Podcast Transcript

Speaker 1:          Takin’ A Walk.

Lucy:                    My dad is the most hilarious person I know, and he has such a jovial spirit that’s just a joy to be around. He is a big kid and we all are. And I think he sets that example for people, and I think that’s why he’s so adored.

Speaker 1:          Welcome to this new episode of Takin’ A Walk, the podcast where your host, Buzz Knight talks with musicians and insiders to hear their stories about their love of music. On this episode, join Buzz as he welcomes Lucy Walsh. Lucy is an actress appearing in over a dozen film and TV roles, writer, producer, singer, songwriter, and classically trained pianist. She’s also the niece of Ringo Starr and the daughter of the great Joe Walsh. Lucy has a new book out called Remember Me As Human, a love letter to her late grandparents. Lucy Walsh joins Buzz Knight on Takin’ A Walk.

Buzz:                   Lucy, welcome to Takin’ A Walk.

Lucy:                    Hi, Buzz, how are you?

Buzz:                   I’m terrific. I wish we were walking in person, but we could do the virtual thing. Thanks for being on.

Lucy:                    Me too. You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. We’ll pretend like we’re taking a walk. Where are we taking a walk? I say some gorgeous forest. That’s my vote.

Buzz:                   I’m all in, Lucy. I’m all in.

Lucy:                    Good.

Buzz:                   Congratulations on your book. Remember Me As Human. I want to get into this. It’s a fascinating story and I want to hear about the process that you went through with it, but I’d like to talk about this wonderful dad of yours, Joe. When did you first realize that your dad was famous?

Lucy:                    I first really realized it when the Eagles got back together. I was 12 years old. And they played the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and it’s 73,000 people or something. And I was watching from a box up above and I’d never seen so many people in one place. And when my dad came out on stage, the crowd erupted into a roar that I had never heard before. And it was really a life-changing moment for me because my dad was on the stage and I kind of had to take a second and go, “Oh, okay, what’s going on and who is he really? I’m going to need to rethink life as I know it because what does this mean?”

                             And it was also a powerful moment for me as an artist because I decided that I wanted that for myself. And I’m grateful that I had a parent who is an artist because I never got that pressure to go be a banker like a lot of us had. And it’s been wonderful to have that support as I’ve gone on to be an entertainer myself.

Buzz:                   So that was the moment that solidified it for you?

Lucy:                    It was really incredible. I just had tears streaming down my face, wide-eyed shocks you see in movies of somebody just getting absolutely shocked.

Buzz:                   But you knew he was a musician, you just didn’t know he was a famous musician.

Lucy:                    I didn’t realize how famous he was. When I was little I’d see him on TV and stuff, but it was more like, “How’d my dad get inside the TV?” I remember thinking, “How did he get in there?” I didn’t really understand it, but I was aware that he was away a lot because he was famous. I always equated it to because he was famous that’s what took him away from me so often. And I think that put me on an interesting path of chasing fame myself, because little children don’t understand what’s happening. They see things in black and white, and so they make decisions to survive that they carry into adulthood and we’re all walking around with these decisions we made as children trying to survive.

                             And the decision I made was, “Well, I have to become famous too because that’s where my dad is. And so if I’m famous, then he won’t have to leave me again.” And I think it put me on this path of chasing fame for a long time, if that makes sense.

Buzz:                   It definitely makes a lot of sense. Did you see him as the prankster that we all saw him through his life?

Lucy:                    Yes. My dad is the most hilarious person I know, and he has such a jovial spirit that’s just a joy to be around. He is a big kid and we all are. And I think he sets that example for people, and I think that’s why he’s so adored. Because everybody feels like he’s their best friend and he’s always had that magic, and I just adore his sense of humor. We send each other jokes all the time. That’s kind of our thing because sometimes you don’t really know how to speak to each other when you’re father and daughter, and life gets tricky. And we always have our jokes that we send each other, and that’s kind of our unspoken language, that and the music.

Buzz:                   Did you ever hear any of his air checks when he used to be on WXRK in New York 92.3 with a lot of those amazing radio shows?

Lucy:                    No, I don’t think so.

Buzz:                   You have to find them or ask him about them. I’m sure they’re out there somewhere. They were unbelievable. They were revered in the industry because A, it was your dad and he was so cool, but B, most importantly, they were just so darn funny and entertaining.

Lucy:                    Oh my gosh. That’s great. I’ll have to listen.

Buzz:                   It was magical. Well, tell me how proud you are of him, how he’s gone through this transformation in terms of his sobriety and how he’s just gotten himself healthy.

Lucy:                    I’m so proud and I’m so grateful that he made it through and that he’s alive because a lot of his friends didn’t make it through, and he’s happier than ever. He is working. I think parents and children want the same thing for each other ultimately. As long as you’re happy and you’re doing what you love and you’re safe and you’re healthy, I think that that is a successful life. And he has just worked so hard to get to a good place and to just tell his demons to fuck off. He works constantly on keeping himself sober and he’s become such a ray of hope for other people in their sobriety.

                             He’s really embraced the program and gone on to just be such a spokesperson for other people working through sobriety. Really, I’m so proud of him.

Buzz:                   How much wisdom have you been able to pull over the years from your Uncle Ringo?

Lucy:                    Well, I’ve been able to pull some really important wisdom as a musician. I’ve been able to sit with him and talk about how he began and he said things that are really important for another artist to hear, and not just an artist, but no matter what you do. He said, “I never knew anything except that I wanted to play the drums. And all I knew was that I had to get to the next opportunity that I could do that. And in following those next opportunities, it led to everything else.” And he said, “But I never planned on any of this. I never imagined it.”

                             It’s an extraordinary way to live. And people get so caught up in outcomes and wanting the finished thing at the end of the road. And life just doesn’t work that way, does it?

Buzz:                   I don’t think so.

Lucy:                    No. And you can really live a very unhappy life trying to have what’s at the end of the road before you take the journey.

Buzz:                   Well put. Let’s talk about the book, Remember Me As Human. Tell me about the genesis of it, that three day nursing home interview with your grandparents.

Lucy:                    Yes. My grandmother, Wanda, she was 97. My grandfather Dale had already died of Alzheimer’s about seven years earlier, and I journeyed to Illinois and sat with her for what would be our final conversations, and I filmed it. So I have this beautiful footage that I’m going to turn into a documentary and I asked her about her life. And that is the interview that I have woven into the book. And not only that, but I do share a lot about what the experience at the nursing home was like, because it’s an intense place to witness our aging population.

                             And it’s a part of society that people don’t want to look at, and we don’t want to look at our own mortality, of course. Who does? But we’re all going to be there. And just because we age doesn’t mean we lose our humanity. We actually become more human. And what I witnessed there really shaped my life and what I care about now. I really stand for nurturing the aging population. I work with a national organization called the National Association of Long-Term Care Volunteers. I know it’s a mouthful, but you can find all the information on my Instagram page and they bring in volunteer companions to nursing homes.

                             It’s very easy for anybody to go online through this program and get trained and go down to the nursing home in your community and sit with someone for an hour, play cards, play music, ask them about their life. We all need connection. That’s what makes us human, and that’s what my book is about. And that’s why it’s such a crucial read right now as technology and social media are ripping away our humanity and isolating us from each other, we need this more than ever, that human connection. And that’s what I stand for.

Buzz:                   When I was thinking about you in that three day nursing home interview, I personally couldn’t help flashing back on the unbelievable song by John Prine called “Hello In There,” when I was thinking of your experience. Are you familiar with that one?

Lucy:                    No, I’m not. But I’m writing it down and I’ll listen.

Buzz:                   You will have chills.

Lucy:                    Oh my gosh.

Buzz:                   You will have chills. So the documentary will take some time, I’m thinking, to pull all that together, right?

Lucy:                    Who knows? That’s a future thing. But for now, I’ve written a feature film based on the letters and the same characters, but fictionalized and I plan to move towards pre-production with that in the coming year. So that was always the goal. When I got the letters at 17, I knew that one day I wanted to turn them into a film. I really didn’t plan on writing a book, that really just developed because I had to get it out of me somehow and just felt very compelled to get it down on paper. And the more I did that, it shaped into this. But it’s taken me 14 years to complete the book.

                             It’s been a real challenge. There were many times when I thought, “I just don’t think I can do this. I just think this is too hard. I just don’t know how.” So I’m very proud to be holding it in my hands And talking to you now.

Buzz:                   How has your dad received the book?

Lucy:                    He’s so blown away. He is just as proud of me as I am of him, and that means a lot. He hasn’t even read it yet, but he is just always cheering me on. My whole family is, this has been rough for my family, this book. My mom especially because it’s about her. It’s about her parents, and every family has things that have happened that they’d rather not the entire world know about. I’m sure it’s the same in your family, and my mom has really given me the grace and the freedom to write this my own way, and I really appreciate it because I know it hasn’t been easy for her.

Buzz:                   Tell me, what was your experience like working on Criminal Minds with the great Joe Mantegna?

Lucy:                    Oh my God. Not only working on it, but getting to be directed by him because he directed my episode. It was such a dream come true. I had been such a mega fan of Joe’s for so long. He’s just such a legend in the acting world, and he directed it. My dad’s in the same episode. We didn’t work together. I played the head cop of the episode and my dad was in a poker scene with Joe and his army buddies. But Joe Mantegna is such a family man that he really… It meant a lot to him to bring my dad and I in for this episode. And he actually had me do a really funny thing.

                             In the poker scene, it’s all these guys around a table and somebody came up to me on set and said, “Hey, so Mantegna wants you to come in as a surprise and break up the poker scene as the cop character and arrest your dad. And just make up a couple minute improv and just make something up and come in and then just do it.” It’s on CBS. And so you’re trained as an actor. You don’t improv on CBS. It is all scripted. These shows are a lot of money. You don’t mess your lines up. You get in there and you stick to the script. So it was so strange to be told to make up my own improv.

                             And at first I went into total panic and they were like, “Yeah, you have 20 minutes.” And I was like, “Oh my God.” So I collected myself and I thought, “You know what? If you can do a 2.5 hour Shakespeare play, you can do this. Just do it.” And so I just came up with this improv and I walked onto that set. I didn’t know where the cameras were. I’d never been on the set. And I walked in and I just did my thing. And you can see it on YouTube, and they put it on the special features of that season on the DVD. It’s very funny. I walk in there and I tear them all up and I arrest my dad.

Buzz:                   That’s great. And tell me about your experience on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Lucy:                    That was a dream come true as well, because Curb had always been my favorite show, and it’s shot in this way where it’s handheld, so you feel like you’re really there. And I felt like I had just gone through the screen and I was face to face with Larry, and it was so surreal. It was really trippy.

Buzz:                   I love it. And I understand you’re developing a podcast called Broads in a Bathtub. Tell me about that.

Lucy:                    That was an idea, but I’ve moved on to a new idea. I had the Lucy and Annabel show for two years. We did over 60 episodes, and that is a really important podcast for anybody who’s grieving, which we are all grieving something in our lives. Annabel Jones is the daughter of Davy Jones from The Monkeys. And her and I started this podcast to talk about… We both had big record deals. We had both grown up in show business with these fathers. We had a lot that we felt we wanted to share with other young musicians.

                             And three weeks into the podcast, Annabel’s husband was killed in a car accident at 34 years old and his best friend as well. They were both killed. And so we decided to carry on with the podcast in real time and work through Annabel’s process of losing her husband in her thirties. And it became this extraordinary deep dive into grief and loss and rebuilding, and it took off. And apparently people really need to talk about this stuff. So I highly recommend it for anybody. It’s on wherever you listen to your podcasts. The Lucy and Annabel show.

Buzz:                   Thanks for doing the amazing work that you’re doing and the amazing stories that you’re bringing forward. Congratulations on the book, Remember Me As Human. And Lucy Walsh, thanks for being on Takin’ A Walk.

Lucy:                    Thank you so much Buzz. And I’d love to connect with your listeners. They can follow me on Instagram at theLucyWalsh, and the book is available everywhere. I’m so happy that we took a walk in the woods today. Thank you.

Buzz:                   Thanks, Lucy. And say hi to your dad.

Lucy:                    I will.

Speaker 1:          Thanks for listening to this episode of The Takin’ A Walk podcast. Share this and other episodes with your friends and follow us so you never miss an episode. Takin’ A Walk is available on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your podcasts.

 

About The Author

Buzz Knight

Buzz Knight is an established media executive with a long history of content creation and multi-platform distribution.

After a successful career as a Radio Executive, he formed Buzz Knight Media which focuses on strategic guidance and the development of new original content.