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Let's Get Found

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."

Comments (2)

Have to agree here. "LGL" stuck me as necrophilia, a very creepy, if exceedingly well-made doc.

But then I never got Chet Baker, either. Reading the contemporary press along the lines of "Watch out, Miles. You've got competition," is almost laughable these days.

Miles changed the world while Baker cranked out endless twee covers of "I Should Care."

Nuff said.

Josh Schroeder:

I can't speak for the film as I've never seen it, and yes, for the press to have warned Miles that he had competition, is by all means humorous. That said, they weren't really playing the same game either. And while Miles "changed" the world, Chet left an incredibly intriguing musical legacy. He certainly made his mark as an artist and did so with an emotional depth that is unsurpassed.

Perhaps it takes a certain type of person to "get" Chet's work (such as myself, or Elvis Costello)... but those of us who do get it find countless rewards in its beauty and will forever be inspired for it.

FYI - Josh Hartnett was chosen to play Chet Baker in the 2008 film, "The Prince of Cool." Not sure when it will be released...

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