My first movie-related reviews and articles began to be published in the spring of ’78, or just after I’d moved into my very first roach-infested Manhattan apartment. (143 Sullivan Street, just south of Houston.) But the very first time I got any ink for anything at all was in June of 1977, when N.Y. Times stringer Jennifer Mackby wrote a piece about a Save The Whales concert that I was co-producing with then-girlfriend Sophie Black (currently a renowned poet). The Woodstock-like concert was held on a hilly 52-acre farm owned by Sophie’s parents (’60s and ’70s Broadway producer David Black and Opera New England and Opera Company of Boston co-founder Linda Cabot Black). I was working hard and living a robust life as far as it went, but the leafy vibe and social languor of Fairfield County almost acted as a kind of sedative (or so it seems to me now). A rude Manhattan awakening would follow within a year. I would eventually come to know the meaning of the line “to live in this town, you must be tough tough tough tough tough tough tuhhff,” and there would be loads of anxiety and very little peace until I finally edged my way into the NY film journalist fraternity in ’79, and even then life was brutal.

Myself and then-girlfriend Sophie Black during 1976 open-air Save The Whales concert, held around Labor Day, on her parents 52-acre farm in Wilton, Connecticut. We co-produced this and a July 4th, 1977 concert in the exact same vein.