Paul Williams Helped Rat Packer Get Coke

Categories: Film

Paul Williams is the elfin guy with the shag who cowrote "Evergreen," starred in Phantom of the Paradise, won Grammys and an Oscar, and guested on The Tonight Show 50 times.

And he's still alive.

Stephen Kessler's documentary Paul Williams Still Alive proves it by actually catching up with the singer/songwriter.

And having caught up with the doc, I can tell you some interesting stuff from it.

Williams talks about getting booked as the cohost on The Mike Douglas Show in the '70s and having the power to handpick some of the other guests.

Rat Packer Peter Lawford begged Williams to book him because, "There's some blow in Philadelphia that's spectacular!"

Lawford knew that if he simply went to Philly for no ostensible reason, his family would catch wise, but if he had a taping to do there, he could pull it off without suspicion.

So Williams booked him and says about the taping, "All I remember is we were absolutely fried!"

Williams got sober some time later, but talks about having a relapse in Jamaica, starting with a rum and coke that was offered by an unknowing waiter.

Says Williams:

"At 2 o'clock in the morning, I was at Bob Marley's grave, explaining reggae to a lot of black people I didn't know."

Well, I'm glad to have gotten to know Paul Williams through this movie.

I feel we have a sort of rainbow connection.


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Exactly how much of the melody of "Evergreen" do you think Streisand wrote?  And did she ever attempt songwriting again?  I think not.  I always thought that was one of Williams' worst.  The Carpenters did a few of his.


Not to mention the Love Boat theme (lyrics only)! Everybody sing along --

Love, exciting and new

Come aboard, we're expecting you!


He also wrote "We've Only Just begun". He had a great sense of melody and feeling. Amazingly, the movie barely mentions Barbra. They must have not gotten along or something.


Had a couple of his A&M albums in the 70s, "Life Goes On" was one, another one had his version of Helen Reddy's awful hit "You & Me Against the World."  I like "Let Me Be the One" which was covered ad nauseum.