Randy Newman: from curly-haired hipster to Hollywood’s top scorer
Randy Newman puts his Disney songs early in his set for his (very) young fans – and older fans have a new suite of songs to look forward to
“Once I had a five-year-old heckler, he was at the side of the stage going, ‘You’ve got a friend, you’ve got a friend!’”
Newman’s movie work is not restricted to penning a pithy ditty about friendship between furry monsters or action figures. He also scores many movie soundtracks, which requires him to plug into another side of himself.
“It does, yeah, but even when you’re writing for the orchestra, I never forget that there are kids gonna be watching the picture. You know, it’s still a human thing.”
With such a busy film schedule – his soundtrack for Monsters University is currently blasting out of Dolby systems in cinema screens across the country – it is understandably hard to find time (or the inclination) to keep working on his own songs.
When his new collection comes out, however, probably next year, he’ll be keeping the faith with fans of his early 1970s cult albums such as 12 Songs, Sail Away or Good Old Boys.
“I’ve no ability to follow any kind of a schedule I set for myself. I’ve made lists and schedules since I was 18 and I’ve never adhered to one of them. I’ll see how I do with this next batch of songs. I’ll see what I think of them. If they’re good, and I execute them all right, I’ll know. If I see I’m getting appreciably worse, then I’ll stop doing it. But I think I’m all right.”
* Due to a reported bout with pneumonia, Randy Newman has cancelled his performances in Antwerp and Dublin (the latter scheduled for Vicar Street on Monday, August 19th next). A statement said Randy Newman "is very sorry not to be able to be there and hopes to be back soon. Refunds will be available from point of purchase. Aiken Promotions would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused."
* This story was edited at 8.40pm on Thursday, August 15th