Why There's No Movie About Art Pepper
Art Pepper told his sexy, sordid, and exciting true adventure stories to his lover, Laurie (me), who put them in a book. I quizzed him (and those who knew him) unrelentingly over seven years, editing and structuring a narrative to which I dedicated all my energy.
Straight Life by Art and Laurie Pepper (Da Capo) lauriepepper.net was published in 1979. It was a critical success and remains a classic of its kind, the subject of college literary and music studies. I went on to marry Art and manage his resurgent career, touring the world with his band.
Occasionally people ask to make a movie out of Straight Life. At first that seemed exciting, and Don McGlynn (who made "Art Pepper: Notes from a Jazz Survivor") and I worked on a script. It was fun. For about ten years I met with directors and producers and once had dinner with a movie star (my choice: Johnny Depp!). But in the end, to me, the mindsets of producers are simplistic, their visions of Art Pepper too reductive and clichéd, and they won’t give me controls I feel I need. My Hollywood ride was thrilling, but ultimately scary and insulting, so I quit it and refuse all offers now. Instead I’ve been working on a little video artwork: using actors, animation, Art’s real voice from the book tapes, and his music. It’s been the best fun of my life, making high-tech Joseph Cornell boxes. I love software and technology!
This video is part of that attempt. There is more & I'll show it when I get a minute away from real life.