Catching Up With David Buskin & Robin Batteau, Plus Brigsby Bear and Eileen Carey Premieres

Catching Up With David Buskin & Robin Batteau, Plus Brigsby Bear and Eileen Carey Premieres
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


<p><em>Brigsby Bear--Original Motion Picture Soundtrack</em></p>

Brigsby Bear--Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Brigsby Bear--Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album cover

From Brigsby Bear Adventures—a children's television show produced for an audience of one, James (Kyle Mooney)—comes the exclusive “You’re My Friend,” a song featured on Brigsby Bear—Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, composed by David Wingo (Midnight Special, All the Real Girls). Breaking the fourth wall, when the show abruptly ends, James' life changes forever and he sets out to finish the story himself.

According to the film’s soundtrack composer, David Wingo...

“There was a lot of discussion as to how much the score should have in common with the kitschy ’80s kid show music from Brigsby Bear, the show. It made a lot of sense that with his single-minded obsession with the show as well as the fact that it's basically the only ‘culture’ he was ever exposed to that if the music was to mirror him, then it needed to maybe share something in common with the Brigsby music.”

Both the soundtrack and the Dave McCrary-directed film are released today.

<p>l to r: Robin Batteau, David Buskin</p>

l to r: Robin Batteau, David Buskin

photo credit: Marshal Rosenberg

A Conversation with David Buskin and Robin Batteau

Mike Ragogna: It seems like Buskin & Batteau have been an institution since the dawn of humanity. David and Robin, when did you meet?

David Buskin: I met Robin...when did we meet? '76?

Robin Batteau: I think it was at a Mary Travers gig in Cambridge.

DB: That's right, I think we have a picture of that, with Bob McCarthy and Mary Travers. It was upstairs, I think it was called The Performance Center or something like that, on Boston Street.

RB: That's right. It was a couple of blocks from Passim, which became our home base. It was a nice joint. It was a shame it didn't go on longer. That performance center was a good place.

DB: Then we met for real with Pierce Arrow in the seventies.

<p>Pierce Arrow / <em>Pierce Arrow</em></p>

Pierce Arrow / Pierce Arrow

Pierce Arrow album cover

MR: So you're a spin-off of Pierce Arrow?

DB: Oh, absolutely. We met in Pierce Arrow. We both hated the band. We found common ground in that and then we also realized that we were having fun in the afternoon when we were on the road, just goofing around, playing songs, writing songs in the motels. We said, "Hey, this is more fun than the rock 'n' roll band, so we started doing that.

MR: How did you guys get into Pierce Arrow? Who put you together?

RB: It was actually a corporate decision. Somebody up at Columbia Records wanted a competitor for The Eagles who were kicking everybody's butts in record sales. They thought that they could put together kind of an east coast Eagles. They talked to John Scher, who became our manger, and Hank Medress, who was my publisher. They gathered together Jeff Kent and Doug Lubahn, who John Scher was managing, and me and Marshal Rosenberg the percussionist, Bobby Chouinard—great rock 'n' roll drummer...

DB: And Werner Fritzsching.

RB: Werner Fritzsching, an awesome electric guitar player, and seventeen other guys whose names I can't remember. Jeff said, "We need another keyboard player who also can play some guitar." Marshal said, "Hey, I know a guy." David Buskin walked in and he was perfect.

DB: I've never forgiven Marshall for that.

RB: [laughs] Marshal has been playing percussion with us ever since. Basically, we peeled him off the mat after Pierce Arrow as well. I think '76 was right for Pierce Arrow to get going.

DB: We made two albums—one in '77 and one in '78—and by that time, Robin and I were disillusioned. Needless to say, we did not quite fulfill Columbia's hopes of us challenging The Eagles.

RB: On our first tour, opening for The Kinks and The Doobie Brothers, Jeff Kent broke his neck in a swimming pool accident and that kind of let the air out of the balloon and destroyed all momentum. We tried to carry on but it just wasn't the same.

DB: Yeah, we hired seven or eight more guys.

RB: It was kind of doomed. They let us make another album but it didn't have the same energy behind it. So that was that. Jeff, by the way, survived. He was in traction for six months, lost a hundred pounds, but came back strong and had a very good career writing songs and producing songs and jingles. He just passed away last year of cancer.

MR: So how did you guys spin off?

DB: The band was dissolving. Robin and I knew we liked playing together, and I had a friend call me up who was a minister and he said, "I've got five thousand kids coming into the Hartford Civic Center next month and I need somebody to entertain them for an hour and a half. I said, "Are you kidding? Let me see." I said to Robin, "If you can do a half-hour of your stuff and I'll do a half-hour of my stuff, then we can fake it for a half hour, do some Everly Brothers, do a couple of tunes we wrote..." In those days, Robin never said, "No," to anything. In fact, he still doesn't.

RB: [laughs]

DB: So we went in there and it was really fun. Then we started getting gigs. It was a lot easier to get gigs in those days. Also, we were in that charmed circle of people who, even though we didn't have a record deal at that time as Buskin and Batteau, we were among the subset of musicians that had had a record deal. With technology today, everybody has their own record deal. You walk down Broadway and seven out of ten people who pass you just released a CD. It was slightly more a charmed company kind of deal. We were able to get gigs, is what I'm trying to say, so we started doing it.

RB: And basically, two places became our home bases: The Bottom Line in New York and Passim in Cambridge. We'd be playing there a couple of times a year, several days at a gig and just having a great time.

DB: Also the old Birchmere in Maryland, outside of D.C, and Virginia, Alexandria.

MR: You became a part of the New York City singer-songwriter scene, like many of your contemporaries such as Aztec Two-Step, Jim Dawson, Steve Forbert...

DB: Sure, there was all the Fast Folk people around too that put out a monthly CD and a magazine; Jack Hardy and Christine Lavin...

MR: ...and Suzanne Vega.

DB: Yeah. And Robin's secretary at the time, who he hired as a favor, Shawn Colvin.

MR: Holy cow. And then that New York folk scene changed. Clubs stopped paying and seemed like the beginning of the end.

DB: [laughs] Even when they paid, it was little enough that it didn't make much of a difference whether you got paid or not.

MR: Exactly. But it ushered in that cynical, "Just bring in your crowd and you'll get to play here, maybe you’ll get some of the door."

DB: As far as the folk scene was concerned, it was after the start of it—the boom in the sixties and early seventies. It was something different, but nobody knew quite what. I have to say, when it comes to terms of paying, Allan Pepper at The Bottom Line always paid us.

MR: Yeah, he was an amazing club owner. What was your creative process like?

RB: It was a little like a conversation. We just sat there with a couple of guitars and started playing something, and then one element agrees with another, then it disagrees and says, "That's a stupid chord," and then we change things. We start talking the lyrics and making rhymes. Some of the lyrics we agree on, some we say, "We can't be that stupid," and so we change them. We had a very comfortable time doing it. It was great.

DB: I'm sure you've collaborated; it's alchemy. It's either there or it isn't. Once you've done it a few times, you know when you hit something. You know when you strike gold. Then it's just filling in the blanks.

<p>Buskin & Batteau / <em>B&B</em></p>

Buskin & Batteau / B&B

Buskin & Batteau's B&B album cover

MR: On about how many projects have you guys collaborated?

DB: Jeez, I don't know. What do we have, about half a dozen albums?

RB: ...and a couple of solo albums each. Bert Holman, who's the manager of The Allman Brothers, he was our co-manager with John Scher, but he's been their manager for thirty years or so. He said we were like the first DIY band because we were making our own cassettes and selling them off the stage before anybody, and then we made LPs and CDs.

DB: We were so dumb. We made our first CD and we were talking to the art guy who said, "What do you want to do?" I said, "Take the art from the cassette and just slap it on to the CD." We had the first CD that said, "Side one" and listed songs and "Side two" and listed songs. Once I realized what we'd done, I had the vision of people turning it over and saying, "These guys ripped us off, there's no side two!"

<p>Robin Batteau / <em>Voices From The Hole In The Wall</em></p>

Robin Batteau / Voices From The Hole In The Wall

Robin Batteau's Voices From The Hole In The Wall album cover
<p>David Buskin / <em>He Used To Treat Her</em></p>

David Buskin / He Used To Treat Her

David Buskin's He Used To Treat Her album cover

MR: [laughs] You guys remastered it going from cassette to disc, right?

DB: I don't know what the hell we did. We're as likely to get it wrong as right. But the main thing was just get it done.

MR: You mentioned John Scher thought you were possibly the first DIY group.

DB: We weren't the first. Other people were doing it but we were kind of all learning at the same time. This was before technology really exploded in the eighties. It was pretty primitive. We mostly functioned around live performances. That was the center of what we were doing. Once we hooked up with Tom Rush, I don't remember the year...

RB: ...I think it was '79 because we did Stompin' '79.

DB: Oh, that's right. We found a really comfortable niche with Tom because we would open the shows and then we would be his backup band. It was a lot of fun and he was working a lot, so we worked a lot. Robin always liked recording better than I did. I just thought it was something we had to do. I liked performing live better.

MR: You guys still create together but what are your thoughts about what's going on in 2017 versus maybe some of the earlier days with Buskin & Batteau?

RB: It's interesting. Anybody can make an album now on their Mac. You don't need a studio. Also people are so used to just buying from iTunes. There's no object. In fact, an album won a Grammy this year where there wasn't any CD, just iTunes and the like. I guess that's the way of the world these days.

DB: Look, I'm in my seventies. I'm approaching the threshold of middle age. [laughs] My mantra is, "If it ain't fun, why bother?" I wrote a musical with Jake Holmes over the last nine years. The reason it took nine years is because we didn't have any idea how to write a musical and we still don't know if we figured it out. But we're tired of writing so we're going to try to get it produced. The stuff that I write, I've been working a lot with my daughter Sophie and she's wonderful. It's all about having fun doing it now. Once you've gained a certain mastery of your craft and you have choices, then it's just what floats your boat.

MR: Like what Duncan Sheik did. He evolved from just singer-songwriter to writing musicals on Broadway.

DB: Yeah, any door that opens. If it seems like it'll be interesting to walk through, go ahead. Why not?

MR: Yeah, whereas the past paradigm was, "We're going into the studio to make a hit."

DB: "We're going to be stars and we're going to play in front of fifteen-thousand people and have the cover of the Rolling Stone." Partly there's not the same small Olympian group of superstars anymore. It's like a hundred thousand little niche markets. I tell my daughter, "Soph, I'd love to help you with the music business, but I didn't really understand it when I understood it. Now, forget it."

MR: Looking back at that era I still romanticize it, but so many just knocked their heads against the wall to “make it,” me included.

DB: That's what happens a lot of the time, unfortunately. Don't feel like The Lone Ranger.

MR: Well, how did you view the industry at the time and how do you view that time period now?

DB: It's always what you can drum up for yourself or what presents itself, but the attitude is different. I can only speak for myself, but in the back of my mind, whatever I was doing, I always felt this: "You've got to do more, you've got to do better, you've got to be bigger. You're not making it." That was the pall of frustration and sadness over everything. Now it's the same kind of activity. I do projects as they present themselves or if I figure something out. But now, I don't have that self-flagellating train of thought. Maybe I have a remnant of it. "You're not doing enough, it's not good enough." A lot of the great gigs that Robin and I have done in the last I don't know how many years have been through people we knew who were doing charity concerts. Our friend, the actor James Naughton, got Robin involved in Paul Newman's Hole In The Wall camp and he did a bunch of those and then he got me involved in them, writing special material for big stars. We didn't get paid for that but it was an awful lot of fun.

MR: So your viewpoint is more mature now?

DB: [laughs] One would hope. My wife would disagree.

MR: Guys, what advice do you have for new artists?

RB: The thought that came to mind was, "Work for yourself." Record for yourself. Do something that you think is really cool and then float it out on YouTube and flog all your friends to watch it. Don't hide your light under a bushel. Bust your butt to get everybody you know to watch your song and then hope that it grows into something bigger. There are even ways you can get people to watch your song. You've got to make a presence like that on YouTube in order to get somebody at a record company because record companies still matter, to notice you. That's one way to go about it. Another way is to make thirty grand and hire a record company to publicize your song. That's actually working for at least one group. There's a lot of DIY in today's music. In the romantic days, it was a little like you were waiting to get discovered. You were waiting for somebody to say, "You are an artistic goldmine!" That doesn't happen so much anymore. They don't discover the diamond in the rough anymore. They wait for you to get a certain number of views.

DB: The big difference is now, you have to be better at promotion than you are in music almost. Even more important than that, I would tell emerging artists when you play a big splashy event and there's food, remember that the little food is always better than the big food. The stuff that they come around with on the trays—the lychee nut wrapped in a piece of bacon—always better than the sit-down dinner, so tank up on that.

MR: [laughs] That’s like when I asked Stephen Stills that question, he gave me the Borsht Belt answer, "Don't leave your wallet in the dressing room."

DB: I heard that attributed to George Burns, which will tell you which generation I belong to.

MR: There are so many ‘80s-ish sound packs being used in production now. What are your thoughts when you hear popular music these days?

RB: I actually like Top 40. I get a kick out of it. I agree that there are a lot of producers using the same palette of sounds but I think somebody like Ed Sheeran is a brilliant talent as a folky everything else.

DB: I am so out of everything that happened after about, oh, 1950. Mike, you and I last ran into each other at a Manhattan Transfer show at The Blue Note. That's the kind of stuff I'm listening to. I don't know how many years I've got left but I figure I want to spend it listening to music that I know I like. If something catches my ear that's new... I just saw a musical and I liked some of it, but with music and books, there's a line beyond which I can't seem to make the effort to get into it, to understand it. "I'm not getting graded on this, I'm going to go listen to something I like." Now I realize that's the old fart philosophy. But hey, if the shoe fits.

RB: There's a little bit of the "kids don't read books anymore, they read laptops." We're sort of the last generation that reads books and connects things like reading books to music. We're trying to inform our songwriting with concepts that we took out of books. Nowadays, there ain't no books.

DB: One of the first songs Robin and I wrote together, we stole the title from a semi-pornographic novel by Anais Nin called The Delta Of Venus. I don't know if people knew what we were talking about but they seemed to like the song.

MR: In that era, I think literacy was the ”sexiest” element of the singer-songwriter culture. If you were expanding your mind in that way, you were able to look at culture and history with a bigger lens. We do seem to be the last generation that cared about that sort of thing. So where are the next smart writers coming from?

DB: I would say Brooklyn.

RB: [laughs] Look behind any coffee counter and there you go. There are your songwriters. There's some talent in bookish songwriting...

DB: ...the world is drowning in talent, in every conceivable genre you can imagine, and in every genre you can imagine. The only thing that the technological revolution has done is make it apparent. There were always literally millions of wonderful songwriters. It's a different paradigm. You could walk into a neighborhood coffeehouse or a bar or something and the chances of hearing something good are really pretty high. Not always, but when we do songwriter circles, it never fails to amaze me how many good songwriters there are, of all stripes.

RB: The singing ability these days is astounding.

DB: And the playing!

RB: The kid singers that come out of Berklee or are self-taught, there's just extraordinary talent. David's daughter is a great example of somebody who's got brains and talent. She's just starting out, but she's a lot better singer than we were.

DB: Definitely. But as a father, I don't want to push her at all. I say, "Look, this can be a very rewarding life but it also can be very challenging and hard. You might have to have some kind of job to fund your career. You just need to know." Right now, if she could get it, the thought of going out on the road and doing two hundred nights a year thrills her, whereas it would give me a small stroke just contemplating it. But it's hard to get that now! That's one thing that's really changed. I don't know if you remember but you could always find gigs in the old days. Robin and I are doing this big reunion--big for us--up in Passim in Cambridge next year around Valentine's Day, on February 10 and 11. We're calling it a kind of "Up Yours, Cancer!"—Robin's been fighting cancer—and “Happy Valentine's Day!” show. That booking is almost a year in advance. Some of these little clubs used to call you up in December for January. Now they book eighteen months out. There are so many people that want to do this. That's why house concerts came to the fore, because there weren't enough places for everybody to play.

MR: You guys have done your fair share of living room concerts?

DB: Yeah! Sometimes the people whose house it was didn't even know we were coming.

MR: [laughs] Is there any money in those kinds of gigs or is it a pass the hat deal?

RB: There's more money than in the clubs, actually.

MR: I have to confess, sometimes when I see kids use GoFundMe to survive as an artist, I think, "You're not going out on the road to figure out how to do this.” Then I realize I'm comparing the process with the paradigm I grew up with.

DB: It's also, "Do I want to give my hundred dollars to make this kid's CD or do I want to give it to Haitian relief?"

MR: Yes, that’s the rub for me! I want to support the kid but I don't want to send that message. Perhaps we should be thinking about those funding hubs for those in true need as well. Eh, what do I know.

RB: I think there should be a model where you can find ten-thousand people who love you and who care about the rest of the world because those ten-thousand people will be paying a hundred bucks a year to come see you and buy your CD and your book and you'll have enough money to mess with.

DB: That's the upper echelon. Ten-thousand people for a singer-songwriter is rare.

MR: Over the years, you've developed a fan base. Do people reach out to you and ask you to make more music?

DB: Yeah, they ask me to come to their assisted living place.

MR: [laughs] Stop that.

DB: [laughs] We still get emails [that read], "I forget the name of this song but it had this and that," and I figure out what they want and I send it to them. It's lovely to be asked for a song that you did.

MR: Robin you mentioned your illness. Do you have prostate cancer?

RB: Last year, I had a heart attack and in treating the heart attack at the hospital, they discovered I have colon cancer.

DB: That's what you call a bad day.

RB: I've been in chemo treatment for six months. But that's over with so I'm just dealing with the side effects. It's not horrible.

MR: I'm really happy you're recovering, Robin.

DB: He's kicking ass. You call him up, he says, "The way I look at it is when this treatment is through, I'll be healthier than I've been in years because I didn't know I had something wrong with my heart and I didn't know I had cancer."

MR: That's a great outlook. Are there any plans to get together more? Do you still write together?

DB: Well, we'll probably have to get together to rehearse for the goddamned concert—I mean... [laughs] At this point, we haven't played the stuff in so long that I'm really salivating. I can't wait to play some of the songs, especially the piano and violin songs. They're just pure joy to play. Maybe we'll write another one or two of those. If these shows are well-received, maybe we'll do another one. But you have a Spring tour, one concert, you have a Fall tour, one concert. That's enough.

MR: I imagine if you picked up the phone, you could get a David Mansfield or a David Bromberg to back you up, no?

DB: Yeah, but not at our price. We're playing at a small club at a reasonably small ticket price, so we can't be flying people in. Plus we like the trio of Robin and me and Marshall. We know what we want to do. Something would have to take a severe unexpected turn for us to start building up a band again. What's fun is Tom Rush used to do these Symphony Hall concerts in Boston the last week of the year and he always has a pretty amazing roster of people. You do get to play with some of them and that's fun. But this is just us taking the opportunity to celebrate Robin's recovery and to play the old songs again for whoever's interested in hearing them.

MR: Beautiful.

<p>l to r: David Buskin & Robin Batteau</p>

l to r: David Buskin & Robin Batteau

photo courtesy of Buskin & Batteau

DB: To tell you the truth, the last concert we did was a benefit for an organization called Stand For The Troops, which is a veterans' organization to help make people aware of and to help fight post-traumatic stress. So that's always on the agenda. If somebody calls us up with a worthy cause, we're always likely to do that, but that's just playing three songs or something. For us to another gig, it's got to be demand-driven at this point. If somebody wants us, we'll probably do it, but we're not going to go around beating the bushes. Is that fair, Robin?

RB: Yeah, I think that's fair, sure.

MR: You guys had a very successful jingle run, how did that start? What are some of your favorites of that batch?

DB: Around 1981 or so, we were struggling. The scene was changing and we didn't know which way it was going. We had publishing deals but we didn't have a record deal. It was getting harder and harder to see making a living and certainly improving our quality of life. I looked around for stuff that I could do that would use my skill set and I happened on jingles. I managed to worm my way into the jingle world and suddenly, I'm making money hand over fist. I said to Robin, "You've got to do this. It's just writing short songs about hamburgers, you could do this." It turned out he could do it better than I could. I get him in the business and he starts beating the crap out of it! That was like a day job that was a dream. Many of the singers and writers and players in the jingle business, that was just one piece in the mosaic of musical activities. That was for the pocket and their own music was for the soul. That was a nice mix while it lasted.

MR: Robin, what are your thoughts on that?

RB: I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. I thought, "There's no way I'll be able to succeed at this," and then it just sort of happened. It was a really good day job.

DB: It turned out you had an amazing knack for it. He wrote the most famous jingle of the eighties, "The Heartbeat Of America" for Chevrolet. You couldn't turn on the radio or the TV without hearing that. We both wrote a lot of hits. If you asked me, "Are you that much better of a jingle writer than a songwriter?" I would say, "I don't think so." But it's those factors that you can't control—maybe just being in the right place at the right time. I've never been able to figure out why I was so successful as a jingle writer relative to my success as a songwriter.

RB: The first thing that David wrote, NBC "Just Watch Us Now," not only paid the rent, but also won him an award, a Clio for "Best Ad Song of the Year."

DB: I'm just winging it here, but maybe it was like how you say in your mind, "I want to write the best song that I can," but it's really just a jingle. Outside of the business, nobody's going to know who wrote it or sang it. It takes some of the pressure off. You're not trying to write a five-run homerun. You've just got to do your best and then tomorrow there'll be another shot. Maybe that was something to do with it, I have no idea. But of course you didn't have the satisfaction of writing things that were important.

MR: I was in the jingle business briefly. It didn’t bring out the best in me, though I did get to sing on John Hill’s Clio-winning SNL and cable spot for Atari Pole Position.

DB: He was a nice guy. He gave me my first gig singing. Do you remember Bill Eaton? Terrifically talented guy. He and Ralph MacDonald used to write terrific songs. I guess briefly, he had his own company and a guy came in so Bill said, "Play me your reel." The guy started playing the reel and it was all Bill Eaton's work. He said something like, "I like that. I liked it when I wrote it," and the guy said, "Well I--you know I--I put together this reel as an example of what I want my music to be like." You know I think who stuck together from the jingles? The singers and the songwriters, because many of them still perform. You go to a Vaneese Thomas show or a Janie Barnett show and the audience is all people you used to sing jingles with.

MR: Janie Barnett sang on a few of Jimmy Ryan’s work including a few songs we wrote together.

DB: Oh, Jimmy was in our band for a while!

MR: Not in Pierce Arrow, right?

DB: No. Robin and I put together a band where he was the guitar player and there were some other people. He's in a cover band now.

MR: Right, The Hitmen. Actually, they’re recording and performing original material now. Do you have a story of those days?

DB: After the jingle boom, when it started to go away, on the West Side, there was a little Needle Park—they've cleaned it up now—but it was at 72nd and Broadway. He and I were sitting there, about 11:30 in the morning, and we're just sitting there taking the scene in. Jake Holmes walks up, takes a look at us and without saying a word, sits down next to us and the three of us are shaking our heads sagely, with no work. Nothing to do. We're sitting in the park drooling.

MR: David what were some of yours and what were some of your favorite songs you worked on together?

DB: I guess my favorite was one that Robin sang that I wrote for the US Postal Service called "We Deliver For You," and Amtrak’s "All Aboard America" that the late Ritchie Havens sang. That was a good one. They were all fun. The music that I really look forward to playing is not necessarily the music that we always recorded the best. One of our better recordings is an album called B&B. They're not always songs that we still do. We just recorded them better. The ones I really look forward to playing are the piano and violin ones—"The Boy With The Violin," and "Guinivere" that is probably our best-loved song. It’s this beautiful song that Robin wrote and we worked up into this big arrangement. He has a newer one called "Sappho's Boatman." I just love the sonorities of the piano with the violin and a little touch of percussion in there.

MR: Robin, what about you?

RB: I've always loved "When I Need You Most Of All," and I love the funny songs.

DB: The funny stuff is fun.

RB: We had a lot of fun with those kinds of songs, so that really had it. What were some of the comedy pieces?

DB: "Death In Venice."

RB: That was brilliant.

DB: I forget, I'll have to get the list out for this gig.

MR: I think there’s an elephant in this Buskin & Batteau room—or actually not in the room—a certain David Batteau.

RB: He's a songwriter on the West Coast. He's still writing quite a lot and he says he's never had more covers and never made less money.

DB: [laughs] S**t.

RB: We get played on Spotify and if you get a million plays, you make a buck and a quarter. It's just not the same as it was. People aren't buying CDs. It's a tougher game than ever. He's got three hundred covers, so you'd think he'd be a gazillionaire.

DB: That's why I used to stand over Sophie's crib when she slept and whispered, "Arbitrage." But it didn't take.

MR: [laughs] Robin, why wasn't there any collaboration between the three of you?

<p>Batteaux / <em>Batteaux</em></p>

Batteaux / Batteaux

Batteaux album cover

RB: With my brother David Batteau? He just does his own thing. We made an album together and we had great fun doing it. It was a good album for Columbia, but we didn't continue. It's the usual kind of infighting politics of record companies that can get in the way of things. We did the first album and then when it was time to do our second album, the administration had completely changed. Clive Davis was fired. They had a whole new bunch of guys and they wanted to clean house and they didn't want to make another record.

DB: I think I got dropped from more record companies than I got signed by. I don't know how that's possible.

RB: I would say that a lot of David and my success was based on the ability to take, "No," for an answer. More people have said, "No," to me than to most of my friends who were very good but never got a record out.

DB: That's a good point. In writing the musical with Jake, the only question we had to answer over the years was, "Are we tired of this?" Are we tired of doing it, are we tired of not getting anywhere, are we tired of people telling us it's no good? Do we want to keep going? As long as the answer was, "Yeah, we'll keep going for a while," that's the only question you've got to answer. The worst, I think, is actors, who have to have the thickest skin alive. If you go to five auditions a week, you're usually going to get five rejections. But then you keep thinking, "All I need is one, I'm good." You have to have that regenerative morale capacity.

MR: So is there anything we haven't covered?

DB: Well, you didn't ask me about my Congressional Medal of Honor.

MR: David, please, can you tell us something about your Congressional Medal of Honor?

DB: I actually never won one but I wanted you to ask.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne


<p>Eileen Carey</p>

Eileen Carey

photo credit: Kharen Hill

Los Angeles-based, up and coming singer Eileen Carey shares a new country rock video for her current single “Good Bad Girl,” directed by Taner Tumkaya. The song was written by Alan Bonhomme and Kris Bradley and it was produced by Travis Allen at Nashville Tracks in LA.

Support HuffPost

Popular in the Community