Streams

Liza Minnelli

Monday, February 16, 2009

Liza Minnelli was born into show business royalty, but over her decades long career she became a star in her own right. Her new CD "Liza's At the Palace" pays tribute to her godmother and mentor Kay Thompson.

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Liza Minnelli
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Comments [49]

Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

Some possible responses while listening:

- You don't say?
- Just picking 'em up, and putting 'em down.
- Lord, have mercy.
- Swing low, sweet chariot ...

Feb. 19 2009 07:18 AM
christina hatfield from saugus, ma.

give me a break! she is the greatest! who can get a good conversation in this situation. she is tired probably too. give her a break! nobody out there can begin to measure up to her in anyway

Feb. 18 2009 10:34 PM
JD Southard from CT

I loved this interview... perhaps it's the phone connection which gets mixed up sometimes but I love Liza's honesty. She is with it and she talks about what is most important about performing. Being a singer/songwriter I take away a lot of life lessons and performance technique from this interview. That even when you are singing something over and over you have to sing it for the 1st time when you perform it. She also is not one to make quick judgements when she was asked questions about this generation; etc. Good for her- she thinks before she talks! I appreciate her comments- it was done at her pace and her enthusiasm cannot be matched; DARLING!!!!

Feb. 17 2009 09:38 PM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-3 (of 3) i. e. "why should I PAY x amount for tickets to see . . . blah, blah, blah?"(I don't want fuel it either by saying what I mean though, I'm sure you get it.) The bottom line is always what "the jury" thinks or thinks they think! Lastly, 2nd time was much better, a much more appreciative listen. Thanks for your insights.
Michael Calabrese ox

Feb. 17 2009 07:53 PM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-2 (of 3) Thusly, each one of them tell a few of there friends who in turn tell a few, etc., so forth & so on. That's the job of "Liza's Protector's" to ensure moments such as these are not misconceived, misconstruing the truth adversely as many are doing. Unfortunately, audiences aren't as vicariously perceptive as you or I, human nature almost always salivates toward the baneful or the inimical rather than an empathetical positivism which eventually manifests itself into a most pernicious business problem that can fester within the minds of your audience,

Feb. 17 2009 07:52 PM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-1 (of 2) Truly perfect in your assesment of the Minelli Interview & of Len Lopate's Interviewer prowess, James #43! I couldn't agree more with your conclusions, wish I had been able to convey those hidden truths to the matter as well as you've done because I thought exactly the same. What an outstanding intuition you possess & an excellent command of the written word, Bravo! My point was more to the "show-biz" of it. See all those disparaging comments that were made, fueling ruthless rumour to run rampantly about? Thusly, each one of them tell a few of there friends who in turn tell a few, etc., so forth & so on. That's the job of "Liza's Protector's" to ensure moments such as these are not misconceived, misconstruing the truth adversely as many are doing. Unfortunately, audiences aren't as vicariously perceptive as you or I, human nature almost always salivates toward the baneful or the inimical rather than an empathetical positivism which eventually manifests itself into a most pertinent business problem that can fester within the minds of your audience, i. e. "why should I PAY x amount for tickets to see . . . blah, blah, blah?"(I don't want fuel it either by saying what I mean though, I'm sure you get it.) The bottom line is always what "the jury" thinks or thinks they think! Lastly, 2nd time was much better, a much more appreciative listen, thanks.
Michael Calabrese ox

Feb. 17 2009 07:42 PM
James from Manhattan

What a surprise to read such negative comments regarding Liza Minelli. Lenny is one of the best prepared interviewers, and his great conversational techniques combined with his vast knowledge and genuine charm were all evident in this interview. But why blame Liza? She answered the questions, perhaps not in the smooth professional way other guests are able to muster. There is no evidence that Liza was drinking or out of it, as has been suggested. Those were cheap shots, unworthy of the WYNÇ audience. Some brief responses sounded ackward, but they were clear, lucid, & direct. She was honest and unaffected in her demeanor, even modest. I loved it when after listening to Lenny's rambling query regarding the "educational" value of her act, she paused and said the question was so sophisticated and honestly didn't know the answer.

Listen to any real telephone conversation and it would sound alot like this interview, free of artifice and guile. Perhaps if we were not so accustomed to hearing the most well prepared and articulate guests on Lenny's show, then this dialogue would be better appreciated by those who delight in disparaging the talented and kind Ms. Minelli.

Feb. 17 2009 03:31 PM
Allan from NYC

What's weird is I'm up in the AM working on a project and I listened to the re-broadcast and it's not as bad as I thought...
sometimes "genius" can't be expressed...
and yes, over the phone for someone like Liza who brings intimacy to the biggest of stages just ain't a cool mode of communication. Peace...and Leonard, you kept a certain innocence throughout...very endearing, classy of you! Give it a second listen, fans! You'll hear two pros both in a unique mood!

Feb. 17 2009 05:07 AM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-7 (of 7) Liza's in the middle of her's while mine has just begun . . . 'Watch What Happens' because "I Can See Clearly Now," Amen.
Len (love that name as it was my Father's whom passed in Sept '08. "Death," best find another Door to knock on,) excellent interview, one for the archives of your "Greatest Star's Collection," I'm sure. Anyone wishes to "Get Here" to reach me: themichaelview@yahoo.com Congratulazioni, maggio Continua Dio di benedire You & I vostri sforzi!
Michael Calabrese xo (The Singer!)

Feb. 17 2009 01:37 AM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-6 (of 7) Now, a one year of a respectful mourning period has been done as prescribed by my heart before even entertaining thoughts about moving on (as Liza sings) "But The World Goes Round!" I couldn't have said or sang it any better, it kind of hits the "nail on the head" into the Cross that I've borne for good of the Love of Us All. Besides, I'm the "Man of the Details & the Deal!" Liza & I have one thing that's most in common, we're both "Ressurectionist's!"

Feb. 17 2009 01:35 AM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-5 (of 7)[on part-4, I misspelled: missteps] Plus 28.5 spectacular years of Marriage (God's Vow's) with The Funniest Woman To Walk The Face Of The Earth, the Most Extraordinary, "There Will Never Be Another You" (just as Sammy sang & not since Totie Fields has such a f-u-n-n-y "Lady" graced the Nightclub Stage's) simply known as . . . Pudgy! Tragically, to say the least (it's been more like Torture,) Pudgy! "the Queen of Tease" passed away Christmas Eve 2007.

Feb. 17 2009 01:33 AM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-4 (of 7) Liza's worked too hard & long to have crap like this exposed, especially "them or they" whispering in her ear during the exchange, hello? What was that? Liza Minelli deserves only "the very best" just as she has always given to us & needs to be completely, unequivically restored to her "Rightfull" place on this Earth's Roster! You can tell everbody that I'm once again available as I just lived the most wonderous 30 year, professional relationship (Mgr/Dir/Prod)

Feb. 17 2009 01:25 AM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-3 (of 7) I feel as well as think that's where Liza began to get off track. Oh well, a Star is a Star & Liza's one of the "Greatest Of All Time!" Len you were masterful in keeping it afloat which you accomplished inspite of a few of Liza's "demons" rearing their ugly little heads from time to time. From Liza's perspective though, she needs a much better "Inspirator/Director," you know "Someone To Watch Over Me/Her" (like the song says) in order to avoid these types of misteps.

Feb. 17 2009 01:24 AM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-2 (of 7) One of Liza's unique, charismatic talents is to be able to draw upon her surroundings & magically make corned beef hash into filet mignon! Liza's one word answers are horrific for any interviewer & more importantly for their audience but I'm sure she that was not her intentions. That's why I BLAME Liza's "Handlers" for #1 not insisting that she be "present" in the studio & #2 most importantly, allowing her to misunderstand the question about Kay, the relevance of introducing younger audiences to Thompson's brilliance that you had asked.

Feb. 17 2009 01:22 AM
Michael Calabrese from LasVegas, NV

PART-1 (of 7) I doubt that Liza was "drinking" though she did sound a bit distracted which at times, came off almost bordering on incoherency. I agree with Commenter #20's first sentence about a mistake being made by NOT having her in the studio for the interview. Liza would have been more focused just as she was on 'the View.' Like what Liza said about being as good as the people she has hired over the years, the same holds true for her interviews.

Feb. 17 2009 01:20 AM
Allan from NYC

I was surprised Leonard talked of his massage therapist sister via receiving a call from Kay Thompson requesting her number...it was the mark of the trainwreck to come..."Liza with an L" as in lozenge in her mouth:
"yes"..."slurp"..."no"...
I tease...I predict this is one for the Lopate list with Jerry Lewis as difficult interviewees. One thing is clear, Liza never likes to look back...but how can you look forward when there are so many clouds...a sad chapter...turn the page!

Feb. 17 2009 01:06 AM
David Lion from 10025

Liza sounded reflective not drugged. She spoke her personal short hand, not being want to gush all those details of all those memories Leonard must have stimulated by his knowledgeable questions.x As a telephone interview is like telemarketing, i think Leonard made a sale!
Liza liked the interviewer quite a bit.

Feb. 16 2009 02:32 PM
Ron W from New York

I heard Liza interviewed by Jonathan Schwartz just a few weeks ago and was surprised by her thoughtful and intelligent responses. With Leonard she sounded more distracted than drugged--but it was a very difficult listen.

Feb. 16 2009 02:21 PM
Vinny from Hackensack, NJ

For God's sake, don't edit the podcast.

Feb. 16 2009 02:20 PM
robb

Shocked to learn Liza Minelli is STILL alive! Can't something be done about this.

Feb. 16 2009 02:17 PM
april black from nyc

thank you leonard lopate, for an incredible experience. l think that you made liza feel so comfortable, and as the relationship between the 2 of you evolved, the interview was so interesting. liza really got to show who she is and it was a really rare experience, and she is so talented and has an amazing unique history.

Feb. 16 2009 02:17 PM
margaret from nj

Hats off to Leonard.

Whew, it's over.
You are the only person alive who could handle an interview like that. This is a media studies classic: How to contend with a semi-conscious guest. I do hope she can keep it together; too much talent to waste.

Well, it's your turn to open a bottle, Leonard. You really earned it.

Feb. 16 2009 02:09 PM
Michael from Green Wood Heights, Brooklyn

Mr Lopate,

I'm truly amazed. Thank you, sir. I mean, I already understood that Ms. Minelli was, you know, lost, but it was starkly evident that she was unprepared for so in-depth an interview as yours. To her credit, she eventually warmed up to the candor that you tend to exact and extract from your guests, and even rendered you speechless. Perhaps that was due to her tendency to associate freely (read: make no bloody sense!). Nevertheless, her cluelessness was evident throughout the interview. I'm sure that this was not your intent, as you seemed to work just to draw the person out of the celebrity's shell. I'm a big fan of your work as an interviewer and what I consider a true journalist. I thank you again.

Michael West

Feb. 16 2009 02:06 PM
Stella

That tied with the 'female condom guy' for what must have been the most excruciating interview ever. What do YOU think?

Feb. 16 2009 02:05 PM
beth from NYC

Kudos to Lenny for being so tremendously patient and gracious with her. How sad.

Feb. 16 2009 02:04 PM
Ash in Manhattan from Manhattan

My goodness. This is so painful to listen to. It is impossible to ignore her inablility to articulate and be coherent. This interview certainly must rank as one your most challening, Leonard. Like some of the other commenters, if she is on the West Coast where it is nearing 11:00 am, she must cetainly have something in her orange juice other than orange juice. My compliments to you for doing your best to salvage this segment. And she is such a talented and seemingly friendly (certainly today, Dahlin!) person. Those one word answers hung in the airwaves like great big baloons...:-)

Feb. 16 2009 02:00 PM
thatgirlinnewyork

oy. liza with a ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Feb. 16 2009 01:59 PM
K from NJ from NJ

You should tell Liza her dad didn't direct it either - where do you get meds like that????

Feb. 16 2009 01:57 PM
sanjay from east village

wow.

So here's a great example of a real professional having a tough show! Anybody who thinks that they could be a radio show host should listen to this.

Impressive job, Leonard!

Feb. 16 2009 01:56 PM
memorexe from brooklyn

It was a mistake not to have her physically in the studio. Why does WNYC not have a full stocked bar?

Feb. 16 2009 01:55 PM
Douglas Wood from New York

Please tell Lenny that Vincente Minnelli did NOT direct "A Star is Born. " It was directed by George Cukor.

Feb. 16 2009 01:54 PM
Jimmy from NJ

SHE IS SOOOOOO DRINKING.... SOOOOOO DRINKING!!!! "I DONT KNOW DARLING....WHAT DO YOU THINK LEONARD?" (INSERT LIZA LAUGH)HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...

Leonard.... you can tell you are a very skilled interviewer... A applaud you.

Feb. 16 2009 01:53 PM
anonyme

oh dear and do you have 8 more minutes!

Feb. 16 2009 01:53 PM
hjs from 11211

like mother, like daughter !

Feb. 16 2009 01:51 PM
Douglas Wood from New York

Please tell Leonard that Vincente Minnelli DOD NOT direct "A Star is Born." It was directed by George Cukor.

Feb. 16 2009 01:51 PM
Siouxie from Bronx

I think I figured out all the pregnant pauses in this interview. She's smoking (with, perhaps a cocktail in the other hand).

Feb. 16 2009 01:48 PM
db from nyc

... poor lenny, it seems the meds are winning!!!

Feb. 16 2009 01:48 PM
Hercule Perot from Goldens Bridge, NY

What a struggle. I think she is really getting on in age, although not in years.

My hat's off to Leonard for doing a GREAT job. This reminds me of Farrah on David Letterman -- much the same. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUmojv8Ui9g

Feb. 16 2009 01:46 PM
Jimmy from NJ

Lenny... I salute you...
I worked in the music industry for several years. I remember seeing her backstage at a local radio station show about 6-7 years ago in NYC and it was devestating to see how Inebriated she was. again.. such an amazing talent.... To hear her this way is sad. Ask her what she's drinking.

Feb. 16 2009 01:46 PM
Vinny from Hackensack, NJ

Wow, I thought the Joaquin Phoenix interview was entertaining.

Feb. 16 2009 01:42 PM
laurie from nyc

Very sad.

You are doing an amazing job, Len, keeping this afloat...

Feb. 16 2009 01:40 PM
Amy from Jersey Shore

Lenny, you're doing a great job there. The one-word answers must be very tough for you, especially when coming from someone as wonderful as Liza, who has a lifetime of stories. Keep going, let's see what else you can get from her...

Feb. 16 2009 01:39 PM
Siouxie from Bronx

Poor Leonard, it's like pulling teeth interviewing Liza!

As always, she's charming, endearing and a little out of it.

Feb. 16 2009 01:38 PM
Lance from Manhattan

Agree with Jimmy[3].
Is she feeling ok?

Feb. 16 2009 01:37 PM
Scott from Brooklyn

Oy, what a difficult interview, it is always harder over the phone with someone who is so unpredictable and emotionally high strung!

Feb. 16 2009 01:37 PM
hjs from 11211

this is the funniest train wreck ever
thanks len, great holiday fun!

Feb. 16 2009 01:36 PM
Jimmy from NJ

Wow.. she sounds so distracted and not all there. She sounds so different than what she used to. She's such a great talent but sounds like she is medicated....

Feb. 16 2009 01:34 PM
drew from brooklyn

Tell Liza she was great in Arrested Development and please ask her if it's true if there is an AD movie in the works and if she's going to be in it.

Thanks

Feb. 16 2009 01:10 PM
Joe Adams from Hillsdale, Bergen County,NJ

Please ask Liza if it is true that she was named after the wonderful Gershwin song "Liza". Intererstingly, there was another great singer named Liza. That was Liza Morrow who was employed by Benny Goodman among others

Feb. 16 2009 08:48 AM

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