Writings about Music

A Tip From Clint

Clint Eastwood and Sydney Penny in Pale Rider

I actually met Clint Eastwood once, and very thoughtfully, I considered what to say rather than going up and saying, as Frank's daughter once sang, Somethin' Stupid, I opened with a jazz thought, strategically eschewing any awkard introductions, whereby he, in tempo, began telling me about Eddie Lang, the pioneering jazz guitarist, who I only finally listened to and dug a few weeks ago. Clint told me this in 2007! He was at the buffet table for a weekend luncheon honoring Betty Ford at The Odyssey in Granada Hills. What happened is I met a bigwig from Kiwanis International by chance, and she, her name regretfully not recalled, invited me to the event, even seating me next to Betty! I spotted Clint helping himself to the grub, and that's when I made my move.

Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider

I'm from a Democratic family, always been a Democrat, if tending towards apolicital, so being there was sure surreal, but everyone was very cool, no politics discussed.

A serendipitous presaging was how a few weeks prior to meeting my favorite actor briefly, I was having a drink in the Polo Lounge, and struck up a conversation with an obviously monied gentleman seated next to me at the bar visiting from Carmel. When the conversation turned to music and jazz, he exclaimed how Clint Eastwood would definitely enjoy speaking with me given my unusual experiences and insights into jazz.

On another occasion prior to these events, I had stayed overnight in Carmel, and Eastwood was just exiting a coffee joint on Sunday morning with a cup of joe in his hand as I was about to enter. Before I could even process both noticing him and possibly interacting, with admirably smooth skill, almost like the specter he first appears as in Pale Rider, Clint effortlessly wove in and out of the cars across the street like they would pass through or bounce off him if they dared to hit, myself not blaming him in the least for not wishing to have his weekend reverie interrupted by a stranger. He was thinking about something very intensely, perhaps the next project of his incredibly fertile and substantive artistic oeuvre.

- Michael Robinson, October 2022, Los Angeles


© 2022 Michael Robinson All rights reserved


Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer, programmer, jazz pianist and musicologist. His 190 albums include 151 albums for meruvina and 39 albums of piano improvisations. Robinson has been a lecturer at UCLA, Bard College and California State University Long Beach and Dominguez Hills.