“LORD KNOWS, AT LEAST I WAS THERE Working with Stephen Sondheim” by Paul Ford
Paul Ford made a living playing music at Broadway show auditions, played in Broadway show orchestras, accompanied Mandy Patinkim and Patti LuPone concerts for many years, etc. and is now retired. Instead of doing a regular review of Ford's book I'll let him speak for himself.
“I am now a hypercritical, caustic, and take-no-prisoners cynic.” (Page 91)
“I’m a silly, deluded, hopeless, old queen sometimes.” (Page 130)
“What do I think of music now? Today, I don’t want to use the dreaded H words (HORRIBLE or HATE, take your pick), but it is hard to describe how I feel about the world of music today.” (Page 218)
“Between opera/classical and rock/pop/country/rap there is no middle ground. Music has become atonal, formless, dull, humorless, cold, and stale on the classical front, and angry, hostile, mechanical, grotesque, and yes, extremely stale on the popular front,” (Page 219)
“I’m grateful my last show was On the Town, but I will not subject myself to the mediocre, over-priced fare of the modern theatre ever again, one day at a time.” (Page 231)
I found Ford to be very critical of not only those around him but those who worked for and with him plus himself. He was an alcoholic for many years, weighed 300 pounds at one point, was/is very uncomfortable with his being gay and other gays.
I know how hard it is to write a book and I don't like being negative but I found this a very depressing book to read and if it didn't have Sondheim's name in the title I probably wouldn't have bought and read it and even in that department I found it lacking or maybe I anticipated more.
NEXT BOOK REVIEW: "I WAS BETTER LAST NIGHT" A MEMOIR BY HARVEY FIERSTEIN He has fought the same battles as Paul Ford and I have and has led a very productive life at the same time!