so these may not actually be frequently-asked question, but
they ARE questions which have been asked in the past, and that I
have tried to answer. If you would like to ask something which isn't
included here, please post the question in my guestbook and I'll
do my best to oblige.
it like watching yourself in the JCS movie? Do you watch it very often?
have to admit that I don't watch Superstar at all any more, well,
only unless there's somebody who's never seen it. (Can such a person
exist?) Or someone who really knows how to twist my arm. It's not
diffidence, exactly, but I know the film so well, frame by frame,
and it's full of memories. And remembering, ultimately, is always
sad. But I have to admit, when I do occasionally watch it, how very
proud it makes me feel to be connected with such a spectacularly
when I stayed with Barry for a long wekend in the summer of 2003,
I cajoled him into watching the movie again. We imbibed (look it
up) a certain amount of whisky and watched all Barry's scenes. It
was a unique thrill to see him mouthing the words of Pilate's Dream
and clearly re-living many fine memories. Perhaps it was the whisky,
or perhaps it was the moment, but it was unforgettable.> Keith
you were on the original recording with Murray Head and Ian Gillian,
the Broadway album and the movie, with whom did you enjoy working
the most? Whom did you believe gave the most talented portrayal of
Jesus and Judas?
That's a little like asking me who is my favorite child... a dangerous
place to go! But, in truth, I have truly loved working with them all.
Jeff Fenholt was an incredible singer, as was Sam Harris. Teddy was
probably the best singer/actor of the bunch, and I'm very fond of
him, both as a performer and as a man. He spent his honeymoon in my
flat in London, when we were out of town. One of the Broadway understudies
who got a chance to play, Dennis Cooley, was also remarkable. And
I was actually the one who convinced Norman Jewison to test Ted Neeley
for the film--he hadn't heard anything about him! I have a special
place in my heart for Murray Head. He was the all-time best of the
blue-eyed soul singers, I think, and Murray and I wrote the score
for a movie together. Murray was actually the one who told me about
Superstar originally. I was sorry in many ways that he didn't do the
film, but then we wouldn't have Carl Anderson's electrifying performance.
How do you choose? I never actually worked with Ian Gillan. His vocals
were already recorded on tape so I clapped on a pair of headphones
and responded to him as if he were there, but he actually wasn't.
As you probably know from his Deep Purple work, his singing of Jesus
was a bit of an anomaly. Ben Vereen, who played Judas on Broadway,
was many years earlier a very good friend of mine. We performed Sweet
Charity with Juliet Prowse in Las Vegas and at the Greek Theatre in
L.A. We'd had a falling out in London so the Superstar experience
on Broadway was a little tense for both of us and frankly, Ben was
like a crazy person during the run of the show, not just with me but
in general. I'm sure he's all over it by now. The level of talent
on the whole Superstar experience was of a tremendous caliber and
it was and remains one of the highest of the high points of my performing
did touring productions of JCS in the 80's but when it was revived
in 1996, there was a different Pilate. Didn't you want to do the part
done several tours of Superstar, once with Tony Geary of General Hospital
fame, and another time with Sam Harris in Long Beach. The truth is,
I wanted to do the tour in '96 but they were doing fantastic box office
and I honestly think they felt they didn't need me. I saw the show
in St. Louis, went backstage to say hello to Carl and Teddy and told
them I'd love to join the company. But it just didn't work out.
closely were Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice involved in the movie?
and Andrew certainly showed up in Israel, along with Stigwood, but
they were very discreet and tried to keep out of the way. They took
off for New York after a very brief visit, to prep the Broadway show.
long did it take to film the movie?
It took about 3 months in Israel, as I remember. They started a few
weeks without me (although Jewison tried to get me to come to Eleat
where, he said, the scuba diving was fantastic.)
did you first find out about JCS?
was the beginning of 1969 and I'd just finished a year's run as the
Emcee in Cabaret at the Palace Theatre in London with Judi Dench.
I wasn't exactly ready to leave London yet as I was much better known
in England than I was in America and I had an idea for a movie about
a rock n' roll group. The William Morris Agency put me together with
Murray Head and we set to work on a score for the film, he the music
and I the lyrics. During the months we worked together he mentioned
to me that these guys who were working on a rock opera had seen me
in Cabaret and wondered if I'd be interested in a role in the recording.
And that's how it all started.
you have any special memories of things which happened during the
filming in Israel?
I remember Jesus, Judas and all the disciples and priests, playing
volleyball on a lighted outdoor court late in the evening at the end
of a long day's shooting. It was an amazing and moving sight.
you ever repeat the performance of Clousteau in Kentuckie Fried Movie.
loved making Kentucky Fried Movie, it was so much fun. Somebody told
me it's available now on DVD so I suppose it's time for me to break
down and get a copy.
relationship with Barbra Streisand began in 1960. Why did you wait
so long to tell the story?
I'm modest, I suppose, and discreet. But then, a few years back, Barbra
started making this series of long, and I mean long, telephone calls
and she was telling me she didn't have any money and I said, "Do concerts,"
and she said, "I'm scared." We talked and talked and finally I got
her over all her fears and convinced her to do it. The result of that
concert tour is merchandising history. And then Vanity Fair magazine
published a big, fat excerpt from Jim Spada's Streisand biography
and it was the chapter that was all about Barbra and me, and I thought,
"Hey, wait a minute. I really should write my own book on this." And
so I did.
was your Streisand biography different?
of all, it's not a biography at all. It's a memoir about this one
intense, seminal, eventful part of Barbra's life. Every day something
magical happened to us. And, it's a very sexy book. I don't mean it's
prurient or anything, but frankly, it is hot. The thing is, Barbra
was seventeen when we met and I was twenty-one and our sex drives
were on a rolling boil. So there's lots of that and making love to
movie stars is a topic that seems to interest a lot of people. And
the book is funny. Barbra is a very funny person. I think the book
shows a side of Barbra that the public never gets to see: her private
world, her everyday chat, her inside life. Also, it's about Barb when
she was young, just a kid, really. I bet even the people who surround
her today don't know much about that part of her life. And this book
is also about my growing realization that I am gay.
long were you two together?
three years. We lived together in my Greenwich Village apartment,
our Den of Sin, about a year. It was a fantastic place. Barbra and
I are both pack rats and between the two of us we managed to stuff
this place to overflowing with books, records, magazines, costumes,
tape recordings, feathers, old clothing, and antiques-everything you
can possibly imagine. In a way, it was like walking into a really
chic Ali Baba's cave. People, like Phyllis Diller, who came to visit
us, like were absolutely bowled over.
was so special about the time you and Barbra Streisand were together?
It was absolutely incredible. This was the spectacular metamorphosis
of probably the most incandescent, explosively talented Mega-Star
ever born! When we first met, Barbra was a shy, insecure, nervous,
driven, striking-looking young woman who told me, with utter conviction,
that what she wanted most in the world was to be "An Ehktress--an
Ehktress!" The more we hung out together the more endearing she became
to me until finally I realized I had fallen in love with her, and
she with me. Still, realistically, I was wondering to myself exactly
what kinds of roles Barbra could play-the way she looked then, her
behavior and body language, made her a really difficult casting choice.
The day she came over to my apartment to make a tape of herself singing
changed all that. It was a revelation! She had a voice the microphone
loved-and everybody else loved it, too. I was really the man who insisted
that she sing, who gave her the support and encouragement and help
that she needed, and I put together and directed her first nightclub
act for her. I watched her grow up as a woman, a performer, and a
talent. It was an incredibly exciting experience, and I'm sure we
both look back on it as one of the most important times in our lives.
you think Barbra would be mad at you when she saw the book?
hope not. Listen, I know she's hated everything that has ever been
written about her, but most of those books aren't very true to the
woman, at least, not to the woman I knew. And I'm not out to do a
hatchet job on her; I was in love with her, and my book is a valentine,
and a pretty lacy one at that. I show her good side and a little of
her bad side, but, hey, I show my screw-ups and bad behavior, too.
I do have this fantasy that Barbra finally reads this book, calls
me up and says, "Hey, kid…not bad!"
could you be in love with a woman like Barbra Streisand? Aren't you
I am. It took me most of my life, but I finally figured it out. The
truth is, for many years I had affairs and deep emotional entanglements
with lots of women. I still like women a lot, but I guess at last
my real nature…came out. Barbra and I were kids. We were both thrashing
around with our own sexuality, and the love we felt, and trying, at
the same time, to get our careers together. There are young people
out there who are struggling with the same sexual confusion, the same
unknowns. I bet they'll be fascinated by Barbra's and my story.
there one single song or appearance that is responsible for Barbra
Streisand becoming famous?
song or appearance? What happened was really that she went from one
thing to another thing with such amazing serendipidy. The steps in
her career just kept going up and up. There were a series of appearances.
Clubs, then TV. It was a very rapid build from nothing into megastardom.
A couple of her early songs made a tremendous impression: Happy Days
are Here Again was certainly one of them.
the most memorable thing for you about her?
memorable - there's a lot to remember about our time together. I think
a moment that stuck in my mind was the night I first saw her on Broadway
in I Can Get It for You Wholesale. She stepped across the threshold
of stardom that night. Everyone in the theater saw it and knew it