Ah, how innocently I posted in 2016 that I would find and post the interview I did with Mike Pinder “shortly”. I suppose it’s relative. A slightly more in depth recap (photos can be seen in the original post): I was a high school senior. Mike Pinder was touring Barnes & Noble bookstores to support A Planet With One Mind. I was a member of the TV club at school (media geek, yep!) and we had learned you don’t get interviews if you don’t ask. So I took my FOMP newsletter in hand (if you know, you know), and thought I would float doing an interview before his Albany, NY appearance in a small hope to spread the word. We had a local access cable channel through the school and at least some parents and students watched (well, the students were sort of made to). I called from home. A very nice woman answered (I later learned this was Tara), and as I put out the idea, she said “Hang on, he’s right here…” and my heart stopped. The next thing I heard was “Hello, this is Michael.” I don’t think a heart can stop while stopped but it did its best.
Fast forward: Mike agreed to come by one November evening to the high school after another appearance out of town. This gave us two or three days to air some promos, spread the word via the mandatory homeroom viewing, and air the full hour interview before his signing in Albany. Most of the jobs for the “shoot” were handled by fellow students, with support from 3 staff at the high school, particularly our producer, Nick Viscio, who let us redesign the whole studio space and get prepped (and direct the shoot when it happened). And the snow came. Upstate New York, after all. Police were telling folks to stay off the road (and in upstate New York, that doesn’t come lightly). We had been at the school since the day ended, but Mike and Tara were in transit. They had my number. That number had an answering machine – this was well before us having cell phones. And the high school switchboard was unmanned so no direct incoming calls to the studio. Thus back and forth and tag, and… well obviously they made it.
I might write something more in depth sometime, but that sets the scene. Below, find the interview itself in full, as it “aired” in 1995 (I was so happy when the occasional person at the signing mentioned they’d seen it!), and a behind-the-scenes video we aired within the school afterward. Pretty sure even Mike and Tara haven’t seen that …
This was shot in the studio of Guilderland Central High School with my friends (whom I will only name if they want to be associated!) and I edited it overnight to lay in b-roll, but the interview is complete. No content was edited out. Everything I uttered (words or not) and Mike’s full answers are here. As an interviewee he was so very generous. If we’re really keeping track, at about minute 22 was when my heart was ready to give out again as I listened to the playback in the studio, turned around, and thought “will he still be there after I play this clip?”
(I’m still proud of that image in the background, printed from my inkjet onto a transparency, put into a slide projector, hung from the ceiling)
Behind the Scenes
Put together and shared within the high school. The nervous energy still comes through, I think 😉