Four months ago, the musician Wally De Backer, known the world over as Gotye, moved from Melbourne to New York, leaving his family and his friends, his studio on the Mornington Peninsula and his collection of rare and interestingly broken instruments. You could say he left his band, the Basics, but that happened long ago. You could say that he left them but he never will.
“The worst thing you can do is sing Happy Birthday,” Eastwood says. So on the day he turned eighty-four, he started shooting a movie.
“It is a place where you can be anything. It’s a place where you can say anything, write anything, paint anything.” But not for long.
A few days after the execution date was confirmed, I received a message: Swearingen wanted me to watch him die.
“The idea is immortal, it is without class and it doesn’t care anything about wealth,” he says. ” I could get my horn and play for you, and believe me, I would play something.”
The phone rings. Would I mind if he takes it? His daughter in California is worried about forest fires. “Well how far away is the smoke? I’ll buy you another house if it burns down, honey, OK?”