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How Not To Interview A Megastar!

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andy-hughes | 20:26 Sun 24th Jan 2021 | Music
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This film is fascinating, because Jimmy Page is so erudite and charming and absolutely loved by the audience.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=(263)+Jimmy+Page+On+His+Spectacular+Life+and+Career%2c+Interviewed+by+Jeff+Koons+-+YouTube&docid=608049936731472151&mid=941218067B04C90B68C1941218067B04C90B68C1&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Jeff Koons on the other hand, is an utter embarassment!

His questions ramble and often don;t make sense, he mutters and sighs under his breath, and is clearly not listening clearly to what Jimmy is saying - at one point Jimmy says "If i could just tell that story ..." but Koonz is so inept as an interviwer, he sweeps on, and an interesting story is lost.

I am not saying interviewing is rocket science, but as someone who has done it for more than forty years, I do know the skills involved - and when I am seeing someone who clearly does not possess them.

The nadir is when Koons refers to an image projected on the screen at 49.57, and he refers to Jimmy 'tuning his guitar ...'.

Point one, if you look at the image, it is clearly NOT Jimmy Page, but a member of the road crew, complete with tour jacket.

Point two - when you reach the level that Led Zeppelin had - you don't tune your own guitars backstage, you have a a personal technician who does that for you.

Koons burbles on about Jimmy 'tuning his guitar' and Page, ever the gentleman, is too polite to correct him.

the interview is great - if you can ignore Koons' rambling and sighing and lack of interest.

Any fans out there?

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what on Earth is the idea behind that? Would they send Damien Hirst out to interview Beyoncé? Sounds like a damfool idea from the very start.
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jno - // what on Earth is the idea behind that? Would they send Damien Hirst out to interview Beyoncé? Sounds like a damfool idea from the very start. //

I'm unsure of the reasoning, but it's clear that Koons not only doesn't have a clue how to interview someone, but he also can't recognise a guitar tech from Jimmy Page on a photograph!!!

As I pointed out, interviewing is not a huge skill, but it is a skill, and there are tricks and aspects to doing it properly, and clearly Koons has none of them.

I would die for an opportunity like that - I don't sigh audibly or mutter when my interviewee is talking, and I do my flamin' research in advance as well!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanx Andrew. Im a big zep fan.
Im sure i can live with the sheet interviewer.
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piggy - // Thanx Andrew. Im a big zep fan.
Im sure i can live with the sheet interviewer. //

You probably will not even notice how inept Koons is, but it's like anything else, if you do something yourself, and have tried very hard over a very long time to do it well, you get seriously irked when someone steps in at the top level because of fame in a totally unrelated area, and does what you could do, but does it embarrassingly badly.
Reminds me of the famous Russell Harty / David Bowie interview (perhaps "car crash" would describe it better)
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Ellipsis - // Reminds me of the famous Russell Harty / David Bowie interview (perhaps "car crash" would describe it better) //

Absolutely - a case of the ego of the presenter, and the desire to try and appear cooler than his guest (as if!!!) getting in the way of what could have been a really interesting exchange.

The thing is, I have always believed that if any musician at whatever level - and I have talked to musicians at every level - is willing to give up their time to talk to you, common courtesy is to research and know about the subject, ask pertinent questions, and then shut the hell up while they answer, on the sound basis that the viewer, or magazine buyer (in most of my cases) is actually more likely to want to hear what the subject has to say, rather than what I may bring to the table.

A cardinal rule - always ALWAYS have questions properly prepared and in front of you, because some people will answer a question and simply look at you until you ask the next one - but if the conversation goes 'off piste' and you are going to get something interesting, then have the sense to go with it, and not ignore your subject's willingness to open up about something - as Koons very obviously did.
I cant really comment til ive seen the whole interview.
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piggy - I hope you will come back when you have watched it - I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about it.
I watched about 15mins of it. And its quite clear that koons is in awe of Jimmy Page. So if he really is a big fan it mustve been hard to be professional and patient. Anyway ill give you my full opinion soon.
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piggy - // I watched about 15mins of it. And its quite clear that koons is in awe of Jimmy Page. So if he really is a big fan it mustve been hard to be professional and patient. //

No - you have to subsume your own awe and admiration - I have done it loads of times - but that's not my main criticism -

If you are doing an interview that is going to be broadcast, you have to learn all your natural reaction tics, saying "Ummm ... ", cutting across what your subject is saying, and the most cardinal of all - don;t say "Yeah yeah yeah yeah ...." - because it indicates that you think what your subject is saying is not of interest, so they should actually shut up or, and this is worse, that you are just waiting for the subject to stop talking so you can take over the conversation again. Clive Anderson is a twenty-four carrat version of that.

Oh, and learn that every little sound you make, even subconciously, is broadcast over your mic to the audience, so by the time you get to interview Jimmy Page, you are sufficiently experienced to have got all your subconcious noises under control and silenced ... OR NOT!!!
It's not something I'd like to watch to be honest because it sounds painful. I agree with you that if the interviewer doesn't do their job properly either because they're inept, don't know who they're interviewing, or think the it's all about them, then it can be a car crash.

Why on earth is Jeff Koons involved?
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tomus - // Why on earth is Jeff Koons involved? //

That remains a total mystery.

He's fortunate that Jimmy Page is too much of a gentleman to point out - even when the subject is referred to again - that the guitar tech tuning Jimmy's guitar is not Jimmy - because stadium level guitarists don't tune their own guitars in view of their audiences!!!
Hi Andy, I watched bits and pieces and the bit about the phltograh.
I take your points.
Jimmy is a real gentleman, and Koons is like plastic. All show and no substance.
To be honest it made me feel embarrassed.
It's not a mystery - Koons was doing the artwork for Page's album.
Question Author
Theland - // Hi Andy, I watched bits and pieces and the bit about the phltograh.
I take your points.
Jimmy is a real gentleman, and Koons is like plastic. All show and no substance.
To be honest it made me feel embarrassed. //

I think it speaks to Jimmy Page's courtesy and consideration that he tolerated being spoken to by such a buffoon - millionaire artist or not - and it's clear to see who is who in this film.
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Chinakan - // It's not a mystery - Koons was doing the artwork for Page's album. //

If you watch the last bit - Koons effectively 'pitches' for a chance to do artwork for Page's next album - and Page again is courteous enough to humour him.

There has been no album so far - Jimmy Page's last commercial album was in 2000.
andy-kughes I know. But that was the reason for the interview, which is what I was answering.

I'm a fan of Page and Led Zep but I suspect his interviews always carry a bar on any questions about a certain...situation.
I feel this is the best Jimmy Page interview ever..Thankyou

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Until I interview him Roy!!!

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