What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
Hearing the music of J.S. Bach was a seminal moment in my life. The first time I went over to London in 1967 or ‘68, a guy from Polygram Records dumped a bunch of LPs in my flat. The flat had a little skylight in it, and it rained for about two weeks, and I just laid under the skylight and listened to J.S. Bach: the Brandenburg Concertos, some of the cantatas, and some of the organ music. It was as close to an epiphany as one can have. It was a crash course in the depth of dedication that one man can bring to music. It made feel embarrassed in a way, like I had just been playing at music. When I got into the fugues, the contrapuntal stuff, and started listening seriously to The Messiah, I realized that this was something that had been done by a real adult, someone with deep emotional and religious feeling. The rain fell, the music played, and I walked out of that flat a different person. It felt almost like something that had to happen, like it was planned. I tried a little harder after that.
Legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb ("Galveston," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Up, Up and Away," "Wichita Lineman," "MacArthur Park," and many others) plays the Cabaret at Germano's on September 19th and 20th. The Sunday show is apparently sold out, but some tickets remain for Monday's performance. It's a rare opportunity to see Webb, who's still at the top of his game. And he's an amazing storyteller, too.