Thursday, December 13, 2007

Harvey Pekar Talks About Coventry

Harvey Pekar talks about the Coventry neighborhood in Cleveland Heights, OH, where he lived during the 1970s and 80s in this interview from September 8, 2007.

I lived near there -- in the next suburb over -- in the late 1970s and 80s. I went to school at Shaker Hts. High, where I (of course) drew cartoons for the school paper. When I was 19, I ran the small theatre one summer at Cain Park for its summer festival. I used to watch old movies at the New Mayfield Repertory Theatre in Coventry (where I first saw Chaplin's THE CIRCUS & Hepburn & Tracy in BRINGING UP BABY), managed one of the Arabica coffee shops; not the AraFREAKa one in Coventry, but the AraSHEIKah one in Shaker Square. Yeah, that's what we called them. I met a girl, a very pretty redhead, that I would later marry, on my morning shift at Arabica.

Anyway, on to the video: this is sort of a video slide show, with Harvey off camera. The visuals pan and linger over photos of the area, ala a Ken Burns documentary. Listening to his reminiscences reminded me how much the world has changed since that time. Why go to the used record store -- Record Revolution -- if you can get your stuff off the Web. And usually for free! At one point, some photos from the 1930s are shown over Harvey talking about the 1970s. I don't know why this was done, but it kinda does seem like it was that long ago ... sometimes.

At the very end of the first part linked above (there's a total of 6 parts), he speaks about wanting to do something creative, even though he wasn't an actor and couldn't dance, etc. I admire him for deciding to go into comics and to keep working at it. Who knew that it would be successful?

Keep watching, even thru the end credits that pop up in these segments, since there's more talking and photos. Interesting, if you're a fan of his work -- even more interesting if you're a Clevelander.

Harvey Pekar Talks About Coventry part one

Harvey Pekar Talks About Coventry part two

Harvey Pekar Talks About Coventry part three

Harvey Pekar Talks About Coventry part four

Harvey Pekar Talks About Coventry part five

Harvey Pekar Talks About Coventry part six

Oh, and Tommy's restaurant did have great food!


Mark Anderson said...

Wait a minute... So you got married on your morning shift?

Mike Lynch said...

Ha ha. Now that I reread what I wrote, it sure does sound that way! OK, what can I say? It was the 80s man! It was a craaaazy time!