With a new live album from the Sydney Opera House, Rock's Backpages celebrates the pop genius of octogenarian Burt Bacharach with an excerpt from Bill DeMain's 1997 piece for Switch.
"WHERE IS that whistling coming from?" Burt Bacharach, dressed in baggy jeans and an Austin Powers T-shirt, looks up from his grand piano and raises his hand, halting the music for the second time at this trouble spot. The medley of his early hits, now a few bars into "The Blob," fizzles out.
"Don't you hear that whistling sound?" Bacharach asks the six musicians and three singers on stage with him at S.I.R. rehearsal hall in Los Angeles. They shake their heads and mumble possible explanations. "Maybe it's feedback." "Some stray overtones?"
Then, Lisa Taylor, one of the vocalists, admits shyly, "Well, I was whistling under my breath, but I didn't think the mike was picking it up."
"Lisa, you're kidding," Bacharach says, then breaks out in a grin. "I thought I was going crazy, hearing things."
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