Philip Glass is charming. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing him April 7th at the Free Library of Philadelphia as part of their Author Events, the successful series curated by Andy Kahan. Words Without Music is the just-published book by Philip Glass, who is on a short book tour speaking about this autobiography.
He was arriving by Amtrak right before the interview, so I’d have no time with him before our onstage show unless, Andy hinted, I picked him up at the train. I thought, What am I going to do, just pace backstage? No, I conveniently answered myself. So I drove to 30th Street Station and picked him up.
As is often the case with interviews, some of the best stuff happened before the interview started. So after an exhilarating 10-minute drive from the train to the library, where I heard about book publishers and tours and trains, we segued onstage and continued the conversation.
Philip Glass loves to talk, and his stories about Ravi Shankar, Martin Scorsese, composing, the dreaded word (to him) “minimalism,” and at least one punch thrown onstage (not on the Free Library stage; another stage) are entertaining. You should read the book if the life of one of our most influential composers, and how he became that way, interests you.