Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me
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An honest, revealing self-portrait by the critically acclaimed, fiercely independent actor discusses his early life, career, world travels, social activism, and profiles of friends, lovers, and professional colleagues. 500,000 first printing.
I was ever going to be happy, I realized, it was up to me to achieve it and not to some woman who would enter my life with a holy grail filled with a magic elixir guaranteeing me a full and happy life. I also realized that if I were ever to forgive myself for all the things that I had done, I had to forgive my mother. I didn’t know it at the time, but when I forgave Weonna she symbolized my mother, and I was forgiving her at the same time. Ever since then, I have had good relationships with
part, taking them to the theater for a reading and afterward hearing the producer say, “Terrific. Thank you very much. We’ll call you.” After the actor was gone, the agent would ask, “Well, Al, what did you think?” “Great,” the producer would say, “He was terrific, but he’s too Jewish.” If you “looked Jewish,” you didn’t get a part and couldn’t make a living. You had to look like Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Paul Muni or Paulette Goddard and change your name. They were Jews, but didn’t “look
unbridled fornication occurred during that summer of 1944, and I was in the thick of it. One day Piscator lifted up the trapdoor to the loft where I was sleeping above a garage, found me with a girl and said I had to leave because I’d broken the “Rules of Summer Stock.” I was disappointed because I was enjoying myself, but in those days I was like a newspaper blowing down the street in a strong wind: I went this way or that way depending on the gale. As luck would have it, because I was expelled
that he had left to sell. He continued on his path of self-destruction until he died. 19 IT STILL PLEASES ME to be awake during the dark, early hours before morning when everyone else is still asleep. I’ve been that way since I first moved to New York. I do my best thinking and writing then. During those early years in New York, I often got on my motorcycle in the middle of the night and went for a ride—anyplace. There wasn’t much crime in the city then, and if you owned a motorcycle,
was afraid she might have cut the arteries in her wrist, but he said he had bandaged her wounds and that she would be all right. “Okay,” I said, “treat her as best as you can and let me know what happens.” I didn’t see or hear from Maria for several months until I was walking down the street one day on my way home with a woman who had been staying with me. Maria came up to us and I realized she had been waiting for me outside my apartment. This was long before celebrities entertained thoughts