Inspired by a 1996 New Yorker article by the esteemed Westport writer, Barbra Probst Solomon, who first connected the Gatsby dots to Westport, Deej Webb and myself picked up Barbara’s baton because her piece was ignored by the Fitzgerald scholars. Besides writing numerous books and essays, Barbara had also started a literary magazine with her good friends Saul Bellow and Norman Mailer, and yet nobody bit on her thesis.
Sam Waterston played Nick Carraway in the ’74 Gatsby, and he plays a person interested in literary history in my film: Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story
We interviewed more than a dozen scholars, dug into the archives at Princeton, made a presentation at a Fitzgerald Society Conference in Montgomery, Alabama. We even journeyed up to Burlington Vermont when it hit 18 degrees below zero to film one of Fitzgerald’s granddaughters, who incidentally, rarely speaks to anyone
What we uncovered was not only surprising, it made us realize that the Westport Fitzgerald home was much more than just about Gatsby, which let’s face it, should suffice for any literary buff (come to the event to learn more).
But the narrative isn’t just about what happened here in 1920, it’s about what’s happening today. This remarkable home is still unprotected–meaning, anyone could buy it and make it tomorrow’s Teardown of the Day, just like Ray Bradbury’s home in Los Angeles, which in 2015 was torn down before anyone could stop it.
The dynamic duo with Scott and Zelda’s Granddaughter.
After five years of research, writing and filming we are finally getting coverage on the Westport Fitzgerald project. More on this coming soon.
We’re very close to wrapping up shooting, three years in the making! Who would have imagined that this project would go on that long. With much still to be done before we can truly call it a wrap, we now have a 90-minute rough cut that we’re extremely excited about.
Next week we head up to Vermont for the last road trip.
Deej and I hosting Professor Kirk Curnutt from Alabama, with Prof Goldleaf from Pace. Walter, also from Pace, took the photograph.
I’m appearing next week in New York at Rockwood Music Hall 2, World Cafe in Philly and FTC in Fairfield. I’ll be playing original songs and reading an excerpt from my novel: My Year as a Clown — which incidentally was chosen by Amazon this month to be part of their Kindle Big Deals.
Thursday, November 13 @ 6:30 Rockwood Music Hall 2, New York City
Friday, November 14 @ 8:00 World Cafe Upstairs, Philadelphia
Saturday, November 15 @ 8:00 Stage One, Fairfield Theatre Company, Fairfield, CT
I will also be appearing at the Ridgefield Library on Thursday, November 20 @ 7 to talk about the documentary I’m making with Deej Webb.
Here’s a clip I took with my iPhone while in the studio with legendary drummer Omar Hakim: