
more her paintings, visit
penandinkpot.org.
For more, visit
azpbs.org/artbeat where you will
find featured videos and
information on the Arizona art
scene.
Funding for "Artbeat Nation" was
made possible by contributions