Festival Express
Movie Premier, Galaxy Theatre, San Francisco
July 12, 2004

Getting called 'on the carpet'
I got an email from the movie promotion company asking if I'd like to do any 'red carpet interviews' for the premier of Festival Express, the documentary of the famed Canadian train trip and concerts back in 1970. Featuring the Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, Ian and Sylvia, and many more acts, the movie shows the once-in-a-lifetime journey across Canada, and the many impromptu jams that took place on the train.

I had no idea what a 'red carpet interview' was, but was game, so I took my DAT machine, my digital camera, and some questions to ask. I interviewed the director, the producers, and Eddie Kramer, the famous sound mixer, as well as Bob Weir.

<--Before going in to "assume the position," I saw Bill Kreutzmann outside the theatre, being interviewed on a real red carpet by the local TV stations.

I was led inside, and told to stand behind the ropes and a sign with my name on it. The carpet was no longer red, and I was to ask my questions, record the responses, and take my pictures as the stars came down the aisle.

At the right, you see me fiddling with my DAT machine. I blew it, and didn't get Billy's responses recorded.

Next up after Bill was legendary engineer Eddie Kramer. Being a sound guy, he's looking down at my DAT machine, jokingly helping me get my audio levels while I take a picture of the top of his head!
Next up was the movie's director, Bob Smeaton. While a young man, Bob has picked up quite a resume, a two-time Grammy award-winning director of "The Beatles Anthology," and "Hendrix: Band of Gypsies."
Next up, came the producers. Left-to-right, we see Gavin Poolman (son of FESTIVAL EXPRESS’ original producer, Willem Poolman,) Willem, and John Trapman.
Bob Weir and his wife arrived, and Bob was nattily dressed in a suit and tie. Always one with a good story, I had managed to get the DAT machine working by this time, and you can download the MP3 interview here.

The initial upload here is in stereo, and you can hear all the hustle and bustle in the lobby, as well as the busses going by.

Two other interviewers shared the space, and you hear their questions after mine.

Bringing up the rear, too late for audio, Mickey Hart jets by, stopping for a picture.
I have audio interviews with the producers, the director, and the sound engineer of the film, and will post these in the next day or so.

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