Bobby Weinstein is the writer of such great songs as “Goin’ Out Of My Head,” “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” and “I’m on the Outside (Looking In).” Songs he wrote have been recorded by Dionne Warwick, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt and Frank Sinatra.
Ladies and gentlemen, our special guest is a songwriter who has written songs recorded and performed by the greatest talent in music. Everyone from Little Anthony and the Imperials, Dionne Warwick, Jerry Vale, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt and even Frank Sinatra. But there’s more – Duke Ellington, The Lettermen. So many artists have recorded our special guest, Bobby Weinstein’s, songs. The song he co-wrote, Going Out of My Head, has sold more than 100 million records by over 400 artists and ranks in the top 50 of the most recorded songs of all times. Our special guest, Bobby Weinstein, is an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and we are so pleased to welcome him here. Thank you so much for joining us.
It is a pleasure, indeed.
I think most stories are best from the beginning. What was life like growing up?
I was born at a very young age (laughter). I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. And Brooklyn, NY, in those years, was a melting pot. The neighborhood that I grew up in was mixed to a point where it was like, like a fruit cocktail. We had every, every conceivable type of person. As a mater of fact, I really, for many years, thought that I was Italian (laughter) and that was because I was so in love with tomato sauce. But one day, somebody told me one day “You’re not Italian, Bob. You’re Jewish! And you’re, you’re stuck with gefilte fish and matzo and that’s all there is to it.” (Laughter) No, but I’m still, I’m still a tomato sauce junkie. But growing up in Brooklyn at the time, it was, it was quite an experience to put it mildly, you know? It was a time when music was wonderful and life was different. Tony Bennett was just getting started at the time. As a matter of fact, he and I went to the same high school at different times. It was the High School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan and he became a fine artist, as you probably know. And, uh, I went to the school several years later as an illustration major. The high school is now known as the High School of Art and Design. I wound up designing greeting cards for a company called Norcross many years ago. Going to that school, I used to – it was a really an old building. It was, like, a hospital during the Civil War and it had these winding staircases in it. And the Boys Room, the lavatories, had these wonderful tile walls. And myself and these other rock-and-roll lovers used to gather in the Boys Room and harmonize and sing the songs of the day by the Cleftones and The Harptones and Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers, and on and on into the night. We sounded so good but – I mean, you know, we did it for our own enjoyment, but we got to singing so good and sounding so good that they decided to feature us in the Christmas program at the school.
It was a lot of fun, but during that period of time a young lady approach me and said ‘You need to meet my cousin.’ And I said ‘Well, who’s your cousin?’ and she said ‘Teddy Randazzo. Haven’t you ever heard of Teddy Randazzo?’ and I said ‘Not really.’ And she said “Well, he’s the star of all the rock-and-roll, Alan Freed rock-and-roll shows at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater.’ And I said ‘Well, I’ve never heard of him but that, that doesn’t mean anything. I think I’d love to meet him.’ ‘The reason being’ she said ‘because he’s a songwriter and he’s looking for somebody to collaborate with and you might just be the person.’ Anyway, she made an appointment for me to meet with him backstage at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater during one of Alan Freed’s famous rock-and-roll shows. And I appeared at the backstage door and the watchman asked me who I was and I said I was expected by Teddy Randazzo. And went and he called Teddy to the door and Teddy said ‘Oh hey, yeah, of course.’ and in I went. And he took me around and he introduced me to Bo Diddley, and he introduced me to Jackie Wilson, and he introduced me to everybody that was, you know – Diana Washington – I mean, I was flabbergasted because all these people were appearing on that show and I was now backstage as his guest. My jaw hung to the floor. I could not believe what was happening to me. Anyway, following that experience, he and I got together and started playing around with the idea of writing songs together. I would go to school early, in the early part of the day, I’d come from Brooklyn, go from Brooklyn to Manhattan, go to school until 4:00 in the afternoon, at which time I would meet with Teddy and we’d spend an hour or two or three writing these little songs together. And then I’d, of course I’d have to go back to Brooklyn because my parents expected me, like in time for dinner – sometimes late dinner. I could go on forever, you know. If you get the feeling you want to slow me down or stop me, just, just jump in there.
Well, I never interrupt my guests – ever – so (laughs) …
Oh. Well, I hope you have about five hours then (laughter).
Speaking of Teddy Randazzo, what was your impression of him when you met him?
I was very impressed with him. I mean, I didn’t quite know who he was. He was very handsome, very handsome guy. He had a lot of charisma. He had just completed, uh, I guess it was a two-year engagement with a group called The Chuckles at the time, and now he was, he was out on his own. And he had been selected to star in many of those early rock-and-roll movies like Mr. Rock and Roll and Rock, Rock, Rock and Hey, Let’s Twist! and he was very easy to be around. And he made it very easy for me to be around because we were now going to start working together, without really realizing where we were headed or what we were doing. We just, you know, we both had the desire to just write songs. I mean, I didn’t think about money, or didn’t understand what royalties were all about, and the only thing I had in mind was to write songs and hear my songs on the radio. And I think he felt the same way. We headed into the distance just writing whatever came to us. We got lucky. In 1961, we met a man by the name of Don Costa. He was making a demo record in this little demo studio at 1650 Broadway in New York. And we used to sneak in between the paying clients. The engineer knew us well and he’d let us sneak in and make these little 25-cent demonstration tapes of our songs. And we’d have to wait until the paying clients were finished, of course. And this one day, it was Don Costa who was in the studio and the engineer, that became our close friend, said ‘You know, you really ought to meet this guy because, because he produces a lot of records with a lot of people.’ And when he was finished, we were introduced to him and he said ‘What do you guys do?’ and we said ‘Well, we write songs.’ And he said ‘Well, let me hear something.’ and we played him a song that we had just written. And the song was titled Pretty Blue Eyes. And he said ‘You know, that’s a cute song. I really like the song.’ He said ‘Would you let me hold it for a couple of days?’ and we said ‘Absolutely.’ You know, why not? I mean, you know, we were kind of cavalier and blithe and, and sure – why not? And so, we gave him – we made the tape and gave it to him. And it didn’t take very long, maybe four or five days, we got a call from his office that he had recorded the song with Steve Lawrence, and we should turn on the radio and listen. And we turned on the radio and it was unbelievable. Every 10 minutes the song played on the air. Every 10 minutes. And, needless to say, it became a Top Ten, Top Five record in no time at all. And that was the first taste that we had of success, he and I together. People ask me, well did you collect royalties? Did you, you know, did you make money on that? Or were you, uh, you know, did somebody come along and sneak it out of you, sneak your income out of your pocket? We were very lucky because there were people around us, starting with Don Costa, that were honorable and led us in the right direction. Somebody said ‘Well, you need to join BMI.’ And, of course, I didn’t know what BMI – neither did Teddy – we didn’t know what BMI was and nobody said ‘it’s a performing rights organization’ and, I mean, we knew very little or nothing about it. But they took us to BMI, introduced us to the BMI people and the staff at BMI. And we affiliated with BMI and then started collecting royalties for the performances of our works during the year. Then I had a very ardent understanding of what royalties were all about (laughs). And following that, I mean we were like non-stop. We just met and wrote songs every day to a point where, you know, I was – I know that I was exhausting my parents, who were starting to wonder where I was every day and why I was coming – leaving so early in the morning and coming home late at night. And I told them that I was writing these songs and they said ‘Songwriting is not going to lead you anyplace (laughter). Why don’t you, why don’t you become – be like your father and be a milkman?’ My father was a milkman in Brooklyn, which – boy, talk about, talk about an outdated job, huh? That one went by the wayside.
Yeah, so I said (imitates a whiny voice) ‘No, no. This is what I want to do.’ And they said ‘You wanted to be an artist. You’re going to art school. You want to be a songwriter? There’s something wrong with you!’ Needless to say, once the success started their discouraging words quieted down. They quieted down. They never really liked the idea that I was involved in what I was doing, which was always shocking and surprising to me because, growing up as a child in the home, my mother and father both played guitars and sang. It was like part of the, it was part of the program at home. My father was really good. They played songs like All of Me and the songs of the day, like Back in Your Own Backyard and My Dear Miss Duchene. Not only did they play but I had two uncles and aunts that they’d come over on the weekend and they’d all play – they played ukuleles and banjos and things – and at my house, there was always a lot of music. And I was like the fly on the wall. I was being educated without realizing that I was being educated. And, for example, if you were one of my classmates at that time and you invited me to your house for dinner, and nobody played and sang before dinner or after dinner, I would think that there was a problem at your house.
Yeah. And so it’s, it was like second nature for me, you know? I was programmed without realizing I was being programmed. And that, you know, all of that, that information and all of that stimulus became part of what I was later to become. And it’s still that way today. I still wake up whistling and singing in the morning and throughout the day, and it’s really one of the great gifts that I’ve lived with all my life. I’m so happy that it happened to me because I know too many people who don’t understand what that feeling is like – to be able to create without knowing what or why or how, and where it’s coming from. I’ve been asked several times throughout my career to teach at music schools, like the Boston College of Music in Boston, to teach songwriting, anduh, you know, I can’t. I told them I, I can’t do that. I mean, I could teach the A-A-B-A structure but I can’t teach somebody how to write a song. The concept of a song, the lyrics to a song, the music to a song, that’s something that comes through you. Teddy and I used to sit side by side on a piano bench and wait, just sit there and wait for something to happen. And sometimes it would be an hour or more and we’d be sitting there, not even speaking. Suddenly one of us would go, like ‘Oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh!’ and then the other one would say ‘What? What? What? What do you have there?’ We’ve written, you know, just by that kind of patiently waiting for those feelings to come through. We’ve written over 800 songs together, he and I.
Yeah. That’s a lot of songs. Not all of them were recorded. Not all of them became hits. But all of them, each and every one, was a baby that we created together and we love, we love all of them. I’m sorry that he’s not around today to, to enjoy the kind of attention that our catalog and portfolio has been receiving. He also, he was inducted in to the Songwriters Hall of Fame along with me back in 2007, but he wasn’t there to enjoy the ceremony and that made me very sad. He was really like my best friend and the brother that I should have had – glandular brother, so to speak.
One of those songs is Going Out of My Head and it’s been recorded by so many artists, many great artists. When you were writing it, did you know you had something?
Not really. No. As a matter of fact, only two weeks ago I had a friend come up from Puerto Rico who I haven’t seen in, oh it must be 40 years. He’s a disc jockey, a famous disc jockey in Puerto Rico. His name is Alfred D. Herger, and he happened to be in New York at the time Teddy and I sat down to write a special song for Little Anthony and the Imperials, to follow what we had just written for them which was I’m on the Outside Looking In. And as that song slid from the charts, we had to come up with a follow-up and so that’s when we sat down to do the writing. And we were sitting in an office over on Broadway and 54th Street and Alfred was visiting with us from Puerto Rico. And Teddy and I never really allowed anybody into the room or the studio that we were working in when we were working but Alfred, being here from Puerto Rico and being with friends, we let him sit in the room with us. There was a dart board on the door, the back of the door in the office, and while Teddy and I were sitting on the bench waiting for something to come through us, Alfred was throwing darts in the dart board. And the thunking of the darts hitting the dart board were driving me crazy. And I turned around and I said ‘Alfred, you’re on Broadway. There’s Fascination, there’s Playland, there are movies – there’s all kinds of things down the street that can entertain you. Would you please do me a favor and go for a walk because the throwing of the darts and the thunking of the darts is driving crazy. You keep that up, I’m going to go out of my head.’ (Laughter) And Teddy, his ears went up and he said ‘Oooh, oooh, oooh’ – and he did the old ‘oooh, oooh. oooh’ thing. Alfred left and we sat and we got to work on that. And musically, it went into a chord change and an area that gave me to believe that yes, we do have something different here. It was beautiful. It just played itself. And it didn’t take us very long. It took us about a half-hour to write that song. Needless to say, I questioned it after it was completed because it was so different. We kind of wondered is this going to be good for Little Anthony and the Imperials? They just did Tears on My Pillow and Shimmy, Shimmy, Coco Bop andI’m on the Outside Looking In – very R&B style and all of a sudden here comes this, this song. Needless to say, they went in and they recorded it and history is – hindsight is 20/20. It went ba-boom, ba-bang and so many people have come to me, both Teddy and I over the years, and people said ‘You know, that’s my wedding song, Bobby.’ ‘You’re wedding song?!?’ (Laughs) I can think of a lot of other songs that would have been appropriate for a wedding, you know? And they say ‘No, that’s the one.’ I mean, I was very close friends with people like Margaret Whiting before she passed away. She performed that song at Carnegie Hall. Margaret Whiting, who was famous for Moonlight in Vermont.
I mean, you know she was one of several people who said ‘I love this song, man, and I enjoy singing it.’ It’s very – it’s not an easy song to sing but if you can handle it … And I had the great privilege of meeting Elvis Presley back in 1971 at a private theater party that he had in Memphis, Tennessee. And when I was introduced to him, the person that introduced me to Elvis said ‘This is Bobby Weinstein. He’s one of the writers of a song you like a whole bunch.’ And he said ‘What is that?’ And he said ‘The song called Going Out of My Head.’ And Elvis stood in front of me singing (imitates Elvis Presley singing) ‘Going out of my head, oh yeah.’ And talk about my socks rolling down (laughter)? Down they went, you know? And he said ‘I love that song, man. You know,’ he said ‘I’m going to record that song.’ And he said ‘All I need is the sheet music.’ And I said ‘I’m going to see to it that you get the sheet music (laughs).’ I sent him a box of sheet music after that. Anyway, after that he never did get, never did get around to recording it but he’s one of the few people that it, you know, that it got away from. I would have loved to have hear, to hear an Elvis recording. But then again, there are others that please me and make me happy, like Luther Vandross. I mean, that just – that recording knocks my hat off. Just, it’s unbelievable. And Mr. Sinatra chose to do it not once but three times. He did it live in concert in Oakland California, where he introduced the song as being written by Teddy and myself, which was very kind and generous of him. And then he did it again for, uh, Reprise Records. And then he did it a third time as a duet with Ella Fitzgerald for the special show that he did called A Man and His Music. And so, he was quite in love with the song himself. And it’s years later now and people come to, still come to me and say how much they love the song. I’m very attached to it myself (laughs) and so are my grandchildren (laughs).
What did you think of Jerry Vale’s interpretation of Have You Looked into Your Heart?
Oh! You’re talking about one of the wonderful recordings in my, in my repertoire, or in his repertoire. I just think it’s incredible. You know, that song wasn’t supposed to be on that recording date, when he went in to record that, that album that he did. And a friend of ours who was producing him at the time, Mike Berniker, was his name, he took the song in with him and said ‘These two guys write good songs. You gotta listen to this.’ And he listened to it and he said ‘Oh, I’d love to do it.’ And bingo, bango, he recorded it. And what do I think of it? It’s just, it’s incredible. I mean, it’s incredible. That’s another one that people say to me ‘Hey, you know, I love – I’m crazy about that song.’ Del Bryant, who is the president of BMI, every time I see Del the first thing he does is he walks up to me and starts singing “Have you looked into your heart”.
Another great song is It Hurts So Bad and that’s one that you co-wrote and that was recorded by quite a number of artists – everyone from Little Anthony and the Imperials to Dionne Warwick – so who did the best version of that one?
The best version of that – you know, the original recording by Little Anthony was outstanding. If I had to choose a best version or a favorite version, it would be Linda Ronstadt. She really put her heart and soul into it, and I was so pleased to hear her version and the fact that she had elected to do it. It just, it amazed me because that’s another one that lives on and on and on. I was so, so horrified to learn, when I got the news that she’s not, you know, she’s not going to be able to sing anymore. There’s something wrong with her voice. Such a gifted person that she is to experience or go through what she’s going through. However, with – you know, God’s plan is good. Something is going to heal her and we’ll be hearing from her again soon, too.
Very nice. You mentioned so many great artists already, just like Linda Ronstadt. You mentioned Frank Sinatra; obviously, Little Anthony and the Imperials – all of these great artists. This is probably a difficult question. Can you pick an artist who was the biggest thrill to have recorded a song you wrote?
Are you referring to going out of my head?
No, just any song you wrote. Any song you co-wrote.
Oh, any song.
Which was the biggest kick?
The biggest kick …
The biggest thrill when you heard so-and-so was recording a song you wrote.
That’s a really hard question because if I could have a photo taken every time somebody tells me so-and-so is recording one of your songs, if I could have a photo taken by the back of my neck you would see the hair rise on my head (laughs). It’s really a difficult question for me to answer. When I heard that Frank Sinatra recorded Going Out of My Head, I would say that probably that’s, that’s the one that really rang a bell and that’s the one that gave me, gave me the goose bumps. You know, I had trouble believing it because Sinatra is legendary forever.
And he’s the king of kings. And the notion that he would select and elect to do a song that I wrote was just unbelievable. I still, sometimes I’m still astounded by the fact that it even happened. And when I heard the recording, the one where he was live in concert in Oakland, California, and he introduced the song as, as being written by Teddy and myself – he took the time to do that before getting into the song – I mean, I just, sometimes it wakes me up from my sleep. You know, it’s so hard to believe that that ever happened. I’ve been a very lucky person. I’ve been around songwriters all of my life. Most of the people I’ve been involved with all my life have been music people and songwriters. I’ve been very lucky to have spent the time and shared the space with so many people that were – especially, like, when I was involved with the – I was an executive for BMI, for many years as a matter of fact – which gave me an opportunity to meet and greet and spend time with songwriters and, and recording artists. And the same thing when I was the president of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, once again there came another opportunity. I’ve been around all these wonderful people who have practiced the art that, you know, that I’ve enjoyed all my life. And when I find out – sometimes it’s really interesting for me to find out, when I sit at lunch or dinner with some of these people – and to find out when I ask them the question ‘How did you come up with the idea for that song?’ Like, Otis Blackwell, who wrote Don’t Be Cruel, All Shook Up – we were having lunch one day in Brooklyn. He was from Brooklyn too, by the way. He was born and raised in Brooklyn. And we were having lunch and I said ‘Otis, how did you come up with that All Shook Up?’ ‘Bobby, you grew up in Brooklyn.’ He said ‘Don’t you remember when it got real hot in the summertime?’ He said ‘What we used to do is we used to, we used to go in the candy stores’– and they didn’t have these cold refrigerator chests at the time. They had these big boxes, ice boxes, that they put soda in and they put crushed ice in, chunks of ice with water, and the water chilled the soda. And you had to open this box and stick your hand down into this freezing water and be familiar with the shape of the bottle of the soda that you were looking for because you were feeling around under water to grab it – and he said, he said ‘We used to, we used to go and we’d get the bottles of Pepsi out.’ He says ‘When it got real hot out, we’d go outside and’ he says ‘we’d shake that Pepsi Cola up and then we’d spray it all over each other!’ And then they’d go and they opened the fire plugs to rinse themselves off with, because there were these little itching balls that came off these maple or – I forget what kind of trees they were in Brooklyn; that Otis, he was quite a character – the soda machine, spraying each other with Pepsi Cola, and the sticky soda getting all over us from the heat, and then the itching balls falling from the trees, and we’d cover each other with the itching balls and then we’d go and open a fire plug to wash ourselves off with from the, uh, the 95-degree weather and then the sticky Pepsi Cola itching balls.’ And I said ‘So what does that have to do with All Shook Up?’ He said ‘Just listen to the lyrics, man! (Sings) “Oh, bless-a my soul, what’s a-wrong with me? Itching like a man on a fuzzy tree. Who do you think of when you have such luck? I’m in love. I’m all shook up.”’ I said ‘You’re kidding me.’ He said ‘No! That’s where it came from.’ And every time I sit down with a writer and I, you know, and I ask them where did the idea for that song come from, hardly ever will be, the source be what the final phase of the song is all about. It just amazes me. And I love to ask folks questions because, of course, that just interests me to pieces. As a mater of fact, I started to put a book together at some point, which I, I have several chapters done called “Where Did that Song Come From?” If the good Lord sees fit to keep me around for a while, I’m going to finish it because I think that’s going to be a great coffee table item.
On that note, how did the song It’s Gonna Take a Miracle come about?
That’s an old cliché. I used to hear people say that in Brooklyn. I think – I’m not sure if it was the Polish people, the Italian people or the Jewish people, or maybe, maybe all of them. I would hear “If he lives to be a hundred, it’s gonna take a miracle!” You know? (Laughter) I mean, uh, you probably heard that in your lifetime, twenty or thirty times, or here, there and the other place. We just applied it to story about a love affair. I loved the cadence: “It’s-gonna-take-a-miracle-oooh-oooh” – we had to put an ‘oooh-oooh’ in there – (sings) “It’s-gonna-take-a-miracle-oooh-oooh. Yes, it’s gonna take a miracle.” And it just, I don’t know, it just all fell into place. All we had to do was write story around it. The story was simple but to the point and that one worked. Laura Nyro fell in love with that song. She just went bananas over it. And, of course, the original recording done by the Royalettes with Patti LaBelle – no, Patti LaBelle, it was Patti LaBelle with Laura Nyro. Bette Midler recorded it and the last real outstanding recording that was done was by Denise Williams, which is just an absolutely lovely recording. She was real good at it. We were happy with that.
Just prior to this interview, I was listening to I’m on the Outside Looking In which Little Anthony and the Imperials recorded. They recorded so many of the songs that you wrote. Why was that?
They just liked all of them. It was like every time we would write a song they would, they would say ‘Oooh, we have to – we want to do that one.’ It was a magical time in our lives, in our careers. Teddy and I had a thing. There was no doubt about it. We had a thing where we could sit down and it would take a while but all of a sudden there would be that magical ‘oooh, oooh, oooh’ and something would come through us. Now, Teddy was an accomplished musician. He played, like, twelve instruments and he could write arrangements, and I was more or less the conceptualizer and the lyric person. But there’s, you know, one thing we did not do is we did not count notes and we did not count words, you know? Or lyrics that went into songs because once a song was completed, we never knew who did what because I can think music; I can’t write music out and I can’t play an instrument the way Teddy could. But I can think – I can sing it out. That’s how we used to work. I would sing to him what I heard and what I was feeling, and he would run up and down the keyboard looking for the chord changes and what not, and start saying ‘Is that it? Is that it?’ and we’d find it sooner or later so the contribution was like – it would be something to watch if we had it on video, the way the two of us worked together. I’m on the Outside Looking In, you know, all of these are clichés that I’ve heard throughout my life. I’m on the outside looking in. Who else wrote that? Oh, I know who else wrote a song called I’m on the Outside Looking In. It was Anna Sosenko, who also wrote Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup. Remember that song, Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup?
I don’t know that one.
Oh, it was a big, a big Nat King Cole song (sings): “Darling, je vous aime beaucoup. Toujours wondering what to do.” It was a terrific hit. It was the only song – she wrote a lot of songs but that was the only song that was a really big hit. But she also wrote I’m on the Outside Looking In. Several people wrote I’m on the Outside Looking In. You see, you can’t copyright the English language so somebody else could, tomorrow if they wanted to, write a song called Going Out of My Head but they would have to – it’s not that they’d be subject to litigation for infringement unless the music were the same and the words were exactly the same throughout the song. They used to count the bars. I don’t know how many bars is required for an infringement claim these days but you can’t copyright the English language. That’s all there is to it. So I’m on the Outside Looking In could be written in the future 300 more times.
When somebody listens to a song that you wrote, what do you want them to get from the experience of listening?
I want to try and lead the listener, to help them see what I see, to help them visualize what I visualize. I kind of feel like I see into the fourth dimension, beyond the third dimension. And we live in the third dimension but there are other dimensions. And I kind of feel that I see into the fourth dimension, and I want to help the person listening to what it is that I have to say, to see that also. Because some people can look at something or hear something and they can’t, they cannot ascertain exactly what point you’re trying to make. And, and I like to see people say ‘Oh, I never looked at it that way.’ It’s like the songs that I’m writing now – I have a CD that just came out. It’s on my website. It’s called Age Is Just a Number and I’ve, I’ve been writing or I did the – I wrote these songs with my wife and another collaborator. I’ve been writing with my wife since Teddy passed away because who knows me better, you know what I mean?
And I wrote about a dozen songs. The baby boomer songs were more, more, uh, targeted at seniors and the album is called Age Is Just a Number. There are songs on there like Granny Got an iPhone – contemporary humor. Senioritis – like I invented my own disease. Early Bird Special. My Heart Belongs to Lipitor – there’s a goodie for you. (Laughter) Anything, anything that I sense is contemporary and would be interesting and/or entertaining is what – I get up and my eyes open and I start to whistle, and I go ‘Uh oh, I think I got one!’ and I sit down and get it done. We do, my wife and I, we work every day. The work that we do, we do right here at home. We have a studio in the house and we record everything right here. We write it here and we design the graphics ourselves. What a great time in life for me to be – to have studied art initially, and to have combined my energies and my talents together with a person who is not only my equal but sometimes supersedes anything that I have to offer. And we did this every day. It just, it’s a wonderful time to be, to be alive and to be doing this. The older I get, the better I feel about spending today looking forward to tomorrow.
Very nice. What is the best thing about being Bobby Weinstein?
There’s only one other person I would like to be if I wasn’t Bobby Weinstein, and that would be my wife.
(Laughs) Why your wife?
Because she has taught me more about myself than I thought I knew or than I did know, and I’ve taught her very little about herself. She’s got a heart of gold. When we first started spending time together – we were living in an apartment in the Village together in New York City – and the phone rang and she picked up the phone and said ‘Yes, who is it?’ and then she looked at me and said ‘It’s so-and-so.’ And I looked at her and said ‘Tell him I’m not here.’ And she looked at the phone and she looked at me and she said ‘I can’t do that.’ I said ‘What do you mean, you can’t do that? Everybody does that!’ She said ‘I can’t do that.’ So I ran and I jumped into the shower in the bathroom and I said ‘Tell him I’m in the shower!’ And she said ‘He’s in the shower.’ And I said ‘Thank you.’ And at that moment, I knew I was with somebody who could – who was honest and honorable and couldn’t tell a lie. And you know how many people you go through in your lifetime, and relationships that you have in your lifetime, that you say ‘If I could only meet one person like that, that would be enough for me.’? Well, I’m a very fortunate man – I did. And if it wasn’t for the fact that I like who I am, also – and I do like who I am, and I really love and enjoy the gifts that were given to me, I would like to be her. I’m glad she’s not around right now because she would say ‘What did you say that for? Is that going to be on the radio?’ (laughter) And that’s a fact.
For anyone who is listening to this broadcast, to anyone who is listening to this interview, what would you like to say to them?
I would like to offer my thanks, special thanks, to all of the people that listen to my music and have bought my music and have supported my career, throughout my career. Not only the ones that are still here on the planet but the ones who have moved on and gone over the rainbow, and there are many. There have been so many people that have contributed to who I am today and what I’m all about. They’ve given me the opportunity to offer what I had and what I have, to a point where I’m totally fulfilled and the best is yet to come. I mean, there’s a lot more that I have to offer and I only hope that the people that are listening and those people that have become aware of me, or will become aware of me, take the time to take a listen to what I’m about to create, because it’s going to be, it’s going to be good. It’s going to be great. Some of it’s going to be great, some of it’s going to be good and some of it’s not going to be as good as what I’ve done in the past. But that’ll be okay, too. It’s just what is important is that I do it and I just think, once again I’d like to say thank you to anyone who has ever supported me and the work that I’ve done. That makes my life very pleasant.
My last question is a seemingly simple question but I invite you to answer this any way you like. Who is Bobby Weinstein?
He’s Harvey Weinstein’s brother (laughs). Actually, that’s vey interesting because there is, people have come to me ‘Are you the guy who does all the films? Are you the guy who does all those movies?’ and I say ‘No, that’s not me.’ And I’m sure he’s getting it on the other end, you know ‘Are you the guy who writes all the songs?’ Bobby Weinstein is a person that was delivered on this planet and found his way through what other people might’ve considered a tumultuous upbringing or childhood, because I didn’t tell you some of the, some of the things that I could have, I could have, where I could have messed up really big because, of course, I don’t want anybody to know that. But you know, everybody goes through their, everybody goes through their changes. I’m just glad that I was able, able to walk around some of it and skirt some of it and turn out to be who I am today. Who is Bobby Weinstein? Bobby Weinstein is a musical person who generally likes to think about love and honor before thinking about anger and I don’t, you know, anger and frustration. I get up every day with a good attitude and I look forward to getting through the day with that, you know, with that, with that whistle that somebody gave me years ago, Boy, that whistle sure works. I whistle on tune. I don’t sing on tune but I whistle on tune, that’s for sure (laughter). Pretty much, that’s who I am. And Bobby Weinstein can look at a tree and see, see the entire tree – the leaves and the branches and the twigs and everything. And where some people look at a tree and I don’t know that they can see the tree the way that I see the tree. But I’m glad that I can see it the way that I do because I can sit and look at a tree for, forever. Everybody says ‘Well, it’s only a tree.’ Well, no, it’s not only a tree. Isn’t there a poem about a tree?
I’m sure there are a number.
“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” Who wrote that? I’ll have to look it up.
Oh … Joyce Kilmer.
As I live and breathe. And I’m glad I do. Yes.
Yes. So you see, how did we get into this tree thing (laughter)? I should have said, you know ‘when I look at a bush …’ and then you would say, you know, we’d say who wrote, who wrote a bush? Who wrote the bush (laughter)? I don’t know. It’s really been an enjoyable journey, spending time with you on the phone today, my friend.
Yes, sir. Thank you very much.
And I hope what I’ve had to offer was entertaining for your listeners because it sure has been entertaining for me.
It’s been a joy and I thank you very much. And I also thank you for all the songs.
Okay, Paul. Thanks for calling and I look forward to working with you again.