Sunday, March 5, 2017


I took tea once, with an ancient
Orson Welles. He was already drunk,
but willing to talk. We said in the
Palm II front, amidst that upper
east-side feeling that such a street
delivers. I asked a few questions  -
about the Mercury Theater and
those Martians at Grover's Mills.
'Was it really such a surprise,
the reaction you garnered? And
did any of you know this was
happening?' He chuckled, that
rolling laughter, 'Of course, yes,
we know but we didn't know at
that very moment. We sensed
that the people who listened
to us would be easy to pull
along. You have to realize, this
is all made up. This mass-panic?
Not going to happen  -  we simply
didn't have that many listeners.
The ones we had  -  yes, yes  -
we knew they'd be dumb enough
to leap if we held the semblance
of a stupid net  -  for them to see,
to think was there. And yet, it all
went on as planned. That was 110
w41st, Houseman and I had just
gotten the place and this was the
first : a big effect, we knew our
listeners were gullible, well, yes,
maybe so. I have to tell you, we
changed our tone quickly once this
happened. Within the hour we had
to act as if we knew it all along, the
hype, the action, all that new radio
noise! It was ours now, all ours!
And we played it for all it was worth
-  you need to remember the times,
the year, nothing like this had ever
occurred before. No, nothing.
The vice of all this is  -  we had
to make it work, for us, by us.
It was all our doing!

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