To be sure, Chet Baker is an integral part of the history of West Coast Jazz. Thing is, my mates and I were hard-pressed to understand exactly WHY when we first went to the Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis in 1989 to see Bruce Weber's formaldehyde-soaked documentary Let's Get Lost. By the time of that film, Baker was a toothless emaciated shell of a junkie -- believe me, Amy Winehouse, you have NOTHING on this guy.
If I can remember correctly, the conversation as we left the show went something like this:
"Who was that walking corpse? He couldn't even sing!"
"What does Elvis Costello see in this guy?"
"Does he actually play that trumpet or just clutch it like a pacificer?"
"Let's go hit Liquor Lyle's. They've got their hot wings happy hour."
It's odd when the years go by and the films you've seen on screen fade away and become "out of print." For years I wanted to see Let's Get Lost again, especially after I (re)discovered Baker on The Italian Sessions or the Paris Barclay Sessions with Dick Twardzik. Now apparently, it's been re-released in the theatres in 35mm. Can DVD be far behind? With lots and lots of extras?
Isn't it somewhat ironic that the release has played in New York but not Los Angeles? Oh yes, if you want to see some short clips on You Tube, forget it. They've all been taken down "due to a copyright claim by the Chet Baker Foundation."