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Friday, February 5, 2010

Deeper Dish with Barry Goold

Last year Barry Goold sent me his debut CD, Knockin' On Another Door, and I loved it. The talented and openly gay man, who has written songs for films, television shows and other performers for over 20 years, describes his musical style as a throwback to such singer/songwriters of the 1970s as Elton John, James Taylor and Carole King - all of whom I enjoy listening to - so it's not surprising that his CD ended up on my list of favorite musical experiences of 2009. I am delighted to have Barry here on the Dish to discuss his groovy music and answer a few pop culture questions.

Let's begin with Knockin' On Another Door. What was your inspiration for the CD?
I've been writing songs for other people for most of my life. I had a moment a few years ago where I realized that, while I've written many songs I'm proud of, very few of them really showed who I was - something that a person who'd never met me could listen to and say "that was Barry". So I decided to write and record a CD of songs that were honest and open about me and my life and philosophy.

What is your favorite song on the album?
They're all very personal to me, but I guess the title track is my personal favorite. It was the first song I wrote after deciding to do the project, and it really is the story of my life. The second verse is especially telling - "I heard California call my name/Everything's different but I feel the same/I wanted the ocean to wash away these blues/All I got was sand inside my shoes."

What songs have you written for films and television?
I've been fortunate in having built relationships with a variety of music supervisors since I moved to L.A. I've written songs for Stuart Little 2, Desperate Housewives, Troy, Undercover Brother, Dramarama, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Million Dollar Baby. That's the good news. Unfortunately, none of my songs made the final cut of those movies.

I did write and perform a song called "Map of My Heart" that plays over the end credits of a very good indie movie called True Love that some people may have seen.

You are currently writing songs for a new stage musical. What's it about?
It's an original idea by my friend Micah McCain called Leaving the Ladies Behind. It's about a drag queen and a female Marilyn impersonator who feel trapped by their alter egos and start resenting the characters who have given them their success. I'm about halfway through it at this point. I think it's going to be a very fun show.

Your hometown is Montreal and you now live in Los Angeles. In three words or less, how would you describe each city?
Montreal - cosmopolitan, cold and cool
L.A. - sunny, shiny and shallow

In high school I was:
A brain. In a school where jocks were all that mattered. And the son of the sex ed teacher for 60% of the students. Not a good combination for my social success! When I finally got to college, I was relieved to feel like my real life was able to begin.

My favorite comfort food is:
Chocolate. Cap'n Crunch or Fruit Loops. Meat Loaf.

The last good book I read was:
I read a lot, but I think Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey, which I finished a few months ago, still stands out. I'd say it's a must-read for anyone who likes (or hates) L.A.

When I was growing up, I never missed a television episode of:
Happy Days, Knots Landing, Mork & Mindy, the Oscars, Merv Griffin, and Laverne & Shirley.

Today I never miss a television episode of:
The Amazing Race, Glee, Better Off Ted, The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights, True Blood, and Entourage. Thank God for DVRs!

The very first album, tape or CD that I purchased with my own money was:
The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, although it was several years after it was released. I bought it at a Woolworth's department store I believe.

If I was stranded on a desert island for a year, I would want to listen to:
Rickie Lee Jones - her debut CD ("Company" is probably my favorite song of all time, and "Last Chance Texaco" is in the top 5 as well)
U2 - Achtung Baby and/or All That You Can't Leave Behind
Counting Crows - Recovering the Satellites
Aretha Franklin - Greatest Hits (I know that's cheating, but it's got everything anyone could want!)
Janet Jackson - Janet

Five movies that I think everyone should be required to watch are:
Fearless, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Tootsie, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Sliding Doors.

If I was asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive of 2009, it would be:
Taylor Lautner certainly got most of the press in 2009, but my heart belongs to Zac Efron.

If I could have anyone in the world--living or dead--be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
Madonna. Judy Garland. John Lennon. I'd love to be able to discuss the emotional cost of being an icon.

What's next for Barry Goold?
I'm hoping to finish the musical in the next few months, and after that I'm starting to feel the urge to write for myself again. When there will be a followup CD is uncertain, but I think it's time to start.

Thank you, Barry, for getting Deeper with us here on the Dish. To learn more about the man and his music, check out Barry's website at or become a friend of his on MySpace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting...thanx for bringing his talent to light, Im off to find his cd;)