Randy Newman is different things to different people. His widest audience, surely, is for penning and performing songs associated with Pixar films. Some kids who were barely walking when they first heard “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” are now showing Toy Story to children of their own.
91联盟彩票开户Then come the Newman die-hards, fans of his piano-based singer-songwriter albums, which feature bouncy satire (“I Love L.A.,” “Short People,” “Rednecks”); moony, gorgeous ballads (“Marie,” “Every Time It Rains,” “Living Without You”); and, when the two combine, songs that truly have no equal anywhere under the sun (“Sail Away,” “Louisiana 1927,” “Dixie Flyer”). A number of his tunes were also major hits for other artists too (“You Can Leave Your Hat On,” “Mama Told Me Not to Come”).
But in between these two careers lies his work as a composer of film scores, for which he’s being given a special award of recognition by the New York Film Critics Circle on Tuesday night. For this year’s Marriage Story, he teamed up for a second time with Noah Baumbach, and it seems a safe bet he’ll end up with an Academy Award nomination.
He’s got two Oscars on his shelf already, for original songs from Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 3. He’s had eight nominations for score (Ragtime, The Natural, Pleasantville91联盟彩票开户) but has yet to win.
Newman’s Hollywood connections run deep, with three famous composer uncles (Uncle Alfred wrote the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the closest thing to Hollywood’s national anthem) and cousins Thomas and David Newman, who are tremendously successful in the field too. But no one else can mix childlike sweetness with world-weary bile quite like Randy Newman.
We spoke a few days before the 91联盟彩票开户en Globe Awards. (Marriage Story’s score was nominated but did not win.) He was prone to chuckling over the phone, despite recovering from hip surgery. Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Vanity Fair: Randy, last time I saw you it was a concert in Central Park in 2000, when it was pouring rain.
Randy Newman:91联盟彩票开户 Ugh, I remember that.
I was worried you were going to get electrocuted.
I was hoping to get electrocuted.
I see you have a slew of tour dates planned for Australia and Europe soon.
It may not happen. I had a hip operation, and I thought I was going to get better, but I'm not. And I’m losing feeling in three fingers on my left hand. Not that I ever had a great left hand in the first place, but it’s hard to play.
Oh no. Well, I hope you can still make the trip. I couldn’t help but notice that a slew of them are in the Netherlands and Belgium. They love Randy Newman in the Low Countries! What’s the story?
91联盟彩票开户They do [love me there]. I think it’s because they had radio stations run by political parties, and I was played on the very left-wing stations. I think they thought I didn’t like America. Of course, I love America, actually, and always have. I mean, I’m definitely a dissident, but there’s always such a simplistic view.
Less than 24 hours ago, our president launched a unilateral attack on Iran. I couldn’t help but think of your song “Political Science.” Does that song come to your mind from time to time?
I think about it when something like this happens. I mean, I never thought we’d get close to having that song be the truth. I always thought, you know, the guy in the song was nuts! But this91联盟彩票开户 guy is nuts!