Last night I came upon a link for an L.A. Times Calendar piece that I wrote 22 years ago about Dan Richter, the ’60-era mime who played the bone-tossing Moonwatcher in Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The last time I linked to this piece was in July ’08. Here are three scans of the original article — #1, #2 and #3.
My father met Dan at a Connecticut AA meeting in ’92 or thereabouts, and at my dad’s suggestion I called a while later and visited Dan at this home in Sierra Madre for an interview. I remember he was dealing with chemotherapy at the time and not walking all that well, but he’s still here and doing okay as far as I know. I didn’t know until this morning that Richter published a 2012 memoir — “The Dream Is Over” — that’s mainly about a four-year period that he spent with John Lennon and Yoko One (’69 to ’73).
Nancy Porter, an old childhood friend who was also living in Sierra Madre in ’93, came with me to visit Dan at this mountainside home. She later complained that he talked too much about himself. “But he’s the guy who picked up the bone to the strains of ‘Thus Spoke Zarathrusta’,” I replied. “And…you know, he hung with Lennon all those years and his stories are fascinating.”
If you’re hanging with someone who has lived large and touched serious history and has several first-hand recollections to share, you sit and listen. Either you get that or you don’t.