The Interview

After 16 years in the Media & Entertainment business, Michael Manning has built a significant portfolio of newspaper, magazine, radio and television interviews ranging from actors and musicians to CEO’s in the world of business and much more.    

What distinguishes “The Interview” from many Television and Radio programs of the same genre, is that Michael chooses to casually “visit” with each Guest, (many selected from his Blogroll) as if they were having coffee at a café and just sharing conversation casually. "In this setting, my Guests are much more relaxed and encouraged to be themselves, and the result is usually having the honor of spending some quality time with someone in a more reflective mood", said Michael. "I have been on both sides of the table, and that experience has allowed me to pose questions with the utmost respect and care to my Guest  without depriving the audience of gaining a sense of their personality. In comes the warmth and often humor resulting in a meaningful experience that really stays with you for some time. And that's what the experience should be!" he said.  

 Please join Michael for his newest segment, simply called: "The Interview".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

THE INTERVIEW: AUTHOR MARSHALL TERRILL (CONCLUSION)!


Friend & Author Marshall Terrill
His new book will be released in November, 2009:
Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool

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Manning: One of the things our friend Mike Jugan--who was Steve's private pilot--was telling us when our group was in Prescott was that when he'd fly Steve out to El Paso for his cancer treatments, the two of them would be seated in the Lear Jet just talking. Mike was an avid motocross rider.
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Terrill: Well, he saw "On Any Sunday" about fifty times.
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Manning: That much? Well, Mike wanted to talk about bikes, whereas Steve wanted to talk about flying. So, I had the impression that even during the final days of his life, he was still very lucid and very forward thinking...


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Terrill: Yeah, what Mike revealed was that he had no inclination to die, he was very confident. And that gave me great peace knowing that...
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Manning: Yes.
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Terrill: ...he was at peace, that he wasn't flying towards his final operation. Mike said that his attitude was "Well, we're going to do this operation and then I'll be back again". So, that was his attitude. And I think when Mike revealed that to Pat Johnson, that gave Pat a great amount of comfort as well.
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Manning: Yeah. Yeah. And for the benefit of the readers, we should probably mention who Mike Dewey is.
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Terrill: Well, he is the gentleman who sold Steve his hangar and a pilot friend. And Mike is a legend in his own right as a stunt pilot. He eventually became Steve's friend.


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Manning: And he found peace in Santa Paula.
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Terrill: In Santa Paula he had this whole life away from Hollywood. It's interesting. You get outside those city limits. I don't know how to say this. But Hollywood is a great place to visit, but it's all fantasy and bullshit. The lure for some reason is so strong but time and time again, people think it's Disneyland and it's not. Los Angeles is a town of have and have-nots. There's a certain desperation in the air when it comes to people trying to make it in the industry. People spend a lot of their valuable years trying to make it in the industry and all of a sudden they're 30, 40 and have nothing to show for it. Then when they go back to the real world and try to get a job, they have this big hole on their resume and have forgone years of regular employment, a 401K, a retirement fund, put off having a family or career. And if you don't watch yourself there, you can really get burned. It's an industry in which it uses up people; it spits them out and obviously Steve knew that. And the mentality is that you're only as good as your last movie. I think that Steve probably knew that more than anybody, which is why he really cared and lavished on his films and acting roles. Because he knew that it could all vanish within any minute. That helps you understand who Steve McQueen was and why he had that certain attitude about the industry. Back to Santa Paula, he could have the best of both worlds. He could go into work--which was an hour away--and then he could have his complete life outside of Hollywood in Santa Paula, which is a very homey kind of place, and he could have real friends. Again, it goes back to that respect that I had for him for wanting that. You know, Hollywood is...if you're not at the latest party, if you're not at the latest awards show. Steve was able to maintain that outsider status, and not really deal with any of that industry crap.


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Manning: I've shared this with you before, and certainly on my BLOG, that the Steve that I came to admire most was not the Steve who had been written about incessantly about bedding his co-stars, his use of recreational drugs for a period of time and the troubled past that we all understand now. But the man that he became towards the end. He did find peace with God. This is difficult, but I'd like your thoughts on what might have been had Steve survived his surgery. I know that he died of a blood clot following that surgery to remove some of the tumors. In your mind, you've done so much research on him. What direction do you think Steve would have taken had he lived? He was only 50.
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Terrill: You mean as far as his acting, as far as his whole life?
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Manning: Everything!
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Terrill: As far as the acting is concerned, he would have been in the enviable position where he didn't have to work. In Hollywood, that's everything because if you didn't have to work, well producers and studios are going to throw ridiculous amounts of money away, which is something that he figured out early in his career. That's always astounded me. This guy with a 9th grade education figured out Hollywood pretty fast. To me, he is the epitome of a guy with Ph.D on the streets is often smarter than a Ph.D from Harvard. McQueen ran circles around Hollywood executives, which is another reason why we like him, right? That kind of goes back to the fact that I have no doubt that he would be acting. It's kind of like--and I don't want to compare him to Marlon Brando, because I'm not a big fan of Marlon Brando. But Brando was also in that position where he didn't have to work. Movie studio's threw ridiculous money his way in order to get him to work. I think Steve would have been in that position. As far as his life is concerned, there's evidence that shows that he would have purchased a home in Ketchum (Idaho)--he wouldn't have necessarily moved there full-time. But Barbara said that one of his dreams was to purchase the old General Store that was featured in the movie "Bus Stop" (The North Folk Store) with Marilyn Monroe. He would have purchased it and run it as a General Store--Pat Johnson talked about that too--where you could go and the old timers would come in and pour themselves a cup of coffee and put there feet on the stove and just kick back. I could certainly see McQueen doing that. He would have definitely been a rancher. He would have kept a very low public profile and worked infrequently. But when a script interested him or when there was perhaps enough money attached to it, he would follow that path. McQueen would have continued enjoying his life, and doing what he wanted to do. That's what we all admire about him.


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Manning: There were about 40 books out there if my memory is correct, by the time you first published your book...
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Terrill: The first one? I don't think so. I think there might have been maybe 10 at the most.
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Manning: Oh, 10. Well, I happened to mention your book last night to a 23 year-old woman and she knew it!
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Terrill: Wow!
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Manning: Knew that book! But focusing on the tribute book that's coming out. It'll be hard bound?
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Terrill: Yeah, it'll be hard bound. I'm trying to talk the publisher into doing a special Limited Edition. Again, there will be a disc like the one with Barbara McQueen's book where there will be McQueen talking about the making of "An Enemy of the People" (1978) and he would also be discussing some of his other films. It would have a slip-case, hard back, signed and numbered. It will also include McQueen's family tree on both sides. I worked with Loren Thomson, a distant relative of Steve and Uncle Claude's on the tree, and it was like solving a huge jigsaw puzzle. The real mystery was McQueen's father...I now know who he is, when and where he was born, when and where he died and what he did for a living. He was always the missing link in the McQueen story and I'm very proud of that family tree. Both sides of his family hail from Scotland. The McQueen's I can trace back to the 1600s and the Thomsons from the 1700s.
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Manning; When will it become available so all of my readers will know.
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Terrill: Well, again, a November/December time frame is what I'm shooting for to capitalize on the holiday season...
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Manning: Of this year...
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Terrill: Yes, 2009. The last time we released just the limited edition in the first six months and then we came out with the hard back. So, I don't know if we're going to release both at the same time or not.
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Manning: I see this book as being one of the most exciting events of the year--especially for McQueen fans like myself. How can people start to become aware of it? Where will they find out how to purchase the book? Where to order it? How to receive it?
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Terrill: Well, they can go to the Dalton Watson website at http://www.daltonwatson.com/. And they'll also be able to purchase it on Amazon.com, but I don't believe the Limited Edition will be available on Amazon. It will feature photos from the Donna Reddon collection. She has over 1,000 photos in her collection. So, a lot of these photos have either never been seen, or they've been published once or twice back in the 60's and have never been seem again. Shot from the movie sets will be included with candid photos. For example, I'd interview somebody, and they'd say, "Well, yeah. I've got a snap shot of that goes with the story. I just interviewed car collector Bruce Meyer who talks about how McQueen bought his first Porsche back from him. He has a candid shot of McQueen having a beer with him in front of the black 1958 Porsche Speedster. He tells this wonderful story about how he bought the car in a 1966 auction and McQueen found out about it in 1975 and said "Nah, I've got to see it to believe it to be true". So, Bruce Meyer reunites McQueen with his car again. McQueen looked at it, then went right behind the back seat and pulled up the carpet--ripped it right up and he spotted where the roll bar used to be. And then he looked in the trunk and found an old Gardner-Reynolds recapped tire. And that proved it to McQueen who said, "You've got to sell me my car back!" And this went on for at least a month with McQueen hounding him for weeks at a time with phone calls. Finally, Bruce sold it back to him. The book is also going to show photos from the Barbara McQueen collection---you know, she took hundreds of photos. There will be photos from the same sessions, but just different shots. For "Steve McQueen: The Last Mile" we pretty much picked the best shots. The tribute book will have different poses, outtake photos, and the pictures will be arranged in chronological order with each passage.
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Manning: I always ask my Guests to close with any final thoughts. Go ahead...
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Terrill: Let's just say that it's my gift to McQueen fans. I owe a great deal to Steve McQueen because he was the subject of my first book. It became a best-seller and that really kick-started my career. And so this is my way of paying tribute to the man because in my Authors Note I say "His legacy is one that's worth preserving".
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Manning: In my opening to the "Festival" here, I talk about the fact that so much more is known to us now that was kept quiet for so long. For example, his philanthropy. It's most appropriate now that people know about that.
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Terrill: And McQueen provides to everyone an example of how to give, which is anonymously; that's the classy way. A lot was focused on McQueen as this bastard, this guy who was a womanizer. But in order to be objective, you have to know the other side. And that was that he was a great father...
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Manning: Loved his kids...
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Terrill: Loved his kids. He was a good friend, a trusted friend and he was very good to The Boys Republic. Somebody just told me a story just the other day. She was a bartender at The Old Place in Malibu (California) and it was owned by Tom Runyon, this guy who was a co-star in "The Getaway"--and it's a funky old place in Agoura Hills off of Mulholland (Drive) where you go in and the only thing you can order is steak or clams. And they only served beer and wine. It's kind of a biker-actor-local character joint. And she was the bartender there and she told me that Steve--at that period of his life when he lived in Malibu--he just wanted to be Steve; he didn't want to be Steve McQueen. And often times he would come behind the bar and serve drinks. He had the beard and the long hair, so a lot of the time people wouldn't recognize him. He was just enjoying himself! He poured patrons drinks and he could just be a normal guy. She lived almost next door to The Old Place. She said every Christmas, she'd hear a little tap on the door in the morning and one day she opened it one morning and he said, "Oh, I wasn't supposed to wake you". She said, "What are you doing?" And he said, "Oh I'm just adding a little Holiday Cheer to your life!" This Christmas wreath that he was putting on the door that he purchased was from The Boys Republic; that's how they raised their money. They made these beautiful Christmas wreaths and Steve bought hundreds of these Christmas wreaths and he would go tack then up on people's doors just to show that he loved them and cared about them. At the same time, he was financially supporting the Boys Republic.
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Manning: There's a whole other side of McQueen that's coming out of this book and I appreciate your time, Marshall and I hope every body reading this both near and far will have a chance to pick up a copy of the book later this year. And I think it's safe to say this is going to be a real keep-sake that one could have and pass along to their children.
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Terrill: It's entirely different. I'm really proud of the concept because it just kind of really came quite by accident. In whatever book I do, I want to give people just a little more than what they're expecting. I didn't want to just give them new photos; I wanted to give them new stories to go along with the photos. Anybody can slap together photos and call it a book. That's not a book that you're going to go back to the shelf time and time again. This is one of those books where I want people to read, look and savor.
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Manning: So, we'll go to daltonwatson.com and Amazon.com along with fine bookstores everywhere, right?
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Terrill: Oh yeah! If there's any bookstores still left! (mutual laughter).
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Manning: Marshall, always a pleasure. Thank you.
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Terrill: Thank you!
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My sincere thanks to Marshall Terrill for making this visit possible.


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