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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Books and Photographs
Aired July 2, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, music superstar Bryan Adams. Find out why some of the most celebrated women in America have posed for his camera.
And then snapshots of the famous and the fashionable. "Vogue's" Andre Leon Talley takes us on an insider's tour of his A-list life.
Plus Rick Springfield, still around, still rocking and ready to replay some of the best songs of the '80s.
And insights into a stunning documentary about dancing and the mean streets of South Central L.A. "Rize" will move you in more ways than one. All that and more, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE from London Bryan Adams, the famed musician and photographer who is the photographer for the new book, "American Women." His latest CD is "Room Service."
Bryan, are you a musician who takes pictures or a photographer who does music?
BRYAN ADAMS, MUSICIAN: I am a musician first and I started out taking pictures to sort of document my work on tour and in the studio and it's just gone a little bit further than that now. Obviously now with this new book.
KING: What led to "American Women"?
ADAMS: Well, it started out with -- I did a book called "Made in Canada" on Canadian women and it was inspired by a friend of mine who was suffering from breast cancer at the time and I did it as a tribute to her and she didn't make it, unfortunately. So over the last sort of eight years I've done various projects in support of breast cancer and all as a tribute to my friend.
KING: How did you get into photography -- how did you get into taking pictures? I mean, you liked it when you were on tour but how did you make it a kind of semi profession?
ADAMS: I guess when you start taking portraits of people you've got to get a bit more serious and by the time it came round to being asked to do this project by Calvin Klein, I really had to pull my socks up and get serious with it and there's a lot that goes into it and I just basically became very empirical about my work and just whatever -- however I could make it look the best I could, I went for it.
KING: And they were all wearing Calvin Klein. How did that hookup begin between you and him?
ADAMS: I did an exhibition in London and one of the people that was helping me with the project now works for Calvin Klein and about a year and a half ago, two years ago, he phoned me up and said would you like to -- his name is Malcolm Calfray (ph) and he asked me if I would like to be involved in doing a book with Calvin Klein to support breast cancer and I said, yeah, I'd love to do it. So we spent a year doing this book and it was an interesting project because in some cases the most difficult thing was scheduling my time with a studio with a group of people that could be involved with the book so in some cases I would walk into a studio and have 14 people to shoot in a day but that was the way it was and it worked out.
KING: Why all black and white?
ADAMS: Well, the book was shot originally in color and black and white but I think at the end of the day the Calvin Klein aesthetic is very simply and black and white and the way to unify the project was to do it all in black and white. I think it worked out well.
KING: It's been said -- We discussed it earlier. A great photographer -- it's more the photographer than the camera. Do you agree?
ADAMS: I think -- yeah, you have to recognize the moment with people and sometimes it can only be for a second. The -- sometimes it's the shots between the shots, if that makes any sense. When people lose -- they're off guard and they're not thinking about the camera and many, many times that was the case with the photographs in this book. I was trying to find a moment and even though sometimes I only had five minutes with somebody, I'd have to try and inspire that little moment to come out between us and I think photographers have a role which they have to make their subjects comfortable and it's always interesting when you get involved with someone face to face and as soon as you raise a camera up to their face, everyone -- even when you bring a point and shoot and you put it up at a dinner, everyone's expression changes.
So it's just trying to make it seem natural.
KING: It's storytelling, isn't it?
ADAMS: Yeah, it's about finding an expression in somebody that helps tell the tale of what you are trying to achieve. And obviously with this book, "American Women," I wanted to find something that exuded a little bit of confidence and of course a beautiful shot for each person.
KING: Tell me about that lost shot in the book, the one of Hillary Clinton. ADAMS: Hillary? That was great. She came in and there was a bevy of security guards and -- But it was one of the rare occasions during the course of the book that I had a whole morning to do a picture and so we were well prepared and she was ever so gracious and we -- I brought a couple of books for her to sign, one for my dad and one for myself and so everybody else had had a bevy of books of her autobiography and it was just a great morning. I will never forget it.
KING: Tell me about the new CD.
ADAMS: Could be a future president, Larry.
KING: You think so. Wow. You Canadians, you know us.
ADAMS: Well, as a Canadian, I would vote for her.
KING: Do you -- Tell me about the new CD, "Room Service."
ADAMS: It's just come out in America. It is the latest collection of songs I have done. It's a combination of rockers and slow numbers and I am on tour this summer all over the states. I've got a double header with Def Leppard and we're having a great time.
KING: Do you like recording as much as being on state or is stage preferred?
ADAMS: Well, this album was done in a peculiar way. We recorded it all in hotels around Europe over the last two year and so I got to say, I tried to use my time as creatively as possible.
KING: In hotel ballrooms, you mean?
ADAMS: No. In hotel rooms.
KING: In hotel rooms.
ADAMS: (unintelligible) on my door in the middle of the night.
ADAMS: Yeah, literally in the rooms. Well, because you have 24 hours onstage and you have got the rest of the time you need to kick around and find your way to the concert so in my time when I wasn't doing anything I would set up this small studio in my hotel and we recorded the whole album using just whatever space we had in the room that day.
KING: Thanks, Bryan. Good luck.
ADAMS: Hey Larry, one more thing before you go. I just have to say, back in the day, before you were doing TV, we used to listen to you driving around on the road on the radio. Thanks for those days.
KING: Those were the nights.
ADAMS: I enjoyed it.
KING: Thank you. Bryan Adams, the musician, photographer, the world's best-known Canadian. The book is "American Women." The new CD is "Room Service." Back after this.
KING: Our next guest, an extraordinary gentleman, comes to us from New York. Andre Leon Talley. He is editor-at-large at "Vogue." He has been on this program before but he has got a new book out called, "A.L.T. 365+." It's a giant coffee table book. It's a collection of his -- tell me the history of this. You're an editor, not a photographer. What's going on?
ANDRE LEON TALLEY, "VOGUE": Well, Larry, listen. It all started with a trip that I took to Turin to meet Muta Prada (ph) and I took a snap of her going to her corporate jet and that became the opening of my monthly column in vogue and from that picture the story came to me in my mind that I could do a book based on everything I learned from my father who was the son of a sharecropper and he was a taxi driver all of his life.
And the only thing he has that was luxury was cameras and pictures. He took pictures of everyone. Everyone in our family. He took pictures of his customers. He took pictures of all the family occasions, the reunions, the funerals, the weddings, the parties and so this book is basically dedicated to my father, who is deceased. And I just wanted to show the beauty of a day in the life of Andre and many moments that were special. Special moments backstage at the fashion shows, in the front at the fashions shows, front row. Life with Anna Winter, my boss and friend, life with the superstars, life with Naomi Campbell, life with Mariah Carey, life with Barry Bonds, Daniel Steele. I mean, it is more than one year, it is a year plus because I call it "365+" because it is more than a year. And it is just my moments.
KING: Do you always carry a camera?
TALLEY: It's my moments -- No, what happened was I took that picture with a disposable camera because I was on a plane from Paris for the day and we wanted a photograph of Amuta Prada (ph) and I ran to the drug store and got a disposable camera and I realized you could get the same quality and the same instant magic in a photograph with a disposable as well as you can with a technical state-of-the-art camera.
KING: I had a great photographer, Richard Revere, tell me once that it's not the camera, it is the man or the woman holding the camera. Would you agree with that.
TALLEY: I would agree that it is the mind's eye. It is the eye of the mind into the camera. I was lucky enough to be in places that other people couldn't get to. You see those great wonderful models at the Victoria's Secret show. You have to be backstage and they are just like coming out of the paddock and are about to begin the great race on the runway and I am right there where they are putting makeup on their inner thighs. That is a privilege and you have to be at the right place ate the right time. You have to be quick, sharp, and just go for it. Aim high, snap the picture. Take them home, get the camera, take the edits and just put it together and then you have these wonderful moments that people will relate to.
I think the book will give joy to many people. I've got food in the book. I have got trees. I have got Oscar de la Renta's gardens. I've got Oscar de la Renta's feet.
KING: That's great. Looking for it. Now -- But the one thing that you couldn't do if you're doing candids is set up lighting.
TALLEY: Oh. This is all done with the flash of a disposable, instant flash Kodak color camera and it's not about the lighting, it's not about the technical brilliance or excellence, it is about the moment of humanity, the emotion of the moment, it's the emotion of people. Tom Ford in one of his last shows before he left Gucci. It's about Anna Winter with Mia Bloomberg at a big fashion event in the library. It's about weddings. I've got Julia Reed's wedding. I have got Vera Wang working on her wedding show. I have got people who -- just doing mundane things. You have got people doing mundane things like perhaps just standing in a lineup waiting to go into a fashion.
You've got Ralph Lauren, just off his private plane after Thanksgiving. That was the last photograph I took in the book and I just love, also, the photographs of chefs. I've got a lot of chefs. I've got flowers and I've got fashion.
KING: You are a raconteur.
TALLEY: I try to be a raconteur of words but this is just a merging and a fusion of words with images, which I have never done before. And I am so proud of it because I do think it's a book for men, women, children, adults, senior citizens, people who love food, who love flowers, who love fashion, who love females, dances ...
KING: Did anyone resent -- anyone say, don't print it?
TALLEY: No one ever knew that I was doing this. I just printed the book and fortunately, everyone who has seen the book thinks it's great. I was nervous for one or two people and the two people I was nervous about said, oh, it's beautiful. One of them being Mrs. De la Renta, Oscar De la Renta's wife and the women loved the book. None of them ever said, what are you doing, don't take my picture. Non one ever said -- because I have a kind of trust. People trust me and they trust my vision so they just let me take the pictures.
I love the pictures of the women. I think I have got women -- I have got Mika Erdigan (ph) spread out in her library, plus her garden. Plus I have got food. People want to see what Valentino lives like. Valentino's food is as extraordinary as his gardens.
KING: We are discussing Andre Leon Talley's new book, "A.L.T. 365+." A terrific work. We'll come back with more questions. TALLEY: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Don't go away. We'll be back with more with the editor- at-large at "Vogue."
Don't go away. We'll be right back.
KING: We're back with Andre Leon Talley. The book is "A.L.T. 365+." Mariah Carey is in this book ...
KING: And there have been tabloid reports claiming that you are giving her a major style makeover. Is that true?
TALLEY: The tabloids. Don't believe the tabloids. Listen. Mariah and I are great friends. She has her own style. It is a style that is ingrained in her. I love her style. We have become friends and we both see -- we have the same vision. We have been going out together, to parties. Of course, she says, Andre, what dress do I wear, and I say wear the Louis Vuitton, wear the Calvin Klein. But it's not about a makeover.
She came to me and she said, I just want you to tell me what you think of my photographs on my album. And I said, Mariah, these pictures are incredibly, you look like Boticelli's "Birth of Venus" on the cover with the close up. But it's all about a friendship. It is not about a makeover.
I am not making her over. You can't makeover a diva. She is a diva. You can't makeover Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin. You can't make those people over. Mariah is herself. She is her own woman. She has her own vision about what types of dresses she wants to wear, but when we go out together she does -- Listen to me, I can bend her ear and I can bend her wrist gently into the right dress.
KING: Are many of these models, frankly, divas?
TALLEY: Yes. Naomi Campbell is a diva when it's required but Naomi Campbell is also one of the most giving people that you could ever meet. Kate Moss, the icon, Kate Moss is extraordinary. If you can get Kate Moss on a down day, with her kid, her child, you can get Kate Moss not on, you've got a great moment. I have had great moments with Kate Moss in Paris just having potofer (ph) which is like a beef stew, a French beef stew, at one of the Left Bank restaurants and just having a Saturday afternoon where it's really downtime and quality time but it's okay to be a diva. You know, Diana Ross said you've got to earn the title diva, and it's okay.
You know, Diana Ross is the in the book but she is one of the great divas and I admire her and I also think Mariah Carey is a young diva, but you know, what is divadom? It means that you believe in yourself and you have got great talent. I think this book shows that I can see talent in so many different kinds of moments and people. Anna Winter, of course, has her own chapter. She is my friend. She is my boss. So she gets the opening chapter. But there is a whole chapter on Lee Radiswell (ph), the sister of Jackie Kennedy. And you have got wonderful -- I hope, wonderful pictures of Manola Blahnik (ph), Manola Blahnik in a moment of anxiety about to create a moment in a show exhibition in London. You have got incredible pictures of people tying their shoes up with old rags. I just wanted to show people in special moments behind the scenes of fashion and in the forefront of society. I have a picture of the Duchess of Devonshire talking to Barbara Walters. That's an extraordinary picture. I am very proud of that.
I have got a fabulous picture of Tony Morrison surrounded by some of her best friends. The Nobel Prizewinner. So you see I can go from some of the fine gossamer moments of fashion to the finest moments of academe and literary nobility with Toni Morrison.
KING: Andre, one of my favorite people. It's a great work. Thanks Andre.
TALLEY: So are you, Larry. And I think you.
KING: Andre Leon Talley, editor-at-large, "Vogue." The new book, "A.L.T. 365+."
More after this.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, long a top musician and actor, new CD out, Rick Springfield. The new CD is -- there you see its cover, "The Day After Yesterday," a collection of his favorite songs from the 1980s. Fifty five years old, still rocking. What are -- are you an actor who sings or a singer who acts?
RICK SPRINGFIELD, SINGER: I'm definitely a singer first -- well, I'm a writer first. I mean, I started writing when I was about 13, 12, 13. So that's been my focus. I mean acting came along -- I'm obviously from Australia and then I came over to America to pursue my music career but it was kind of hit and miss so I went into acting to pay the light bills which was really stupid because ...
KING: You did a soap, right?
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. Yeah. But I started doing acting to make money in between gigs where all the actors were waiting tables to get acting gigs so it was pretty naive but I think it worked because I actually got some work.
KING: You don't sound Australian.
SPRINGFIELD: No, I don't. I have a couple of beers and it comes out.
KING: Tell me about the CD. Great title. "They Day After Yesterday." Is one of the songs?
SPRINGFIELD: No. Actually it's a reference to the fact that they are old songs brought up to today but it is not brand new music.
KING: Why the '80s?
SPRINGFIELD: Well, it's the '70s and '80s and it's -- doing a cover record now is certainly not an entirely original idea but I wanted to do something different so I picked songs that were known from the era that I became known in and songs that, basically songs that I wished I had written because I am a writer and they are songs that when I heard them occasionally I will here a song and go, damn, I wish I had thought of that first.
KING: That would have been a nice title, too.
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. The subtitle, definitely. So most of them are really well-known songs. There's a couple of unknown choices like there is a great Liz Wright (ph) jazz songs called "Blue Rose" and a couple of unknowns but most of them are pretty well known.
KING: Do you tour a lot?
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. We do about 100 shows a year so I really -- at the end of the '80s I took a couple years off when my sons were born because I wanted to be there and I just -- it was just a natural thing that I took time off to be with them. I became a house husband, actually, for a little while.
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. It was an amazing thing. I have an incredible bond with both my sons because of that. They are 19 and 16 and I had a great dad and it was a really meaningful thing for me to do -- My dad had just died, actually, when my sons were born so actually there was a whole -- I'm now the father and my father is gone and it was a pretty deep thing and it was a very, very amazing time for me.
KING: Have you had a tough time overcoming the ups and downs of your life?
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. I've certainly spent my time in therapy. I had about five, six years of deep, personal therapy and definitely there have been some issues, some public, some not public, but ...
KING: Mostly about relationships?
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. And I always wanted a long career.
KING: You've had that.
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. Well thank you. I've always. Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby. Those guys who went on and on and on, they've always -- those guys have always been in the back of my mind and I knew it had always been ups and downs, valleys and peaks and I certainly have had my valleys and I certainly had my peaks.
KING: What got you through the valley to the peak?
SPRINGFIELD: My -- if anything I had persistence. I tell my kids the three most important things are never give up, never give up, never give up, and I really have employed that myself through the really hard times.
KING: Does therapy help a lot?
SPRINGFIELD: Not so much. I mean, I don't think therapy -- therapy never cures anything but it makes you aware of your demons so they're not pushing you blindly. I mean, you get a push, you go, okay, that's what that is. You recognize your demons, I think, that is what therapy does.
KING: Are you happy now?
SPRINGFIELD: No, I don't think happy is a word that I could ever string ...
KING: What's a good word?
SPRINGFIELD: I'm still searching for happiness. I think about my family and I am incredibly happy. I feel a great feeling. But then I think about other things. I think about how I feel about my ups and downs in my head and I definitely had a -- It has been a battle with the demons in my head ...
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah, I definitely have had my share of depression. There is actually a song on my last record called "My Depression" that details my ...
KING: There are a lot of great drugs for that now, aren't there?
SPRINGFIELD: Less drugs ...
KING: Prescription drugs.
SPRINGFIELD: Yes. I know. I've been on and off those kinds of things. The only thing with being a writer is the Prozac and that stuff takes me into a different area so I feel I don't connect to the things that I want to right about, you know.
KING: Has it affected performance?
SPRINGFIELD: No, because when I am onstage that is a whole 'nother beast.
KING: Explain that.
SPRINGFIELD: Whole 'nother beast. Truly I could look at me onstage and go who is that? I don't recognize that person but when I am onstage it is a part of me but normally I am very -- I may not seem it now but there is a part of me -- I am the kind of guy at a party who sits in the corner with a glass of wine and doesn't really want to talk but onstage I am an absolute extrovert and that is part of me but that's the only place that comes out.
KING: Like transforms.
SPRINGFIELD: Yeah. I mean it really is -- I recognize who that is but it is not someone I am in touch with very often. It is only when I am on stage.
KING: Is it hard when you come off?
SPRINGFIELD: It stays for a little while. It kind of buzzes around me for a little while but I kind of put my glasses on and get dressed and (unintelligible)
KING: The new record is out now, right?
SPRINGFIELD: It's out July 12th. July 14th, I think.
KING: Will you be touring the summer?
KING: Great seeing you, Rick.
SPRINGFIELD: Thank you.
KING: Continued good luck.
Rick Springfield. The new record is "The Day After Yesterday." More after this.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE David Lachapelle, photographer and director of a new documentary, "Rize" about a dance style which originated on the streets of South Central, L.A.
Tommy "The Clown" Johnson, credited with created krump, also a "Rize" dancer. Miss Prissy, a "Rize" dancer and Li'l C, a "Rize" dancer. "Rize" is David's first feature film. It's getting raves. Peter Travers of "Rolling Stone" calls it a knockout, a visual miracle. First, David, how often do you get confused with David Chapelle, the comedian?
DAVID LACHAPELLE, PHOTOGRAPHER: It happens occasionally. I shot him 10 years ago. He is a great guy. We had a really good time.
KING: You're first a photographer?
LACHAPELLE: I was a photographer for 20 years, yeah. KING: And now you are a documentary filmmaker?
LACHAPELLE: I have made my first documentary, "Rize" which is opening this Friday.
KING: So you are no longer a photographer?
LACHAPELLE: I still take pictures, yes I do, but I have been doing music videos for a long time. In fact, that's how I came across my subject, which was I was doing a music video for Christine Aguilera called "Dirrty" and backstage we were holding all the dancers and they were dancing, wilding out and I said I need to see more of this and so I drove down to the hood and we pulled up in front of this little ghetto strip mall, and this is South Central, which is 45 minutes from L.A., might as well be another country because it is so distant, so ...
KING: (unintelligible) in L.A.?
LACHAPELLE: Coors (ph) in L.A. and it is so different from what we have here and there is no reason to ever go down there if you live in Hollywood because there is nothing there. And I found -- Everybody talks about the ghetto and the oppression and the lack -- but I discovered treasures.
KING: All right. Tommy, you live in South Central?
TOMMY "THE CLOWN" JOHNSON, DANCER: Yes, I do.
KING: How did you get involved with "Rize"?
JOHNSON: Well, you know, I got involved in it as far as starting off as a party clown ..
KING: You would play clowns at parties?
JOHNSON: Yeah, I was actually a hip hop dancing clown. I took the clown twist to another level and I created a clown movement, Tommy and the Hip Hop Clowns that grew into the evolvement of krumping which is credited with Little C, the creator, and Miss Prissy Tie Dyes (ph), just like they took the style as being my crew and it worked -- what we used to do as far as going out to parties is taking it where they went and take it to these homes where if the kids can go to parties they can do the dancing at home ...
KING: So you're inclusive. What is "Rize," Miss Prissy?
MISS PRISSY, DANCER: Well, Rize is basically coming out of any situation that is kind of holding you and chaining you down. I feel like in our situation we rose from the negativity that was in our neighborhood. I mean, everyone in our society expects that every child of African American descent or Latin American descent should be athletes and we created a new style for those kids that needed another alternative.
KING: How would you describe the kind of dance it is? PRISSY: It is very African-oriented and it is also -- It is very emotional. A lot of people think, oh, it looks like you guys are having a seizure but in actuality, I remember the first time I showed my mother, she was like, I don't want you doing that, I don't know what that is, but when she saw my passion and my drive behind it, she had no choice but to accept it.
KING: Did you like it right away, Li'l C?
LI'L C, DANCER: Oh yeah. It is pretty aggressive, when you see it visually, but it is the greatest alternative to dealing with turmoil, anguish, that you incur on an everyday basis.
KING: Do you perform it for audiences?
C: Well, as of lately we have been but it's basically in an inner circle. We created it within our neighborhoods so what we call the Krump session. We would go and get krump and it would be in neighborhoods and streets in Compton and in South Central and living rooms where there is nothing but love and just ...
KING: ... source of income ...
LACHAPELLE: No, I found them dancing in the parking lot behind a store. It's a ground.
KING: Where does the music come from?
LACHAPELLE: It can be from a boom box. And everyone starts dancing ...
KING: There's no money ...
LACHAPELLE: This is no way to make money. This is a way to create art. And when I grew up I had every art program through up on me and I just assumed when I saw them dancing that they had seen African art, that they had had that in schools. Because they were painting their faces like African warriors and they were doing a dance that looked to me so similar to African art. So I put in archival footage into the film and when I first showed it to them everyone was flipping out. They were punching their fists in the air, oh my God, where did you get the idea to put in the African footage and I said, it was your idea.
And one of the characters, Dragon, in the film, says it's in our blood and this is an ancestral dance, it's a spiritual dance, it's not just a dance trend, it's a lifestyle.
KING: Will there be a show at some time, Tommy? Will it lead to a show on stage performing where you make money?
JOHNSON: That was almost -- It's already been going on and it is a show that when you see inside the movie, you are going to see the greatest when it comes to dance battles, you are going to see the greatest show on earth.
KING: So you make money with that?
JOHNSON: Yes -- You -- We try ...
PRISSY: We've lost money ...
JOHNSON: We attempt being kids without sponsors, without backing, we promote the show ourselves, and we tell each other we got to do the best and promote and get people dancing ...
KING: Because that's going to change ...
LACHAPELLE: The most uncommercial thing that you've seen and the watch (ph) thing that you see. And when I say I put them in the video, we didn't want to use the kids in the video, it just led me to go find them in the ghetto and it took me three years to make this documentary and the dance crews had never seen anything like that it. I didn't think bodies could move like that. But when you learn their stories, it gets even more incredible.
KING: Who came up with the name?
PRISSY: David did.
LACHAPELLE: I had to sell them on it.
PRISSY: Because we were so like, "Rize"? But then when he explained everything and blueprinted it out, everything -- it was like a puzzle ...
KING: What do you do for a living, Li'l C.?
C: I'm a professional dancer as well as a choreographer. So this is right up my ally.
KING: Tommy, you do the clowns?
JOHNSON: Yes, I do a birthday party for kids, I keep the kids coming and getting them out to entertain the great spirit moving throughout the inner city.
KING: Miss Prissy, what do you do?
PRISSY: I'm also a professional dancer.
PRISSY: Working -- I'm on tour with the gays (ph) and Snoop Dogg.
KING: Well you are?
PRISSY: Yes. KING: Still live in South Central?
C: Yes, as we all do.
KING: What's it like as a neighborhood?
C: Crimeridden. Just ....
KING: You want to get out?
C: Of course you dream of getting out and what you have to realize, and you will see through the film as we all will see as cast members as sitting back and looking at our visual testimony that our struggle is what makes us special so if we hadn't come up and grew up where we had grown up we wouldn't be where we are today.
KING: You were a coke dealer, right?
KING: We are going to do all we can to help this group. I am excited to see it myself. We'll be showing it to you. This is going to get a lot of awards. Change David Lachapelle's life, right?
LACHAPELLE: It's the most inspiring thing I have ever seen and when I said that I found riches, I don't mean that as a sound bite, they had something there and the place we call the ghetto was a place -- here we are in the land of plenty and what I found was there was dance in the streets and joy and camaraderie, taking each other under their wings and creating a family and an art form.
KING: We're going to do more on this. "Rize," thank you very much.
We'll be back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's a stripper dance?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what is a stripper dance came from, it just jumped into the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day, I didn't even know. I went to a party and that was like the new dance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stripper dance is when you open both of your legs and you bend like this and then you (unintelligible) like that, but it really (unintelligible).
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE an old friend, a terrific guy, Ron Shaw, the president and CEO of Pilot Pen Corporation of America. That's a Japanese company. He heads it. I had the honor or writing the foreword to this book, balled, "Pilot Your Life -- How to Create the Career You Want."
Ron went from being a standup comic to being an executive of a major company. What made that transition? How did that happen?
RON SHAW, CEO, PILOT PEN CORP. OF AMERICA: Well, it happened only because I guess we were hungry. And I really don't mean that as a bad joke. You know how uncertain show biz is, and you're working Miami tonight and Atlanta next week and lay off for 10 days. And it was just such an uncertain thing, I decided when the first of our three children came along that, you know, it's time to get a real job and time to do something else.
So my wife found an ad and -- we were living in Miami, and my wife found an ad in the Miami Herald, and I answered the ad. and it turned out to be for the Bic Pen Company, which is where I spent the first 14 years of my pen career. And applied for the job; got the job. And 44 years later, here we are.
KING: You're one of only six Americans ever to serve on the board of directors of a publicly-held Japanese company. What's it like? And I know you write about it in the book, and you deal with how people can create their own careers. A terrific read, as I said. What's it like to work for a Japanese company, running a major enterprise?
SHAW: Larry, it's different. You know, there's such a cultural difference between we Americans and the Japanese. And who's to say that we're right, they're wrong. You just have to be respectful of their ways of doing thing. And it is indeed very, very different.
So you bow instead of shaking hands. And you drink a lot of green tea. And you learn to drink some sake. And I've been over there 65 times now, and it's a fascination every time I go and we learn more and more about the culture with every visit.
KING: Do they allow you a lot of your own thinking?
SHAW: They really do. And I have been so fortunate. I have read so many stories and I have talked to so many Americans who have been involved with a Japanese company, and they just don't get a chance to do it their way. I just had my 30th anniversary with Pilot, and it has been a marvelous opportunity for me to be able to do things my way.
They brought me here from another pen company. And I said at the time, and I didn't mean it to be cocky in any way, but I said, look, I know the pen business, and you don't have a business here. You've got a million dollars a year in America. Let me do what I think is the right thing. Leave me alone. And they did. And we're approaching $200 million this year. So it worked. KING: When you say "How to Create the Career You Want," do one create a career?
SHAW: Well, I think, you know, Yogi used to have that great line, you know, when you get to a fork in the road, take it. Well, when you get to a fork in the road in business, you need to make a decision. You need to find out which is the way for you to go, and not to be afraid to go. Sometimes it's remolding yourself. Sometimes it's making something out of your current career that's going to take you into a different area. I made up my mind when I was a kid in Miami. I'm going to be in show business all my life. I went from piano playing to telling jokes. Telling jokes was what I was most comfortable with. That's all I'm ever going to do.
Ending up in the pen business. What could be more different? But you make that career. You make a decision, and you're going to go the way that you think is going to be successful.
KING: Do all the successful ones take risks?
SHAW: I don't know that they do. I have. I have never been afraid to take a risk. I came to Pilot Pen and decided to do an advertising campaign that was like nothing that had ever been done in the pen business before. I said, let's use humor. It wasn't because I came out of the world of comedy. But humor creates recall. Humor creates retention. And how are we going to get the name Pilot into the minds of the consumer? And I just felt that that was the way to go, and I wasn't afraid of it. And if I made a mistake, okay, pick myself up and dust myself off and go out and try something else.
KING: And right here I have my Dr. Grip.
SHAW: Oh, you're wonderful.
KING: In my hand every night because it feels great. Dr. Grip. Was it invented by a doctor?
SHAW: Well, yes, it was. It really was. It was a guy who came in off the street one day at our Tokyo headquarters, and like so many people who come in, I have perfuming pens, and I have pens shaped like rifles. you could sell them at Gettysburg. And on and on it goes. And so here's a guy that comes in one day, and he said I had this wonderful idea for a pen for people who have arthritic hands, where it hurts to write. And we tried it and we looked at it, and we said hey, this guy's for real. And the rest is history. A strange name in America, by the way -- Dr. Grip -- but it worked.
KING: I don't have arthritic hands, but it feels great to write with this pen.
SHAW: It really does. It's very comfortable. And you know the strange thing, Larry. This pen, designed for older people, people who have problems with their hands, it caught on at the college level. Kids in college latched onto the Dr. Grip product. And they have been buying it in records numbers. It's our second-best-selling pen, and it's not the least expensive pen in our line either. KING: You ought to be very proud of this book. I salute you on it.
SHAW: It's a book that -- thank you, Larry. And I thank you again for doing the foreword. It's a book for young people looking for their way in life. It's a book for the executive who maybe he's not sure how to do what we're doing right now, how to do an interview, how to dress. A lot of things in this book, including a bit of humor, a little bit of biographical data, but most of it is a how-to book.
KING: And it's a good read.
KING: Thank you, Ron.
SHAW: It's a pleasure to be with you Larry.
KING: Ron Shaw. The book, "Pilot Your Life: How to Create the Career You Want." And I wrote the foreword.
And we'll be back with more. Don't go away.
KING: There's a terrific new book out. It's "Mafia Summer -- The Ballad of Sidney Butcher." There you see its cover. The author is E. Duke Vincent, the veteran TV writer and producer. It's his first novel. He's produced and written thousands of hours of television, part of it with Aaron Spelling. Had one of the most successful careers ever. Didn't need this for income, so why did you write it?
E. DUKE VINCENT, WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Actually, there are a couple of reasons, Larry. One is, I thought it was kind of part of the American story. I mean, here was a kid, myself, I grew up with one leg in New Jersey...
KING: It's an autobiographical novel.
VINCENT: It's semi-autobiographical. I had one leg in New Jersey; one leg in Hell's Kitchen. I ran with the Hell's Kitchen street gang. I met a young Jewish boy who turned my entire life around. I managed to go to college, become a Naval aviator, fly with the Blue Angels and wind up with Aaron Spelling as vice chairman of a major entertainment company. Only in America.
KING: Would you have been the Mafia don without that boy?
VINCENT: I could -- well, I don't know if I would have been a don, but I certainly would have -- I certainly probably...
KING: Could have gone to crime.
VINCENT: Yeah, I could have gone that way easily if it wasn't for him. KING: Eddie Cantor said once, the only difference between him and Louie Lepke is, he could sing.
VINCENT: That's a very good point.
KING: So he didn't have to steal apples. They gave him money for it.
What happened with this kid, this guy who changed your life?
VINCENT: Well, what happened was, as I say in the book, it all starts when a tough 18-year-old Sicilian who runs a Hell's Kitchen street gang meets a shy, very sickly, brilliant young Orthodox Jewish boy, who moves in across the hall in the tenement in Hell's Kitchen where they live. It's an unusual friendship. But they bond. And the Sicilian becomes the protector, and the young Jewish boy becomes the tutor. And that's how it all started. And that's how -- Shakespeare used to say life turns on a feather. That was the feather mine turned on. That part of the story is true.
KING: How did you make that transition from -- by the way, why haven't you written a novel before?
VINCENT: Well, because, you know, I've been involved in television with Aaron, as you know, for 28 years. And although -- it just never seemed like there was time. There were two men in my life. One was -- Herbie Simon and Bobby -- Bobby Smith. Bobby one day came to me and he said, you got to write this novel. I've been hearing these stories all along. Herbie said you got to write it, you got to write it.
But finally one day, Bobby came to me and he said, look, I got cancer. I'm dying. I want to read the novel before I die. And I went, Oh, my God. Don't do that to me. Jesus. So I said, Okay, fine. So I sat down. I wrote a first draft in three months. And Bobby read it before he died. So that was a great accomplishment.
KING: Going to be a movie?
VINCENT: I hope so. I would like to see it as a movie.
KING: What does Aaron think?
KING: Aaron thinks it should be a movie. But I don't want to do it. I don't think he should do it. We're too close.
KING: Right, it's too close to the forest for the trees.
VINCENT: I think so.
KING: You know, you started as a TV writer. Became -- you were with the Blue Angels. Right? I mean, you did everything.
VINCENT: Well, that's not everything, but I had a very, very fortunate life. As I said earlier, only in America.
KING: You were part of the conception of Gomer Pyle, right?
VINCENT: Not the conception. I actually wrote and produced the fifth year of that show. Aaron Rubin created. And...
KING: But you're involved in 80 TV series, including Beverly Hills 90210, Dynasty, Hotel, Melrose Place, Models Inc., 7th Heaven.
VINCENT: Yes. And Charmed.
KING: Why did you choose a television career?
VINCENT: Well, I started in television really -- not really being in television. In 1960, when I joined the Blue Angels, NBC and Sam Glue (ph) were doing 26 half-hours called "The Blue Angels." We flew all the aerial stuff, obviously, and actors played our parts. But what happened was one of the writers was in fact an ex-Blue Angel. And I started working on scripts with him. And I kind of got excited about it. And I said, you know, maybe one day I can do this.
KING: Did you -- are you good at forecasting hits? Like did you know Dynasty would make it?
VINCENT: Larry, if I knew that, they'd lock me in a closet and never let me out. No, I did not know. I -- as a matter of fact, my record -- Aaron's record is very good. My record is terrible.
KING: What do you mean?
VINCENT: Aaron has --
KING: For picking?
VINCENT: Yeah, for picking. He has a great sense of what the American public wants at given moment in time. I mean, going back all the way back to the days of Charlie Angels, before I joined him, and then right up until, as you said, 90210 and Charmed and 7th Heaven, and we now have a new series on this year on TNT called Wanted. So he's still active. He still knows what he's doing. And he's still terrific.
KING: At one time, you guys were ABC, right?
VINCENT: We were. We had seven shows on the air at one point.
KING: With the success of this and the good reviews -- and it is, folks, a terrific read --
VINCENT: Thank you.
KING: -- going to do another one?
VINCENT: Well, they want another one. And actually, publishers are very interesting, as you well know. They said, you wrote "Mafia Summer," how about doing spring, autumn and winter.
VINCENT: I said, okay, fine. We'll take a shot. KING: What happened to the Jewish boy?
VINCENT: The Jewish boy is no longer with us, unfortunately. He could've been somebody. He could've been anybody he wanted. If he was a violinist, he would've been Yitzhak Perlman in my mind. If he was a mathematician, he could have -- he was brilliant. He had an IQ of 170, Larry.
KING: Die young?
VINCENT: Yes, very young.
VINCENT: He -- you'll have to read the book.
KING: I read the book. But I want --
VINCENT: You want to tell the audience?
KING: You don't want to tell the audience?
VINCENT: No, I will tell the audience. He got beat up. And I couldn't save him. It was one of those things that just on that day, it just didn't work. It didn't happen. But I'll never forget him.
KING: By the way, why didn't you and your partner come up with Desperate Housewives?
VINCENT: Oh my God. Think about it. We should have, shouldn't we.
KING: That's right up --
VINCENT: It definitely was right down our alley.
KING: -- that seems like your kind of production.
VINCENT: Yep. We blew it. It's a great show.
KING: This is a great book.
VINCENT: Thank you, sir.
KING: Write more.
VINCENT: Thank you, Larry.
KING: E. Duke Vincent. On my say-so, read "Mafia Summer -- The Ballad of Sidney Butcher." You won't put it down.
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