The fanciful bond between Robert Blake and Scott Wilson has been pretty much carved in stone for decades, hence today’s reposting of a time-worn Wilson anecdote. I last mentioned it after Wilson passed on 10.6.18 at age 76.
Initially posted on 12.22.11: In the summer of ’81 I had a special Scott Wilson moment. It happened (or more precisely didn’t happen) in a hip West Hollywood dive bar on Santa Monica Blvd. (I can’t recall the name but it was between Sweetzer and Harper, and favored by actors at the time.) I was with a lady, and the first thing I noticed after entering the main room and ordering a drink was Wilson sitting at a table with a friend.
Wilson had played murderer Dick Hickock in the 1967 film version of In Cold Blood, and this was foremost on my mind. After mulling it over I told my girlfriend that I wanted to go over and get Wilson’s autograph and (this was crucial) ask him to write “hair on the walls” below his name.
The phrase came from Truman Capote‘s nonfiction novel and the film version of same. Prior to their late-night visit to the home of Kansas farmer Herb Clutter, Hickock promised his dark-spirited accomplice Perry Smith (Robert Blake) that no matter what happens “we’re gonna blast hair all over them walls.” I thought it might be ironically cool to persuade Wilson to acknowledge that.
But I wimped out, thinking he’d probably be offended. That was probably the right thing to do, but I’ve felt badly for years about this. The things that won’t leave you alone later in life are the ones you chickened out on.