I hosted Tony Bennett on QVC many times. A wonderful gentleman! We once interviewed him at his condo overlooking Central Park. I traveled separately from the crew who got stuck in traffic and arrived over an hour late.
When they called me, I explained the problem to Tony and offered to leave and come back when they arrived. He told me to stay and even got me a Coke.
We talked about music and life. I brought a guitar with me since I was going to get it tweaked at Rudy’s Music in the city later that day. He asked to see it. It was a really nice Santa Cruz Single 0, smaller body, big sound. He looked it over, handed it to me and asked me to play something.
Okay, so I pooped myself a little and started to play “One Note Samba,” which has some of the prettiest chords I know. He said, “I know that,” and jumped in. We finished the verse and chorus. It was amazing! I was playing for one of the greatest voices in American music.
We talked and laughed for the rest of the hour and he told me a story about Leopold Stokowski. When Stokowski was asked what kind of music he listened to, he replied, “Good Music.” When he wouldn’t commit to specifics, he was asked what the difference was between good and bad music. He simply said, “If you have to ask the question, the answer would be meaningless to you.”
Tony also talked about the great songwriters, saying what made their lyrics so good was the fact that they studied Shakespeare, Spenser, Burns and other great writers from the past.
The crew arrived and we shot the “B” roll and left. I thanked Tony. He shook my hand and said, “Thanks for the music and conversation.”
It stands as one of the greatest days of my life. I have been praying for Tony ever since I heard that he has Alzheimer’s. May God bless and help this great man! He is one of a kind.
(Epilogue: Rudy’s did a great job with my guitar. I still play it today.)
© 2021 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.