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As interviewed by Jimmy Scalia, Official Darin Archivist


JS: When did you meet Bobby, what was your first impression and what do you think his first impression was of you?

SB: Where did I meet Bobby? I don't remember. I think Harriet Wasser introduced him to me and I had no particular impression and I have no idea what his impression of me was. However, the next time I met him, was when I signed him to the agency that I was an agent at, General Artists Corporation. And then I decided to go see him the first time he had a booking. And he just stunned me. Not by what he was singing, because he was doing rock and roll, but how he had the command of the stage. He was unbelievable.

JS: How did you become his manager?

SB: He asked me to manage him at some point and I was then working for GAC in Calif. and I said no. I didn't think I knew enough, I'd only been in the business a short time. Then I left the agency and went to work for a movie producer and I decided this wasn't working out. And so I called him and said if you still want me to manage you, okay.

JS: Did Bobby ever get to meet Frank Sinatra?

SB: Yes.

JS: Any follow up?

SB: There had been all this publicity about Bobby and Sinatra, which was a figment of the press' imagination. And to straighten it out, I arranged a meeting for the two of them at Frank's office in Beverly Hills.

JS: Do you think Frank Sinatra was his biggest musical influence? Or was there someone you feel was more of an influence musically to Bobby?

SB: Well, there are a bunch of influences. Actually, Frank, Jolson, Bing Crosby. There may have been some others, but there was no one person.

JS: What is your favorite performance of Bobby's (either a song, concert or show)?

SB: It would have to be the hour and ten minutes which is now out on video, DVD, release by Questar and also playing on some PBS stations.

JS: Will you ever write a book about Bobby?

SB: No.

JS: What do you want people to know most about Bobby?

SB: That he covered more bases than any other performer in the history of the business and did them all well.

JS: This is a 2 part question, so. What was the best part of being such a great friend of Bobby Darin, and what means the most to you as you look back?

SB: What was the first part of the question?

JS: Well, the first part was "what is the best part of being such a great friend of Bobby Darin?"

SB: That I was connected to genius.

JS: What means the most to you as you look back?

SB: Well, I can only explain it by the fact that after I managed Bobby, I went and sort of ran Screen Gems, the television subsidiary of Columbia, and then went on to make movies, such as "Easy Rider," "Five Easy Pieces," and "The Last Picture Show," and none of it, NONE of it, came close to the time I had with Bobby.

JS: A 3 part question, but it's tiny, and I find it kind of amusing. Do you play chess, did you ever play with Bobby and who won the most?

SB: Yes. I played with Bobby once. And he was about to beat me when I deliberately stood up and on purpose knocked the table, and all the chess pieces were knocked off the board and I would never play him again.

JS: What is the legacy of Bobby Darin, musically, and as an actor and songwriter?

SB: Honesty.

JS: Next and last question, Mr. Blauner. This is the 500 point bonus question. How do you think the fans and the press, radio, TV and newspapers, should commemorate the 30th anniversary of Bobby's passing?

SB: Playing his music or writing about his life.


 

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