‘I, Pallas, Do Solemnly Swear . . . Never to Ask Stupid Questions.’
I had hoped to one day interview David Bowie . A girl can dream. Now that day will never come, but the wish was not entirely pie in the sky.
I began producing my own radio show ‘Pallas’ Dutch Invasion’ in the Spring of 2015. My initial intention was to feature successful, and also up and coming, and even underground Dutch bands. I’ve had the honor of featuring the internationally successful Dutch bands Taymir, and Birth of Joy, among others.
However, my show took a rapid and unexpected twist, and before I knew it, I was interviewing inconic musicians such as:
Jazz great- Lee Ritenour, Fee Waybill-front man of The Tubes, Tony Levin – King Crimson/ Stick Men (Official) bass and Chapman Stick player, Pat Mastelotto-King Crimson/Stick Men drummer and session player, Markus Reuter -touch guitar player of Stick Men and his solo works, and legendary Progressive Rock guitarist , Steve Hackett of Genesis, and solo works, to name a few.
Interviewing these legendary musicians is an honor as well as being a daunting undertaking. It is also a great pleasure, but not without pressure.
Preparing for an interview requires much research if it is to be done well.
I promised myself, to never ask dumb questions. I’d be damned if I were to bore my subjects, or make myself look stupid.
Viewing this compilation of interviews of ‘David Bowie Gets Annoyed’ (see Youtube link below), solidifies my commitment to research my subjects deeply, and to always go in well prepared. It’s the least I can do. It’s a sign of respect, it sets the subjects at ease, and, it hopefully makes for great journalism.
As a die-hard David Bowie fan since the age of 13, I was thrilled, when as a professional dancer, I came very close to having had the opportunity to work with him in 1987 on his Glass Spider Tour – choreographed by Toni Basil. I was one of the last two in the running for the ballerina role, but, sadly, I didn’t book the gig.
Now, with my new endeavor as a host, interviewer, and producer, I’d dared to dream, and hoped to create an opportunity to interview David Bowie perhaps for Pallas’ Dutch Invasion and elsewhere on radio and film. But sadly, that too shall never come to pass . . .
If I ever feel myself getting lazy or distracted while preparing for an interview, I’ll whip out this film of ‘David Bowie Gets Annoyed’ to remind myself to keep the bar high.
Until now, I seem to have done well, having received the following encouraging feedback:
Vicky Jenson, Director at Dreamworks Animation:
‘You project a knowlegable professional persona, worthy of interviewing these giants of music’….
‘ ….. In the interview (with Steve Hackett) Pallas’ understanding, preparation, and experience, allowed her a nimble poise and facility with her subject, putting the legendary musician at ease.
‘Thank you for not asking any trite questions!’
‘That’s a great question….These are hard questions!’
‘I hope you don’t mind that we’re going off the page of your prepared questions.’
Pallas: ‘No! It’s great! Let’s keep going with the flow’
So, by virtue of writing this short piece, I wanted to make a commitment, in writing, to YOU, my dear listeners, readers, and followers, as well as to my future interview subjects.
I, Pallas, do solemnly swear, to never ask stupid or trite questions. Amen.
This is the second of three pieces I am writing inspired David Bowie. The first from a dancer’s perspective, this one from the point of view as an interviewer, and next, will come a piece about how David Bowie, the man and artist has touched and inspired so many of us so deeply, and with such longetivity.
After writing the third piece, I think I will be able to join so many friends and colleagues, and finally allow myself to mourn his passing fully.
Pallas is the host of Pallas’ Dutch Invasion www.facebook.com/PallasDutchInvasion
She’s had an extensive and varied career as a professional choreographer, dancer and ballet teacher.
Recently, she’s also embarked on projects as a singer/songwriter/musician, and is involved in collaborative recording projects and film productions.