No. He never appeared on ‘Hullabaloo’. But at least I got your attention. Above is an extraordinary short film about genius classical pianist Glenn Gould called ‘Glenn Gould–On The Record’. Shot in 1959 at Columbia Records legendary 30th Street Studios, it shows the then 27 year old Gould in the process of recording Bach’s Italian Concerto. But it shows much more than that. There are New York City exteriors, documenting Gould’s journey by cab to the studio (obviously staged with a stock central casting NYC cab driver), views of the studio, a relaxed coffee shop lunch break, nice shots of old Ampex tape machines and a tense scene with Columbia’s house photographer Don Hunstein after Gould’s unhappy reaction to the idea of being photographed with gloves and scarf on. We meet the legendary Howard H. Scott, one of the inventors of the LP, who’s producing the session and whose relationship with Gould is humorous, informal, authoritative, teasing and respectful all at once. Best of all we see Gould in all his eccentric glory–his quirks are very much part of his musicianship and not simply accrued ticks. I am a new Gould listener and was pleasantly surprised to find that the enigmatic Canadian pianist, far from being the mad reclusive paranoiac that he often is depicted as, is in fact a charming, whimsical young fellow who manages to lift the spirits of the room with his good-natured intelligence, playful sense of humor and easy erudition. As for the notion of Glenn Gould on ‘Hullabaloo’…I like it. And I can kind of see it. He may have even enjoyed the show or those of that ilk for their enthusiasm, musical vivacity and all those go-go girls. Gould seems a playful enough presence in this film to ‘let his hair down’ as the phrase once went. Who know where he went or what he did after they wrapped the days work at 30th street…


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2 Responses

  1. Dearest R,
    What a great pleasure to go back in time and revisit this film that I hadn’t seen in at least 20 or 30 years.
    From the very beginning, Gould had such an influence on my life. Just a fantastically compelling and fascinating
    mind and presence. To this day, I listen to at least two or three Gould recordings every single day.
    Many thanks for this treat.

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