Posted in movies | music on June 7, 2012

by Bill Pearis

Paul Williams

It's quite the résumé: writer of hit songs for the Carpenters, Barbra Streisand and the Muppets; delightfully villainous costar of Brian De Palma's cult classic Phantom of the Paradise; one of Johnny Carson's favorite guests. Paul Williams has lived a life most would envy, but according to Stephen Kessler's revealing documentary, he's only just begun. This isn't your standard talking-heads hagiography. Kessler began filming as a fan first, attending a Williams concert in Canada after he discovered his childhood idol, long out of the Hollywood limelight, was still alive and well. He slowly works his way into the legendary singer-songwriter's confidence, accompanying him to a variety of events--celebrity golf tournament, autograph signings, performances around the globe--and probes his subject about his colorful past. [Time Out NY]
One of the coolest cats of the '70s, Paul Williams' songwriting credits include The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays," The Monkees' "Someday Man," the theme to The Love Boat, and all the songs for The Muppet Movie, Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas, Phantom of the Paradise and Bugsy Malone. He also starred in Phantom of the Paradise, and had roles in Smokey & the Bandit and '60s cult film The Loved One, among other works. More recently he collaborated with The Scissor Sisters on their 2006 album Tah-Dah. Paul Williams Still Alive opens in NYC on Friday, June 8 at the Angelika in NYC. Paul Williams will be at the 8PM screenings on Friday (6/8) and Saturday (6/9) for a post-screening Q&A. He's gotta have a lot of good stories.

Watch the trailer for Paul Williams Still Alive below, along with some tv clips of Paul in his '70s prime.

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Comments (13)

You better believe YTIN.ASNIL does not approve.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 1:28 PM

wasn't he a guest star on the love boat as well?


Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 1:29 PM

No irony, no joke .... this guy is in fact a legend of American music. Along with Carole King, the Neils (Diamond & Sedaka), and Paul Simon, maybe the last link to the Brill Building and the golden age of American popular song.

Glad that he's getting the props that he deserves.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 1:34 PM

Wasn't he on an episode of CHiPs as well?

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 1:36 PM

No clip from Phantom of the Paradise?

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 1:38 PM

Literally can't wait to see it.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 1:41 PM

YTI.NASNIL is the new love boat.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 1:59 PM

and President/Chairman of the Board of ASCAP

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 2:06 PM

I'll be at Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speak Easy!

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 2:20 PM

He has written some amazing songs.

In the early 90s I was at the midtown Sam Ash and Paul Williams came in. He was buying an acoustic guitar and, from his comments, seemed to be looking for a "the" guitar that would write him a new hit and get him "back on top" - he also seemed like a bit of jerk to be honest. Not sure why it's such a vivid memory.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 3:28 PM

Shit. I think I have to go to this thing. I really love this guy. Paul Williams in the 70's was the shit. Cee Lo wishes he were Paul Williams.

Posted by M | June 7, 2012 4:13 PM

hahaha phantom of the paradise, that movie would be on all the time on Starz one summer, classic, he sold his soul to the devil then got disfigured in a record press or something right?

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012 8:45 PM

The songs written for the Monkees, Carpenters, & Muppet movie are quality pieces.

He did some pretty fantastically bad movies though in the 70's & maybe a few good ones.

Posted by Anonymous | June 8, 2012 1:56 AM

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