My new Think Again column is called "When Books Disappear" and it’s here.
And I appear to be in the news: (From the NY Daily News, at a luncheon for The Giants on Wednesday):
While the luncheon brought out a bipartisan crowd, there was a little Republican-Democrat friction when the Nation columnist Eric Alterman approached Bill O’Reilly to thank him for apologizing on-air in 2004 for calling Alterman a “Fidel Castro confidant.” (On a later show, O’Reilly sarcastically claimed he was “foolin’ around.”) Alterman says “O’Reilly responded by twice saying, “Get away from me,” and eventually summoning a handler to intervene. O’Reilly told us there was “no run-in,” but Alterman said, “I’m beginning to think that maybe he wasn’t all that sorry.”
And while this was not in the news, this really did happen Wednesday night:
There was a reception in Soho for Steve VZ’s new Netflix series. I had a close friend in town, who happened to have been my volunteer intern for the Bruce book, but is now a macher in the TV biz and he took me out to dinner. Since it was his business to develop such shows, he did not want to “work” and so we did not make the screening but as I thought it would be interesting to see who was at the party, I said let’s eat down there.
So we did and when we were done, we walked by the hotel and the screening wasn’t over, so I asked the girl at the door if I could see the list of who had come to it so I could decide whether to wait the ten minutes until the reception started. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the name “Bruce Springsteen” with a check next to it.
So we went downstairs and Steve was waiting for it to end and we waited with him and then everyone came out and Bruce and Steve took photos with Tony Bennett (and David Chase and other Soprano types) and then I waited and introduced myself and thanked him for the lyric permissions I had gotten from him for my new book, (of which I’m pretty sure he had no idea) and he said "Hey, thanks for all your terrific writing in The Nation all these years" (or something like that) and then we talked for about 10-12 minutes, about lots of stuff, including our daughter’s respective tastes in music—I told him she was much bigger on Kanye and Jay Z than on him–and happily, I refrained from gushing but did find a way to congratulate him on being the only goy who had made it into my kid’s Bat Mitzvah service.
It was the second time I’ve met him but the first time we spoke and it couldn’t have gone better. I broke off the conversation after telling him I didn’t want to talk to him too long lest he say something that might screw up my relationship to the music. He liked that too, I think.
That’s all. Great guy, Bruce…. He’s playing the Apollo for Sirius Radio on March 9 if anyone has tickets and wants to take me. If not maybe you should buy the book.