The Paul Leslie Hour Episode #51 – Dave Mackay

Dave Mackay is a pianist, keyboardist, singer-songwriter, accompanist and recording artist. Originally from Leicestershire, England his fascination with music and the art of recording has been lifelong. Mackay moved to the United States and studied at the Berklee College of Music. Currently based in Los Angeles, he’s continued his craft of writing and recording songs. Since 2016 he’s been performing alongside guitarist Tab Laven as the touring band of singer Art Garfunkel. The same year he also released his full length record of original songs entitled Restart.

We’re pleased to welcome Dave Mackay to The Paul Leslie Hour to discuss his multifaceted musical life!

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Michael Levine: Publicist & Author

It isn’t the fine diamonds or the crystalline face of the watch that gets the job done. It is the unseen mechanism inside that functions. Publicists are an unseen mechanism that make the entertainment industry work. The blurb in the newspaper, the piece in the magazine, the mention on your favorite late-night television show are all masterminded by the craftsmen of public relations.

 One of the biggest names in the Hollywood PR world would have to be Michael Levine. His company, Levine Communications Office, has represented some of the most iconic names in entertainment. Trusting in the master craftsman were Michael Jackson, Charlton Heston and George Carlin among others.

Michael Levine is the author of seventeen books. His numerous radio, television and print appearances have made Michael Levine an authority on the media, fame and public relations. 

Now, let us join Michael Levine, craftsman of public relations.

Paul Leslie:  Ladies and gentlemen, our special guest is one of the best know experts in the field of publicity. Steve Allen called him the Michael Jordan of entertainment PR. He is the founderof Levine Communication Offices and the author of several best-selling books. He’ll be joining us to talk about publicity and in particular his friendship with Hollywood legend, Elliot Mintz. Thank you so much for making the time to talk to us.
Michael Levine:  I’m honored to be sharing your valuable audience.

How did you become interested in publicity?
I was interested in the entertainment industry. I was actually interested in two things. When I was growing up I was interested in the enteirtainment industry, I was interested in politics. And I decided to pursue the entertainment industry as a career by virtue of that kind of attraction I had to see in person.

Is publicity still fascinating?
Yeah, I think it is. I mean the media is fascinating. I think communications is fascinating. It is very fascinating. Certainly, undergoing radical change, I mean, you know, I started PR from back in June of 1983 and there were no computers or text messages or FedEx, very different world, so yes, it’s still very fascinating.

Not too long ago in speaking with Elliot Mintz, he said that you are one of the best publicists he’s ever encountered. I would have to ask you, what do you say makes a good publicist?
Michael Levine:  I’m happy to answer your question but let me just comment on that if I may. First of all, that is a very, very kind, unnecessarily generous kind remark that Elliot made about me. I cannot believe that arguably, I would define Elliot as the most brilliant media consultant ever. Not this year, not last year, he will be in the entertainment realm the most brilliant media consultant ever. And so the fact that I could even be in the same top ten 10 list that it’s just hard to imagine, but and I really believe that, I mean, independent of my friendship with Elliot, my love of Elliot, I really believe as I think about, I talk to him, I am awe-struck by his capacity to understand the communications. Okay, now then, you say to me, Michael, what makes a good publicist? Well,I think a good publicist has a capacity to understand communications well and they have a good capacity to understand news well and they have a good capacity to blend the two well and so forth. So, there we are. It’s a natural gift in large part, I mean, I wrote a book on PR called Guerilla PR which is the best-selling PR book of all time and I think you can teach people a lot of stuff through that book or through books, but there’s also a natural capacity.

 You said a moment ago that you felt like Elliot more or less personifies what it is to be a good publicist.
Just the most brilliant communications mind of our time. Way, way beyond the traditional publicists from my point of view.

So it’s he’s in incredible ability as a communicator that you think?
Incredible, an incredible psychological capacity to read people, read situations. First of all, if you know Elliot at all, Elliot listens to people with an intensity that is Freud-like. He has an ability to listen intensely to a human’s words and actions and read things that frankly other people might not perceive as acutely.

How did you meet Elliot and what was your first impression when you first looked into his eyes?
Well, I’ve known of Elliot for my entire professional life and admired him. We’ve very different careers. Elliot’s approach to clients is to have a few, that paid him a good deal of money and he did a brilliant job on their behalf. I on the hand went a different route. I had a much larger firm with many, many, many, many more clients and had a bigger entity. He had a small and more boutique entity. So I’ve known Elliot all my professional life, but we became friends a couple of years ago. And I would say that you do not need to be Freud or Einstein to look into Elliot’s eyes and know that he’s a very unique guy. He’s just not your average bear, I’ll say that.

What is something about Elliot Mintz we would be surprised to know?
One thing I think that might surprise you, I mean, if I, you would have had a number of superstar clients that he’s had, that he is very humble. He does not think of himself and he is not grandiose.  He is not a narcissist, very self-effacing, very humble, very generous, he’s run counter to the stereotypes of most people in Hollywood.

 He’s just launched this website, elliotmintz.com.
Fascinating.

Yes, very.
If I could just mentioned, one of things which I think is fascinating, I mean, if you’re interested in Elliot Mintz, I think it’s very fascinating website. But let’s imagine you’re not interested in Elliot Mintz, you’re just interested in the times in which Elliot Mintz lived. You’re interested in the 70’s, in the 60’s, in the 70’s, 80’s and the 90’s and the 2000, it’s fascinating.  It’s fascinating. You can go on a walk on a beach in Malibu, California with John Lennon and you’re going to talk to John about the Beatles breakup. Really?  That’s pretty big, that’s pretty interesting and there is just countless things that are fascinating about the times, you know, the Zeitgeist of that era.

 What do you think that’s motivating him to put this all out there because it’s all free?
Yes it’s all free, yeah because I think that Elliot’s unique, one of Elliot’s uniqueness is that he wants, he does not, I’m sorry, I’m just paraphrasing his words. He doesn’t think the website is about him. He thinks it’s a website about the world in the times in which he lived. So, I have to take his words at face value and like that that’s a need that he has to communicate, it is an unbelievable amount of material to share. You know, it’s kind of the center point of so much of entertainment industry and pop culture history.  It’s rather remarkable.

What are you the most proud of?
In my work?

Yeah, in your life, actually.
 Well, you know, I have a very unusual life in that, I didn’t go to college, you know, my mom was an alcoholic, I was first to a degree, blessed and cursed by this thing called dyslexia. Do you know anything about dyslexia?

 I know a little, but not a great deal.
Dyslexia is a kind of a disorder of some type where you are reading in the cognitive ability. You know, when you’re a young kid, you invert numbers and it’s an interesting thing, you know, I was talking to you about two years ago, I had dinner with David Geffen which was a real high point of my life and, we’re talking, David is dyslexic, I’m dyslexic and we’re talking about dyslexia and David said to me, “you know Michael, 40 years ago, we had a different word for dyslexia.” And I said, “really David, what was that?” He said, “dumb.” And it’s true that 40 years ago, people who were dyslexic were thought to be dumb. So, the greatest achievement of my life is that I was able to take a bad set of cards that I was dealt, right, an alcoholic mother, dyslexia, scared skinny kid, no college, no money, no education, no parenting, no job and I was able to take these bad cards and play them well. It’s one of the reasons I do some of the coaching I do and with clients and people, so, there you go.

 So this is kind of an open-ended question, for all the listeners out there, what would you say to them?
I’m not sure. Oh I would say, I think that I would say that you would be well served if you’re listening to this to consider and recall that life is difficult and that life is difficult for all of us. It is difficult if you are a gay or straight, or black or white, or young or old, or thin or fat. If you have a lot of money, it is difficult. If you have a little money it is difficult that some people would say, you know, it’s been said that money does not make you happy. Well, I promise you my brother, poverty will make you miserable but it’s difficult. Life is a difficult journey. Now, it’s not a bad journey but it is difficult. And we are tried, we humans are tried by constant ceaseless challenge, a kind of a, like an obstacle course that’s been designed by God or the universe to test us or to teach us or something. There we are. Life is difficult.

 My last question, who is Michael Levine?
Self-made guy. Just a guy who got some really bad cards as a young kid growing up in New York City about two and a half miles north of Ground Zero and he was able through the force of determination, drive and determination to take bad cards and play them well. I was blessed in lots of ways, along that journey, not least of which being born in the country in which playing your cards at all was possible. In that way I think Warren Buffett was correct, I won the ovarian lottery. I’m just a self-made guy, I’m just a guy who was willing to work on nights and weekends when most people weren’t and I played my cards well. Now, there was a lot of calls to that personally.

Thank you very much for your perspectives and your time.
Thank you, brother. God bless.

Cheryl D. Barnes: Singer

Jazz singer Cheryl D. Barnes sat down to talk with Paul about her album “Listen to This.”  She grew up singing, hearing the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole.  She started with classical voice training at age nine before turning her attention to jazz.

Cheryl D. Barnes released a debut studio album was entitled “Cheryl,” and she also released a live album with the Phillip Cabasso Orchestra entitled “Live at the Baked Potato.”  With her latest album “Listen to This,” those who listen will be in for a real treat!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure we introduce you to this woman, Cheryl Barnes. Thank you for joining us.

Well, thank you for inviting me.

I think most stories are best from the beginning. What was life like growing up?
My musical life – my whole life was wonderful – and my musical life was really pretty fantastic because I was always surrounded by every kind of music that was playing on the radio and on records and everything. My father and mother exposed us to jazz, to classical, to polka music, to rock and roll – sort of. My father sort of forbade that in our house but we managed to listen to it anyway. So the musical life, it started from day one. Even at the smallest age, I remember waking up in the middle of the night and hearing beautiful music, tunes playing on the radio and it was like breathing and all, so it was great. And as I was in elementary school, coming along, starting to sing in little groups and that sort of thing, so it was a good start. A good launching into a life of music.

Who were the singers that you enjoyed the absolute most?

Well, of course, the you know all the traditional, wonderful greats. Um, of course, there’s Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn and Peggy Lee and just, you know, all the greats of that time. And then, coming forward, I’ve always – I have been influenced, mostly spiritually and emotionally, by a wonderful singer named Carmen Lundy because of her innovation and her beautiful talent, and the freedom that she shared in her music in the way that she – she’s a wonderful instrumentalist as well – in the way that she plays and sings. And a lot of the newer young people that singing now I’ve really been enjoying as well. And I’ve been influenced greatly by many instrumentalist, especially during the years that I was starting to sing jazz. You know, like Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard, and a lot of horn players of the time and other players. It’s just, uh, it was like taking in, like breathing and taking in from the atmosphere all these great musical influences from many areas. And classical music as well, not just in jazz. I started out as a rock and roll singer (laughs) in fact, in Great Falls, Montana, so I enjoyed that part of it, too.

You have had the opportunity to work with a lot of great artists. Can you tell me who you have been the most in awe of?

Among those that I had the pleasure of working with and relating to in conversation and all, Della Reese was – I had a television show along with a gentleman named Bobby Jackson invited me to co-host a TV show with him in Denver. And we used to feature the visiting wonderful artists who came through town performing at the various clubs. And anyway, Della Reese was on one of those shows. And I also sang as the opening act at the club so we had an opportunity to know each other. And I learned so much from her as a performer and as a singer, but also as an entertainer. She influenced me tremendously in that way. And she was very generous. That stayed with me, and has stayed with me through my life and my career. And then there were other people that I worked with. I met Linda Hopkins and have gotten to know her somewhat. And she’s an incredible human being and she’s still going strong. And she just has such a legacy to share, such a history of her life, and a wonderful story of her life. And it certainly influenced me just to be the true – savor everything because then that sort of – not ‘sort of’, it does influence me. It helps me to just be open in my music and free to share. You know, just to go to the depths and throw it out there on the table – this is it! And there have been some wonderful artists who influenced me in that way and have been very helpful to me.

Tell us about the making of this latest album, Listen to This. What made you want to create this album?

Well, this came from – I hadn’t recorded in a number of years, and it came from a desire to make, you know, just make a record of my work as I am now in these last few years, because it took us five years to finish this project. I wanted to – I told my husband, I said – who is a keyboardist and pianist, he’s also a physician, a medical doctor – and I told Phil, I said ‘You know, I really would like to make a CD.’ I really didn’t have any particular idea about what would happen with it afterward or anything but I just wanted to record this. And what started as ‘Oh, OK. Well, that’ll be great. Let’s do that. We’ll get our wonderful musician friends …’ I live in L.A. so I have a wealth of the greatest musicians, some of the greats from all over the world who are our friends and musical associates, you know, who are willing and happy to participate. And we started out with ‘Well, we’ll just pick some nice tunes and go from there.’ And this thing evolved because the gentleman that we hired to produce the CD is a gentleman named Rahn Coleman. And Rahn is just – his vision, he loves my voice and he came up with ideas about how, where we could – a direction to go in to be as authentic as possible. For me to be as authentic, artistically, as possible and to – I use the word ‘free’ because that’s how I feel about my singing for myself – and so that it developed, it started out as a desire to make some music just to have as a record of my life and my musical life at this time. and it just, it really did evolve. We could have stopped recording and put this out three years ago and it would have been a really nice CD. It would’ve been great. It would’ve been very – certainly comparable to anything else, if not better, that’s out there but, boy, we just kept artistically coming up with ‘OK, let’s tweak this and that.’ And I guess you can do that in art, in many things anyway, you could continue to keep changing and changing and finding some area to make it better or whatever but, after a while (laughs), you have to finally say ‘OK, it’s done.’ and we did. And it wasn’t that we threw our hands up and said ‘All right. Enough is enough!’ We – it was done and we evolved through the process. And we’re very, I’m very happy with the results because it is – it’s me and it does recognize exactly many, many facets of my being and it manifests itself musically.

Well, the title track, Listen to This – tell us about that song. It’s a very interesting song.

This song started out – my husband wrote this song, Phil Cabasso – and he wrote the song originally as an instrumental called Blues in C Sort Of. And so, we started doing that on some of our gigs and I would just sing, you know, just scat along with it and sing the line but with no lyrics. And I guess that influenced him, or inspired him, to write lyrics to the song. And I didn’t know he was doing this. And then when he came up with the lyrics I was just flabbergasted because I said ‘How do you know about this sort of thing?’ (laughs) because it’s sort of like the story of the girls – you know, you go out, girls night out and you go to the bar. And these are single girls. And I remember these days for myself. You go, you know, to have a drink and to dance, and just have a nice time and not really looking for anything. And then there are these kind of – there are a few guys around in the bar that are the losers. And so you try to don’t make eye contact, try not to, you know, hook up with these guys because this could be a nightmare. And it’s just so fun. I love the song because it’s a lot of fun. And the people who’ve heard it, a number of people who’ve heard it, have said how they can truly relate to it and we just kind of laugh. And I’m sure that it’s probably the other way for men, too. You know, they’re the people that you just kind of don’t want to glom onto, or don’t want to have glom onto you when you’re just sort of out trying to have a good time. So it came out, it came about as kind of a lark and it developed into what it is now. We made it into a big band arrangement.

Our special guest is Cheryl Barnes. We’re talking about her latest album, Listen to This. What about the song Afternoon in Harlem?

I love that song. That song was written by a very good friend of mine, a very wonderful songwriter named Mark Winkler and his partner, Marilyn Harris – uh, writing partner. This song is just so evocative to me. Um, I grew up in an atmosphere of very elegant women in my family – elegant men and women – but the women in my family, as I think of my grandmother and her sister and my mother and my aunt – everybody. They were all so just suave and lovely elegant women, and gracious and graceful. And this song reminded me of them. And then it reminded me, also, of a couple of singers whom I have had the privilege of knowing, one of whom I mentioned, Linda Hopkins. And this song makes me think of her because she’s had such an incredible musical history. And so then this song talks about the life of this woman who’s been a singer, and who’s had fame and respect and renown, and describes her home and her whole beautiful life. So, and so for this younger artist to visit with this older artist on that afternoon in Harlem, and it really touched me. When I first heard the song, I thought ‘Oh boy. This is, this is real!’ (Laughs) So that’s – when Mark presented that song to me I was very, very pleased and delighted and immediately related to it.

What is the best thing about being Cheryl Barnes?

Ohhh (laughs). Oh, that’s a pretty good question. My goodness. I like myself and the best thing about me being me is that I think I enjoy my life. I enjoy my life. I’m a very, very fortunate person in that I’m able to – I look at things mostly from the bright side and seriously from the comedic side or the humor, the side of humor even in, you know, in situations where, you know, things are not so bright and cheery. And, uh, and I think that I am a survivor so, because of that, of those kinds of strengths and I just – wow! You’ve blown me away with that question (laughs)! It kind of tickles me. I like that. I’ll have to think about that some more (laughs). That was something that a psychiatrist or somebody should have asked (laughs).

Well, this next question is kind of open-ended. For anyone who listens to this broadcast, what do you want to say to the people who are listening in?

I hope that the music that I make has a positive effect. All songs are not going to appeal to all people but that there’s something here that truly touches you in some way or another, because that is important to me. To – when I sing that I am, that I am delivering and portraying the truth of myself. And it took me many – I used to always think that when I would be singing that it should be perfect, every note should be right on and be produced in the most magnificent way and so forth. And I still think that except I also know that sometimes worrying about the technical production loses the true depth and truth in emotion of what it is that I feel. And I think that it’s very important – I want you to get me. And so I hope that the listener gets what this singer is trying to convey, which is the odyssey of myself through my music.

OK. Here’s another one of those questions. My last question. Who is Cheryl Barnes?

Who am I? I am a very happy, very grateful woman. I am an artist. And I am proud to say that I am an artist. And I am privileged tobe able to share the art that I have. I didn’t start out that way, thinking about – it just was sort of normal. I sing. This is what I do and I didn’t really think much about what affect it had on others. But I am a person who wants to – I’m not trying to save the world or anything like that but I am someone who wants to share authenticity and hope that that will have some positive effect for whomever it reaches.

Well, that’s a great answer. I really appreciate you doing this interview.

Well, thank you very much. Wow – I’m going to write these questions down just for my own (laughs), my own therapy sessions. They’re pretty cool and I, I’m – whatever. I’m answering the questions as honestly as I can so it’s just – that’s really great (laughs). I will never, ever forget you, Paul, because I’m going to – you have really thrown a, not a challenge but, you know, very thought-provoking. Thank you. I appreciate that (laughs).

Thank you very much. You have a good one.

Well, thank you so much and Happy New Year. I hope to see you some time.

Happy New Year to you. Maybe you’ll make it up to Atlanta sometime.

Yeah, I’d love to. I’ve never been there, actually, so that might be – that will definitely be a destination.

I think Atlanta would love you.

Well, thank you. Well, if I’m there, we’ll certainly see each other. That’s for sure.

OK. Thanks again.

All right. Thank you. Bye-bye and have a great day.

TRANSCRIBED BY GAYLE BRAZDA.

Larry King: Talk Show Host

 Make way for the King! …Larry King, that is. How did a kid from Brooklyn grow up and become perhaps the most famous radio and television interviewer of all time? Curiosity. This curiosity, has never gone away. Now 80 years old, Larry King still interviews people almost everyday on his talk show Larry King Now.

In this breezy chat, Larry King talks with Paul about his early days in Miami and encourages us all to keep on wondering.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is our great pleasure to welcome the one and only Larry King.  Thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you, Paul.  Good to be with you.

 Who is Larry King?
He is a Jewish man from Brooklyn who got into broadcasting with a life-long wish and pinches himself every day over his success.  He is a father of five:  three grown and two little boys and he is, uh, one of the lucky people alive.

Going back kind of to the beginning, you’ve interviewed sixty thousand people.  I want you to take us back.  What’s your most vivid memory from being a radio personality in Miami Beach?
Well, it was where I started.  It was where I did my first interview.  It was in a restaurant.  Bobby Darin walked in.  He wasn’t booked.  No one expected him and we became friends and that was my first ever major interview.  It’s where my whole career started and spent the first twenty years of my life. 

How did you feel when you were interviewing Bobby Darin?
Well, I was a great admirer of his.  First, I flipped that he came in on his own.  He had listened to the show.  I was just a kid and ‘Mack the Knife’ had been number one, maybe one of the greatsingles ever recorded and I lov music and so I felt terrific.  I asked him a lot of great questions.  He had a poignant moment ‘cause he said he knew he was going to die young.

You’ve interviewed a lot of musicians through the years.  Are you a music fan?
Oh, big!  Yeah, I love music.  Especially Sinatra, the Pops, Jazz, a lot of Country…yeah, but put me down as Sinatra and then the world.

You’re probably known as the most famous interviewer.  Who do you think is the best interviewer or interviewers that’s out there today?
Well, Mike Wallace is very ill.  Mike was one of my favorites and he was a good friend.  He is a good friend but he’s not in good shape now.  I like Ryan Seacrest a lot for what he does, especially hosting shows and asking interviews on the fly.  I don’t like interviewers who interview themselves and there’s too much of that now.  I don’t really see a great interviewer around. 

Well, not just in terms of journalism, as people, what person has influenced you the most?
I’ve had a lot of influences on me in my life.  The great attorney, Edward Bennett Williams befriended me.  Jackie Gleason had a great affect on me; Red Barber the famed sports announcer, Arthur Godfrey.  I couldn’t name one person that was a great influence.  Arthur Godfrey gave me the best advice I ever had which was, uh, that the only secret in broadcasting is there’s no secret.  Uh, be yourself.  The best advice I ever got. 

This question comes from Lana Hughes from the United Kingdom, and she asks:  With all your experience, what has been your most valuable lesson both professionally and personally?
It’s my motto and it’s something I wish more broadcasters would take heed of, and the motto is: I never learned anything when I was talking.
Wow.
To break it down, I leave myself out.  I don’t use the word “I” in interviews.  I askshort questions.  I listen to the answer and I’m the conduit to the audience.  I never learned anything when I was talking.

It has to be a great feeling when you have a guest come on that you’ve always wanted to talk to.  How did you feel when you learned Frank Sinatra was going to be a guest on your show?
Well, it was a great moment.  Jackie Gleason said he would get him for me since Sinatra didn’t do any interviews and he owed Jackie a favor.  I didn’t know it at the time.  Sinatra told me that when he came on and that began a long set…I interviewed many times.  I did the last interview with Frank…last television interview…and we always got along and I found him a terrific interviewee because he had what you wanted in an interview subject.  That is, he had passion, he had a sense of humor, he could explain what he did very well.  He could literally put you on the stage.  You felt the moments with him.  But it was a great feeling just to be in his presence ‘cause I was a kid who use to stand on line at the Paramount Theater in New York and hope to get in to see Frank Sinatra.  I was a great fan of his and to be in his presence and to get to ask him questions and have him reveal things to me and I’ve gotten letters from him over years.  I put a couple of them in my last book.  In fact, I’m looking at one now that’s framed on the wall.  I have a painting that he did.  He loved to paint, Frank. He was a special force in my life and I thank Gleason forever for making it possible for me to interview him.

The first time you interviewed, him were you nervous?
I was excited more than nervous.  It was temporary…it made me nervous for a second but more than that, excited.  I knew a long time ago there was really nothing to be nervous about in an interview because the interviewer controls it.  I mean, I’m the one asking the questions so, once you get past that initial the first time in the White House interviewing a president…naturally, you’re in the White House…you’re a little bit in awe, you realize, you know, that everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time.  That’s true.

Who have you always wanted to interview, but they’ve continuously eluded you?
Well, Dylan…Bob Dylan…he wouldn’t be number one on the list, but I’ve never been able to get him and Bruce Springsteen, you know.  I think number one would be Fidel Castro.  He led his country for more years than any leader ever led a country.  Forgetting politics, he was a revolutionary, he was in prison, he was a baseball player.  He never was in it for money.  He continues to…I went to Havana two years ago to try to get him…We had meetings with people, still haven’t got him but I have not given up.

You mentioned Bob Dylan a second ago.  When people like Bob Dylan are known for not doing interviews, would you say that makes you want to interview them more?
Sure.  Of course.  Someone who doesn’t want to do interviews…of course you wonder why they don’t want to do interviews.  Why wouldn’t someone want to talk about the profession they’re in?  Ninety-nine percent of the people I know always enjoy talking about what they do.  They might not want to talk about who they’re married to or who they’re sleeping with or about their personal life, but I never met anyone that didn’t want to talk about what they do so Dylan has been a puzzle to me.  Brando didn’t do interviews either, but then I did two interviews with him and found him delightful.

What goes through your mind when an interview starts to go bad or the subject won’t talk?
You know what goes through your mind, this is really true Paul…it ain’t brain surgery.  All you can do is all you can do.  It’s frustrating.  You like to make more things happen but it’s…Tuesday will become Wednesday.  It’s not the end of the world.  You do the best you can.  All you can do is all you can do.

Who has been the most entertaining person to talk to?
Comics.  I like doing comedy, I do comedy myself.  People who make me laugh are entertaining.  Rickles is entertaining.  Mel Brooks, the list is endless, Jerry Seinfeld, Carl Reiner…funny people are the best for me.  I love to laugh. 

 Have you ever interviewed someone and you just knew during the interview that you were going to become a great friend with that person?
No.  There haven’t been many that I’ve become great friends with because usually, an interview is passing in the night…they become acquaintances.  Those who became great friends….Sinatra became a very good friend, I would say.  Gleason became a great friend.  Mario Como became probably became the closest.  He was governor of New York and I got very close to him but generally that doesn’t happen, you know.  It’s a moment in time…they’re the guest, you’re the host and you do the best.  With politicians it’s not a good idea to become a good friend. 

You’ve always been a guy who has embraced technology.  You have over two million people following you on Twitter, and now the new chapter of the Larry King story is that you’ll have a show on…and everyone can visit this website…it’s spelled:  ova…
No…o-r-a…
Ora…
Ora, yeah…”ora” means “now” and it’s funded by Carlos Slim…the Mexican who is the richest man in the world and who was a fan of mine.  I spoke to him at an event of his and we got along.  He came to my house for dinner.  I interviewed him and we got the idea…he came up with…we both came up with the idea, “Larry King should not leave the airways,” so…and I’m not a technology freak but I aware that what’s going on in the world is going on so I know that social networking is the future and we’re going to do a internet television network.  My show will be back.  I’ll have more details on it as time goes by.  We’re setting up the platform now so I’m very excited about it. 

It’s going to be interesting.  What is the best thing about being Larry King?
Uh…the best thing is fatherhood.  You know, success is one thing and it’s really nice but having two young boys who you take to school every day and you pick up at night and you’re seventy-eight years old and you’re in reasonably good health having suffered a heart attack twenty-five years ago and had bypass surgery and you’re still around.  You got a young wife and you live in…I’m looking out now on my pool and my guest house…I’m in Beverly Hills…(Laughs)…it’s not bad.  That don’t mean everything’s right and that you don’t have some bad days and you don’t have some arguments and disagreements.  That’s life.  But boy….and I got it pretty lucky.  Paul Newman told me once, “Any…any successful person who, in discussing their life and career, doesn’t use the word “luck” is a liar.”  I was lucky…I was lucky that Ted Turner liked me.  I was lucky that I made the left turn, the right turn…lucky that someone advised me to go down to Miami.  But the best thing about being it is fatherhood.

 The great thing about the internet is that this interview can be heard anywhere in the world.  For anyone who is listening in, do you have any parting words of wisdom?
Bertrand Russell, the great teacher, philosopher, and Nobel Prize winner was once asked:  “Dr. Russell, what do you know?  You’re ninety-five years old.  What do you know?”  And he said, “The only thing I know is that I don’t know.”
(Laughs)
And the truth of my life is, “I don’t know,” has led to everything that’s happened to me because I have never, ever lost my curiosity.  So the word of wisdom I would give to people is: Don’t stop asking.  Don’t stop wondering.  And the best word you can ever use is “why.”  Good luck!

 TRANSCRIBED BY LORI DOMINGO