GROSS: You know, that actually really fits into what you were talking about wanting rules and structure in music.
SONDHEIM: Yeah. Order out of chaos. Order out of chaos. That’s why I like crossword puzzles – order out of chaos.
GROSS: Right. Right. Right.
SONDHEIM: I think that’s what art’s about anyway. I think that’s why people make art.
GROSS: To create order in…
SONDHEIM: To – out of chaos. Yeah.
GROSS: …In a world that’s chaotic? (Laughter).
SONDHEIM: The whole – the world has always been chaotic. Life is unpredictable. It is – there is no form. And making forms gives you solidity. I think that’s why people paint paintings and take photographs and write music and tell stories and – that have beginning, middles and ends, even when the middle is at the beginning and the beginning is at the end.
On why they chose to go with a persona on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
“We’d been The Beatles for quite a while. And when you made a record, you knew you were making a Beatles record, and so you imposed certain parameters on it. So we can’t get too far out because people just go, ‘What the hell’s going on? They’ve gone mad!’ So you had certain standards for Beatles records [and] you were always trying to advance those standards, but there were limits that you felt. And also when you stepped up to a microphone, you were conscious of all that background of, ‘I’m Beatle Paul, and I’m going to do a Beatle Paul song.’
“I don’t think it really was terrifying or even boring, but I had this idea to just change our identity and make ourselves think that we were kind of another band. So it meant now anything goes, we don’t have to sing like The Beatles. We can sing like whoever they saw the band is. In the end, the name came out of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. So the idea was so that when you stepped up to a microphone, it was not now John Lennon Beatle doing his song. It was a guy out of this strange band, and in some way, it was just liberating.”
TERRY GROSS, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. My guests Desus and Mero host the Showtime comedy series “Desus & Mero” Sunday and Thursday nights at 11. Their third season resumed after a monthlong hiatus last night. It was their first show back in the studio since the pandemic. At the heart of the show is Desus and Mero talking to each other, making each other and the audience laugh about everything from politics to viral videos, sports, pop culture and the Bronx, where they each grew up in the ’80s and early ’90s. The show also has sketches, and in each show, Desus and Mero do an interview. They get high-profile guests like Barack Obama, Anthony Fauci, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chadwick Boseman, Seth Meyers and Chris Hayes, who went to school with Desus.
Every seven years since 1964, in what’s known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.
Apted on what this experience has been like for him
“What can I say? I mean, it’s the favorite thing I’ve ever done, the thing I’m most proud of. It’s nerve-wracking, because you think you’re always going to blow it and you’ll wreck the whole thing. It seems fragile, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons about it. I’ve made mistakes on it and had to correct those mistakes. You know, particularly I got into a situation, I think, early on where I became judgmental about people — that if they didn’t agree with my standards of success, failure, happiness, whatever, then I would feel they were the lesser for it. And also I try to play God. I try to predict what might happen to people, and sort of set it all up for that. And I did that, and that was an embarrassing mistake. And I think what I’ve learned all the way through is the less I do, the better.”
Photographer Bob Gruen spent decades capturing the lives and performances of rock stars of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, including John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner — and many more.
Gruen put in many hours backstage, in studios and on the road, sometimes doing drugs and drinking until dawn with his subjects.
“I carried a little flask of cognac in my camera case. It was part of my equipment. That’s the way it was in the ’70s,” he says. “I don’t know how I survived, because I crave peace and quiet — but I actually thrive in chaos.”
Gruen approached his subjects collaboratively, often soliciting their opinion about a photograph instead of trying to catch them off guard. He describes his work as an effort to capture the feeling and passion of music — not just the facts.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Zócalo Public Square present “Is Rock ‘n’ Roll All About Reinvention?” featuring Eddie Van Halen with Denise Quan.
Find out more here
Sun-Times film critic and author Roger Ebert discusses his book “Roger Ebert’s Book of Film: From Tolstoy to Tarantino, The Finest Writing From A Century of Film” (published by Norton); reads passages from his book.
The situation, task, action, result (STAR) format is a technique used by interviewers to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires.
Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenging situation in which you found yourself.
Task: What were you required to achieve? The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to achieve from the situation. Some performance development methods use “Target” rather than “Task”. Job interview candidates who describe a “Target” they set themselves instead of an externally imposed “Task” emphasize their own intrinsic motivation to perform and to develop their performance.
Action: What did you do? The interviewer will be looking for information on what you did, why you did it and what the alternatives were.
Results: What was the outcome of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?
Here’s some interview questions you can try this with:
Tell me about a time you showed leadership.
Tell me about a time you were successful on a team.
Tell me about something you’ve accomplished that you are proud of.
Tell me about a time you had to manage conflicting priorities.
Tell me about a time you failed or made a mistake.
Tell me about a time you worked with a difficult person.
Tell me about a time you had to persuade someone.
Tell me about a time you disagreed with someone.
Tell me about a time you created a goal and achieved it.
Tell me about a time you surpassed people’s expectations.
Tell me about a time you had to handle pressure.
Tell me about a time you had to learn something quickly.
In his 1980s heyday, Adam Ant was never short on style or quirk, and he reinvented himself constantly. You may remember the performer behind “Goody Two Shoes” and “Stand and Deliver” appearing in bold makeup and swashbuckling pirate gear; the military-style jacket he sometimes wore made an impression on no less a cultural icon than Michael Jackson.