Friday, November 27, 2009


I've been in a bit of a Hall & Oates mood in the past few days thanks to the new box set, Do What You Want, Be What You Are, which I discussed on OutQ this week.

So, I happened upon the website for the show Private Sessions on A&E. It's hosted by Lynn Hoffman, a former collegue of mine - we worked together for a brief time at VH1 Classic. In my era at MTV and VH1 I worked with lots of talent. I'd heard a lot of stories about talent folks (luckily, my dealings were really great almost every single time). But Lynn was just so easy to work with, I couldn't believe it.

I'm not really sure what kind of music she enjoys, but she doesn't bring any kind of attitude to the interviews she does. I know how that is: in my career as an interviewer, I found myself talking to artists from bands that I would never listen to, and indeed, who I disliked. But the thing is, when you have this kind of job, it's inappropriate for you to take on an attitude because it's the guy from Creed or Styx or whatever. And the thing you realize (usually) is that, at some level, these people are people. It's hard to sit there with someone who is being nice to you (you don't always know if it is genuine, it's part of their job to get you to like them) and just hate them, no matter what you think of thier music. Once the interview starts, it's your job to make the artist comfortable. You can't make it obvious that you think they suck (if you do think that). Also, even if you are the hugest fan, you can't come off like the guy who slept out on line to meet them first at the album signing, that can come off as creepy. There are a lot of different types of styles that interviewers have, but for what she does - VH1 Classic and A&E, Lynn strikes the perfect balance. You should check out the show on Sunday mornings. Back to Hall & Oates, here's a link to their performance of "Sara Smile" on Private Sessions. I have to say, I don't love the site, starting with the fact that they won't let you embed their videos, and it's hard to get around. But check out the show.

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