What is your greatest fashion or hairstyle regret?
I’ve been consistent and never too ostentatious. Photos from my childhood do exist where my tough-as-nails mom Sylvia Roberts dressed me in suspenders and a bow tie. Or a jumper — ugh! If I’m feeling brave and there’s interest, I’ll unearth an image.
What saying would you banish forevermore?
Any politician or commentator on television cannot help but utter “frankly.” And “in my opinion” is redundant. We inherently know it’s your perspective unless another source is provided.
Do you believe in soulmates?
It was an abstract concept until I turned 31. I do. If we are talking about actually landing your soulmate, that’s more complex.
If you were a Peanuts character, who would you be?
Charlie Brown — Lucy snatching the football just as her younger brother’s best pal is about to kick that field goal.
Who is the best James Bond?
All of the Bond’s hold appeal. No one was as effortlessly charming as Roger Moore or as testosterone-powered as Sean Connery. But when one-hit-wonder Bond George Lazenby is visibly shattered at the sudden loss of new bride Diana Rigg during the finale of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service , I wish Lazenby had not listened to his agent and instead remained with Albert R. Broccoli’s franchise for at least another film to explore how the character would have recovered.
Are you a Universal, Disney World, or Six Flags person?
I’ve never been to Universal and would revel in the classic movie attractions.
What is your favorite pre-1980 movie?
Impossible! There’s no ultimate pick since I’m always stumbling upon another previously hidden cinematic treasure. Nearly all of my favorites are from the sixties and seventies. Contenders are Pretty Poison [Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld], Cool Hand Luke [Paul Newman], Seconds [Rock Hudson], The Shakiest Gun in the West [Don Knotts is hilarious], Cold Turkey [Dick Van Dyke], Peter Sellers’ The Pink Panther Strikes Again and Being There, Smokey and the Bandit [Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Jerry Reed], Shane [Alan Ladd], Day of the Evil Gun [a grim western oddly opposed to violence with Glenn Ford], True Grit [anything really with John Wayne e.g. The Sons of Katie Elder, The War Wagon, Big Jake, The Cowboys, Cahill: U.S. Marshal, and The Shootist], The White Buffalo [Charles Bronson], Showdown [Dean Martin and Rock Hudson], and Hang ’Em High [Clint Eastwood and Inger Stevens.
Which decade of music would you choose to listen to for the rest of your life?
1965–1975. If backed against the wall I would settle upon the swingin’ sixties. Caveat — the early years of that decade were lightweight pop fluff and melodramatic ballads until transformed by the British Invasion.
What is your greatest musical guilty pleasure?
Elvis Presley. Going back to my teen years it was a constant source of frustration defending Elvis’s innovative voice and crack backing band in spite of the jumpsuits, glitzy Vegas, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and sad demise that unfortunately cement his legacy to the general populace. Listen to “Mystery Train,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “A Big Hunk of Love,” “Fever,” “It Feels So Right,” “[Marie’s the Name of] His Latest Flame,” “Little Sister,” “Where No One Stands Alone,” “Big Boss Man,” “Only the Strong Survive,” “Kentucky Rain,” “Just Pretend,” “For Ol’ Times Sake,” or “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues.” The guy could sing — no histrionics or AutoTune — just raw emotion.
The Monkees are another guilty pleasure. Manufactured for a TV show, the Pre-Fab Four of Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork were contractually obligated to mostly rely on other musicians and songwriters throughout their first two albums overseen by producer Don Kirshner. By the time of their third LP Headquarters, Nesmith and Tork convinced their pals to seize control, fired Kirshner, and proved hands down that they could compose, play, write, and tour as a self-contained band. As Dolenz famously quipped, “Pinocchio became a real little boy!”
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© Jeremy Roberts, 2020. All rights reserved. To echo the sentiments of my talented colleague Bonnie Barton — “I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. Using it to read my work means the world and is truly appreciated.” Feel free to email email@example.com and mention which story led you my way. I appreciate it sincerely.