Hacking The Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer and Prince, Beethoven, Herma...

Our latest interview with Prince, Beethoven, Bernard Hermann and others, talking about the healing nature of music, as well as discussion with a dog on the flipside giving advice for pet owners who want to continue the conversation with their pet.

Here's a link to "BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE FLIPSIDE 3" referenced in this podcast.

Backstage Pass to the Flipside 3: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer Book Three by [Richard Martini, Jennifer Shaffer, Luana Anders]

Meanwhile: #1 new release at Audible in its genre.


Don Rickles Proves He Still Exists Live on Coast to Coast Radio

Another amazing interview with George Noory. 

For those with a score card - last time I was on the show I asked him if he had anyone to speak with on the flipside, who would that be? 

And he said "Don Rickles." 

So Jennifer Shaffer and I interviewed Don after the show (That interview is on Page 435 of "Backstage Pass to the Flipside 3")  

I asked Don Rickles (via Jennifer) if George had ever met him. He said "Yes, through a mutual friend, in Vegas." I asked him if he had any message for George Noory, he said "Tell him there's no room up here."  

Live on the air, I asked George if he "ever met Don Rickles." 

Jennifer and George at the Great Greek Restaurant

He said "Yes, I went to see Robert Davi who opened for him, and I met him briefly backstage, in Vegas."  

I pointed out - I had no way of knowing that - we had never discussed it - he had not told me that,  nor could have Jennifer. 

Just another small minor "proof" that life goes on - live on the air.

"Architecture of the Afterlife" is #8 on Audible in its genre

"Architecture of the Afterlife" is currently #8 on Audible in its genre - and rising.

Architecture of the Afterlife: The Flipside Code: Discovering the Blueprint for the Great Beyond

By this time tomorrow "I predict" it will be #1 on Amazon in its genre. Always happens after my appearances on "Coast to Coast" with George Noory.

Many thanks to all the folks who generously donated part of their consciousness (without hypnosis) to allow me to explore, probe and generally get them to share knowledge they had no clue they possessed.

(also titles at #17, #24 and #48 in the top fifty! I had no idea. Booya.)


Coast to Coast appearance and a note from the Flipside

Just got a note from someone on quora who tried to speak to her loved one on the flipside. 

Jennifer and George

Here’s what she got: “I am alive and the death was fake… (as in not real) but in reality I am still all alive." 

It doesn't get any more powerful than that.  “I am alive.” That means - “not dead. Not gone.” I hear it often - “Our loved ones think we’re gone. We aren’t gone. You just don’t acknowledge we still exist.” 

She heard her loved one say “I am alive and the death was fake” - fake as in, "the body passes away, but the person does not."  

I don’t know how to put it any clearer than that. Death is fake.  As in - not real. 

We have an illusion that it is real. We believe it is real. We look at a table and don't see the atoms agreeing to hold space. We look at light and don't see the UV rays bees see. We look at a person, and don't see the cancer that dogs can smell. We look at a loved one who is old but see them as when we first met them. 

We believe we cannot speak or communicate to our loved ones who have crossed over - so we can’t. How could we? If we don’t believe they exist, how could they ever prove us otherwise? 

As Harry Dean Stanton said in "Backstage Pass to the Flipside" "Tell people to believe in the possibility of the afterlife, so then they won't waste another minute of their lives arguing about it like I did."  (And that is literally a quote from flipside. Harry spoke to us a week before his memorial, and what he told me to tell his friends at his memorial blew their minds - because only he could have known those details.) 

Finally, she hears from her loved one - “In reality I am still ALL ALIVE.”  

Not just “sort of alive” or “part of me exists” - she was specific by adding the word “all” - as in “all alive.” All of me still exists - everything that was my body still exists in spirit form.”  To deny what she's hearing from her loved one is to deny the loved one still exists. And the loved one just proved to her that the loved one does exist. 

We tend to forget that our cells regenerate all the time. That in seven years every cell in our body is new. Every seven years we are a new model - and that includes brain cells too. All of them. Gone and come again. None of them stick around.  Every seven years! New all of you! We labor under the illusion that what we knew 7 years ago - the person in the mirror - is the same. Not the same. New.

And people ask me “how can I believe that people still exist?”  

I don’t believe - I film others talking to them. I edit the footage. I transcribe what I filmed and put it in the books. From their lips to your ears.

Believe, don’t believe - but don’t ignore those relatives who want to stay in touch with you.  (Or ignore them, that’s a choice.)  Just reporting. (And I will be on “Coast to Coast” with George Noory tomorrow night Tues. 6-16-20 10 PM PST discussing the latest research from Jennifer Shaffer in "Backstage Pass to the Flipside 3" and "Architecture of the Afterlife.")

Coast to Coast with George Noory interview

Will be on COAST TO COAST with George Noory tomorrow, Tues, 10 pm PST 6-16-20 talking about the research.


A Murder Most Foul and Reflections from the Flipside

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Hacking the Afterlife Podcast

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension— a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone." Rod Serling

Hints of it abound. Sign posts up ahead.  To be a tad more specific, you are now entering “”  (Note: We did "interview" Rod Serling in one of the "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer.") Rod went on a date with our moderator on the flipside Luana. 

She recalled him driving his red sports car super fast through the canyons of Sunset Blvd near Will Rogers. Every time I go through there I think of her description of looking at him wide eyed, like "are you serious?" Him, eyes set on the roadway, his tight jaw steeled against what was "up ahead." Funny. 

Luana with Michael Gough on Broadway in 1966.

Recent events inspired me to give some perspective to the sessions that Jennifer Shaffer and I have been doing in our podcast “Hacking the Afterlife.”  (Podcasts are at, or the videos are at

The past two weeks we’ve had some unusual “guests.”

The way it works is this; the night before I ask Luana Anders (our class moderator, my pal who passed away in 1996 and inspired the film and book “Flipside”) who might want to speak to us in class.  In this case, I had the “impression” that Frank Sinatra wanted to say something about the protests going on, and wanted to bring Nat King Cole along, as they were friends, Frank helped Nat in his career, and they remain friends on the flipside. (We’ve had chats with Sammy Davis Jr. as well as other people – many related to Ray Charles, whom I worked with on the film “Limit Up” where he played the role of “God.” (God being a blind sax player who works in front of the Chicago Board of Trade and ensures that poor people worldwide get fed.)

Another one of my films that's in Limbo. MGM claims they own it, but I've seen internal documents saying they haven't a clue who owns it.  Siskel and Ebert both gave it a "thumbs way down."  I beg to disagree, albeit a bit late.

Alas, another film distribution mystery – company that made it went out of business during its run (Didn’t help that Sisk-bert gave it a “thumbs way down”) and MCEG’s other film “Look Who’s Talking” took all the time and attention away from this comic fable. Be that as it may – in my work with Jennifer, who works with law enforcement agencies nationwide on missing person cases – we’ve chatted with a number of people, including Roger Ebert (and Gene Siskel) who both “apologized” for not seeing far enough into the future with regard to my film. (Funny idea, getting a posthumous review of your work, in any fashion – it’s just really bizarre and/or hilarious.)

In that context, I had the impression that Frank wanted to chat with us. (Not to me per se - based on my own career and skills - but to Jennifer, because she's the one of us who actually is skilled.)

So we began the session as I always do; asking Jennifer if Luana had someone she wanted us to speak with.

Luana Anders is the “holder of the clipboard” on the flipside, according to Tom Petty, who came through one day to refer to her as that. Since I had never met Tom, nor reviewed him when I was a music critic at Variety, I asked “Why are you here?” 

He ignored the question and replied “You have no idea how hard it is to speak to you two! There’s a line out the door, and your friend Luana is like the person with the VIP clipboard who decides who gets a “Backstage Pass.” (Hence the title of the three books – “Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer Part one, two and book three.”)


I won’t go into the contents of those books, other than to say, people come through that I knew (Bill Paxton, ("Talking to Bill Paxton" on Gaia, here's an excerpt) Harry Dean Stanton) and prove “beyond a shadow of any doubt I might have had” that they are still in existence, are still hilarious, and have comments they’d like to make about what’s happening on the planet. No other way to put it.  

I’ve spent the other five or so books (“Flipside,” “It’s A Wonderful Afterlife” “Hacking the Afterlife") demonstrating how people can access “new information” from those on the other side, that is forensically verifiable information that they “hear for the first time” under hypnosis.  The latest in that series “Architecture of the Afterlife” demonstrates how people can access the same information without any hypnosis whatsoever.

Which is backstory, context for what these two podcasts have to say.

In the first one, “Talking to Frank Sinatra” we start with the two people who “showed up” to chat with us; Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.  We’ve had conversations with both of them before, they’re reproduced in “Backstage Pass to the Flipside part one and two” so I wasn’t surprised at their coming forward. But I was surprised by who they brought with them; George Floyd.

Allow me to state the obvious – I have no way of “proving” who these folks are. Jennifer is not claiming anything other than answering my questions as directly as she can.

I try to focus on the “overall answers” of many people to point at a greater truth.  That “no one dies” - that we all come here by agreement, that the incidents and people in our lives are part of a play, or a planned performance that we may have planned a long time in advance, and the outcomes of our lives are for the benefit of others.  

So my questions to George Floyd where the same I ask everyone; “Who was there to greet you when you crossed over?” and “Was that a surprise?”  He mentions that he saw his mother prior to crossing over (as we all have heard in the awful tape of his murder) – but in this instance, Jennifer might have only reported that. And that would make sense, because he said it before crossing over. “Mama, they’re killing me. I can’t breathe.”

Steve Jobs reportedly said “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow” before he crossed over (according to his sister). Napoleon reported for duty before he did (and then shouted “Josephine!” whom he hadn’t seen in 8 years). Other reports of “last words” are often the “first words” that people say as they enter the flipside.  What they also say consistently is that they consider that place “Home” – and this place “not home.”  That is, in many of the 50 cases I’ve filmed, when asked “What happened after your memory of dying from that lifetime?” people respond “I went home.”

But in this case, Mr. Floyd said he was “greeted by his son” when he crossed over.  

I’m aware he has a 6 year old daughter – and if she ever reads this, know that I knew that when I asked “Is this son from this lifetime or another one?” He knows he has a daughter as well, but he was replying to my direct question; "who was the first person that you saw that made you realize you were on the other side?" He mentioned seeing his mother prior to passing - but it was seeing his "son" that made him realize "where he was."

I’ve heard the same often - in Harry Dean Stanton’s testimony (reported a week after he died, and a week before his memorial service where I learned the accuracy of what he said as reported in "Backstage Pass to the Flipside" and in posts here), he claimed there were five women in the room, and that there the first person to greet him was “a child that he was going to have, that didn’t come to term, but was there to greet him.”

At his memorial service, the room filled with skeptics and atheists like Harry Dean, one of the women who was with Harry when he died said “There were 5 women in the room, but then Harry suddenly said “Hand me the baby.” We all heard it.”  

I had heard of this baby a week earlier.

But at some point, I invited Frank Sinatra to come forward (again), because I had the feeling he wanted to.  And in the course of asking about his journey, I asked him a question that someone had given to me. Earlier that morning, I asked a close pal “If you could ask Frank Sinatra a question, what would it be?” And she said “Who killed Robert Kennedy?”  

I thought that was unusual – because Frank is associated with the brother, and when I later asked this person specifically why she asked that question, she thought she had asked about the brother. But she had not.  So I asked the question exactly as it was posed.

As one can see in the clip – after he answered, the session froze, and when we came back, I asked the “person responsible” about whether he was directly or indirectly responsible – and Jennifer quoted him.

The following week – again, I didn’t mention who we were going to speak with, but carried on the conversation from the previous week. And the results are on camera.



I did make some factual errors in here. That morning I had looked at the wikipedia entry for “Lady Bird” and didn’t see a death date, so wrongly assumed she was still alive. It’s not a question that’s easy to ask Jennifer either – because “alive or dead” is meaningless to folks on the flipside. They are alive. We just don’t see them that way.

So the question has to be more specific “are you here or up there?” And even then more clarity is needed, because we “bring about a third” of our conscious energy to a lifetime – so part of us is “always up there.” Are you alive or dead? I'm alive? Are you still on the planet as well? No, unless you're referring to my reincarnation." It can get complex.

As noted, I reached out to a member of the Kennedy's family, I passed along the transcripts in full, verbatim,  and I did get a "thank you" and "very interesting" response from one family member. I can only report. I feel like their family has gone through enough trauma for a number of lifetimes, so in spite of my hesitance to bring up old wounds, I do so specifically because I'd been "asked to." I'm here reporting on these two controversial clips because they deserve context.

Also, I asked the "Sam Kinison question" on behalf of a friend – he said “Who was Sam talking to when he died?”  (An eyewitness to Sam's death said that "after the car accident, he seemed fine, then  appeared to be "talking to someone" saying "No, no, I can't go now!" and then seemed to "agree" or "accede" - said "Okay" and passed away. 

("Kinison was found lying between the seats of his car at the scene of the collision. He was not killed instantly, according to his brother. "Witnesses stated that Kinison appeared to be holding a conversation in which he stated, "I don't want to die. I don't want to die."As the conversation continued Sam said, "But why?" And finally, Kinison stated, "Okay, Okay, Okay" The last "Okay" was stated in a very gentle and loving manner, as if he were talking with someone he knew, and loved." From various internet sources, including Wikipedia)

I told the producer of “Coast to Coast with George Noory” that “if Robin Williams shows up during my upcoming session with Jennifer, I’ll take that as a sign to ask the question, as he almost always shows up when regarding comedians.” 

And that’s exactly what happened. Jennifer said "Robin is here" which rang a bell in my head, and I asked the question. I would have assumed that Sam would have been visited by his mom, or dad - and that would be a very normal thing to report, or even a "guardian angel" or someone who is actually a "higher power."  But in this case, the "higher power" was none other than John Belushi, with assistance from Gilda Radner.  (Jennifer at first couldn't think of Gilda's name, but the timing, for those keeping score, is accurate for the both of them.)

She clarifies that – “SNL member with breast cancer” – which could only be Gilda, but as noted, I worked with Gilda (“Movers and Shakers”) and we interviewed her and Gene Wilder in one of the two books. Also John Belushi was an early interview, I met him backstage at SNL, so that wasn’t a surprise to me that we could "chat with him" as I have friends who were friends of his.  

I mention Sam’s passing in “Flipside” as an example of people “talking to people they can’t see” as they cross over. (Apologies to Rita Rudner, a comedienne very much alive – calling her a “character Gilda played on SNL” when I meant of course the famous   Not Rita Rudner. Lisa Lubner. (Or is it Lubed-in-ear?)

This is the school LBJ references in the clip
He loved teaching these children.
The typewriter mentioned in the second clip – I did see at the LBJ museum in Austin – not Dallas. I was recalling the few times I’ve been in Texas, once to edit a film (“Camera – Dogme #15”) but was also in Austin to see my pal Jerry Hall in “The Vagina Monologues” and Jerry and I took at tour of the LBJ museum in Austin, where I saw the famous “Intelex” typewriter – which LBJ used to “communicate directly to Moscow” – a “red phone” before there were “smart phones.”  

This is the "red phone" Intelex that LBJ has in his
museum in Austin.

Which brings up the topic of syntax and “breaking things down.”  

In these two interviews, we hear Frank Sinatra “point a finger” at LBJ – or his administration – as being responsible for the deaths of JFK, RFK and Marilyn Monroe. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this – it’s in the transcripts of the book “Backstage Pass to the Flipside 3” – I was startled to hear it, did some research into it and couldn’t  square the fact that LBJ was a guy who appeared to have great compassion for African Americans, poor people in general – and how could someone like that be behind such a heinous act?

Many folks loved the guy.

Well, he “explains” it in the second piece. 

By talking about the same things that is in the research – that we all choose our lifetimes, we choose roles to play – that he would have preferred staying a school teacher of children in Texas than the life he led, but he too understood the reasons behind it. 

He points to a reason that also is found in the research – that in this lifetime, some people work out issues from a previous lifetime.  In this area, he says (I know that Jennifer says it, but she has absolutely no connection to the content of what he’s saying, as she notes live on air “I had no idea there were slaves in Ireland.”)

LBJ singing with his dog Yuki.

LBJ says that “due to a previous lifetime as an indentured servant” (not a slave, as slaves have no way out, the indentured servant could do prison time, be sent by Cromwell to Jamaica or Australia, or in rare cases, work their way out of the obligations with similar horror stories).  Having done this for some time, hearing that someone has “karmic overtones” from a previous lifetime, allows us to see their journey in a different perspective.

A number of different interviews in "Flipside" or in "Backstage Pass" come to mind where people claim to recall horrific past lives where this lifetime was a "direct opposite" of that journey.  Those who've read the books will know who I'm referring to, no need to "name drop" at this point. (Even Jennifer recalled a lifetime where she was "dunking" witches, the polar opposite of what she's doing now.)

Before anyone gets upset about the "Irish slaves" term - something that is inaccurate in terms of being "sold" but accurate in terms of "stuck working to death for someone" - I'm aware that the word "slave" is a lightning rod for argument, but in this case, Jennifer isn't offering an opinion, she sees the "image of slavery" and offers it, because I've done research on the topic, I'm aware of indentured servitude in lower classes of Ireland for centuries to British owners including in Jamaica.  It seems every African American friend I know who has roots in Jamaica, has an "uknown Irish relative" in their blood line. I've been at more than one wedding, looking through the photographs where I found a white pasty looking Leprechaun looking fellow in the family tree. "Who's that guy?"  "I don't know, some great great grandsomething."

But I digress.

When I initially heard that these folks on the flipside wanted to “talk about a murder” from back in the 1960’s, I actually said “Well, you guys are okay now on the flipside, it’s all just part of the journey, what does it matter if someone was killed 50 years ago; it's ancient history to us.” (As reported in "Backstage Pass to the Flipside Part two")

The following week, another person came forward to chastise me. I was startled when Jennifer said “I don’t know why she is here, but Mary Todd Lincoln wants to talk to you about something you said last week.”  
Then Jennifer said, "She said “You are wrong to call it "ancient history" to us, who are outside of time, it feels like yesterday. By getting the truth out of what happened and why, we all heal from those wounds.”

That's not a concept Jennifer has ever come across, and I have not either - and if I was going to construct this kind of answer, Mary Todd Lincoln would be the last likely candidate to claim she said so.  By being a "famous yet obscure" person, her words hit me like a sledge hammer.

Mary Todd setting the record straight.

Nothing quite like saying “Mary Todd Lincoln chewed my ass out during a session." But I have refrained from “dismissing” what people come forth to tell us, or share with us. What's the point? The argument she made is compelling. Once we are off planet, we feel as if we are "outside of time." I've heard this consistently in the research. "25 years on earth feels like ten minutes over here.  2500 years feels like a couple of weeks. So running into someone who lived in another era isn't that odd of an occurence." 

But the point of this exercise is not to point a finger at LBJ being "responsible" or "partially responsible" (his words) for the events of the 1960's.  Unusually, in light of what is said here, it was startling to hear "Robert" say he felt the same about the death of Marilyn. And on the circle goes.

When asked "When did you become aware that you were responsible for the death of the Kennedy's? Before, during or after?"  “I wasn’t aware of the events before, but during.”  

For those keeping score, that’s a long time between 1962 (Marilyn) 1963 (JFK) 1968 (MLK) and 1968 (RFK) – March 31st of 1968 LBJ announced he would not run again for office... 2 days later, Martin Luther King is assassinated, and 2 months later that RFK was "taken off the stage as well" - so if he was aware of any of this, or any of these people - the same people were involved on some level with Marilyn (Mafia, rogue CIA, or someone in his administration) he had 5 years to stop the other events from occurring.  So saying that he was aware "during" doesn't clear anything up as to what happened afterwards.

Again - I'm not here to solve any mysteries - I just ask questions and see what people have to say. I know that their answers give peace and resolve to some people who are concerned about their loved ones "still existing" but in this case, as Mary Todd Lincoln said, "Ripping off the bandages to reveal the truth helps everyone, including us."

So the "solution of a crime" not only brings justice on this side of the veil, apparently it brings some sense of peace or justice to the other side of the veil as well.

Again, it's just not enough to say “I became aware of these things during” when these heinous events were preventable.  Lest we forget; LBJ was about to fire J. Edgar Hoover, and when he emerged from the meeting (we interviewed him as well in "Backstage Pass" - yes, loved drag, and seem to delight in outing  other politicians) LBJ famous remarked "I was going to fire him and instead made him director for life." (Even the National Enquirer claims LBJ was behind the assassinations - although I wouldn't believe their magazine even if they were quoting me.)

Who comes out of a meeting to fire someone by making them director for life? People who, like Game of Thrones style learn their enemy has all the dirt they need to bury them.

Sounds a bit  like the "about face" of someone currently in the Senate, affectionately known as "Lady G" (and "power top").  Not here to sling gossip or out anyone, but heck if we're talking about mail that's black it appears to be happening all the time.

In essence, these two podcasts confirm what the book “Brothers” by David Talbot (referenced in the session) is referring to; a group of people within government (rogue CIA, mafia, Bay of Pigs people) who assassinated JFK specifically to make LBJ the President, and that LBJ “became aware of it” as it was happening. And further, they eliminated (insured she died and her house was cleaned) Marilyn, MLK and RFK when it appeared he would win the Presidency. (Perhaps one of the reasons LBJ decided to not run; he was aware of what was about to happen - MLK 3 days later, RFK 8 weeks later.)  

A "murder most foul" indeed.

I’m referencing the song by Bob Dylan – the 17 minute piece where he uses the JFK assassination as a jumping off place to talk about his encyclopedic memory of music and those events that surrounded his experience of music.

Murder Most Foul by Bob Dylan (from his website)

‘Twas a dark day in Dallas - November ‘63
The day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was riding high
A good day to be living and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb

"Say wait a minute boys, do you know who I am?"
"Of course we do, we know who you are"
Then they blew off his head when he was still in the car - Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
‘Twas a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts and we’ve come to collect
We’re gon’ kill you with hatred and without any respect - We’ll mock you and shock you, we’ll grin in your face - We’ve already got someone here to take your place.

The day that they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly - so quick by surprise
Right there in front of everyone’s eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman, howl
Rub a dub dub – it’s murder most foul..."

Indeed.  The flipside concurs with the Nobel Laureate.

One last note, in a recent session, and it was with someone accessing the flipside without hypnosis, this person got to a place where they were in the “Library of Music” and said that they saw Bob Dylan there, “his higher self” was the librarian in charge of all music. Whenever I read something about him or by him now, I think of this librarian fellow who knows all music, is connected to all music.

Bob would not aware of this information, other than in dreams perhaps, but he points to it in the recent NY Times interview to suggest that “his songs fall from heaven” that he “writes them in a trance:”  

"Those kinds of songs for me just come out of the blue, out of thin air. I never plan to write any of them. But in saying that, there are certain public figures that are just in your subconscious for one reason or another. None of those songs with designated names are intentionally written. 
They just fall down from space. I’m just as bewildered as anybody else as to why I write them..."

“I Contain Multitudes” is more like trance writing. Well, it’s not more like trance writing, it is trance writing. It’s the way I actually feel about things. It is my identity and I’m not going to question it, I am in no position to. Every line has a particular purpose. Somewhere in the universe those three names (Anne Frank, Indie Jones, Rolling Stones) must have paid a price for what they represent and they’re locked together. And I can hardly explain that. Why or where or how, but those are the facts. 

Finally he notes; "The song is like a painting, you can’t see it all at once if you’re standing too close. The individual pieces are just part of a whole."(NY Times June 2020)

Which is the same thing people say about the flipside, about our journey over many lifetimes.  We can't see the arc of our theme, the essence of the journey if we look too close, we have to stand back and see the entire symphony that is who we are.

And... it’s not that much different than when Jennifer goes into a trance, and says things about people and events that she couldn’t possibly know. And I ask questions to those people she runs into and we all gain greater insight into why we’re on the planet, to look at the overall picture from a new perspective.

Finally, on a musical note:

Bernard Hermann came to  mind the other day – the composer of many of Hitchcock’s films, including the score of “Psycho” with a violin track that has forever defined “Horror” or shocked people in a shower in a hotel somewhere in Tuscaloosa. 

He also scored the original “Twilight Zone” which was later replaced by another scaled down version by Marius Constant – an example how “featuring two guitars, bongo drums, a saxophone and French horns” can scare the hell out of a kid growing up in Chicago whose brothers forced him to watch the show. The music itself turned the blood cold, and I’d hide behind the couch until I couldn’t resist seeing Telly Savalas torture “Talkie Tina.”

I was attending a zoom session with Phillip Noyce, the composer Craig Armstrong and others, talking about the most powerful musical scores they’d ever heard. Phillip revealed sneaking into the theater “under age” and watching “Psycho” for the first time. He ended the session (a Master Class in film directing, sponsored by friends in Spain, ("Escuela Assumpta Serna") with 300 participants from 28 countries across the globe – actors who he’d worked with in Australia, South Africa, Vietnam turning in and sharing their experiences, including how the Covid 19 outbreak is affecting them.  (In South Africa it was “still out of control” with people “not social distancing” while in Vietnam, they had narrowed it to 333 cases with a handful of deaths according to the star of “Quiet American.”)

At some point, I weighed in with a story from my life about a famous composer. Grew up with classical music, mom was a concert pianist, often played with the “first chairs” or the Chicago Symphony in our living room, and due to budgetary constraints I composed and scored two of my own films (“Cannes Man” and “Point of Betrayal”) 

(Here’s a sample of a scored scene, totally lifted from the maestro himself: Scene stars Rod Taylor (a Hitchcock veteran who told us many great Hitch stories) and Rebecca Broussard, who embodied the perfect quality I was looking for; a nurse whom you didn’t know if she was going to kiss or slap us.)

But I felt justified in lifting something from Bernard, because, well, I had smoked a joint once with him in his penthouse in Manhattan.  I had an old friend from high school living in Manhattan, and she asked if I would accompany her on a dinner date with this “older dude” (she was probably 25, he in the last year of his life) and just to be the "beard" I accompanied her to this fellow’s fantastic Penthouse – to this day the most spectacular view of the city I’ve ever seen. He was funny, didn’t seem like he was going to chop up my friend, until he brought out some pot that sent me into another world.

I remember getting up from the table to walk around his place, just to make sure that I wasn’t going to pass out from the "good stuff" (circa 1974 - how strong could it be? And I realize I'm a year older now than he was then) and as I was strolling around, started seeing these gold records on the wall.  Could this be… wait a minute. The guy hosting this party is named Bernie… could he be? Indeed he was, and I’m sorry to say I was too stoned say anything other than “Wow, you have a lot of gold records on your walls.” Nothing about pizzicato, or a reprise, or my future directing Rod Taylor in a film was mentioned.

But 40 years later, composing the music for our film "Point of Betrayal" that was sold to Paramount and HBO, but for legal reasons has never “seen the light of day” (based on a true Palm Beach family with wealthy lawyers), this is the only place one can see the film. (Someone purchased it in Colombia – not sure who or why, but checks do show up at BMI from whoever is viewing it worldwide – outside the US of A.)

(This film stars Rod Taylor and Dina Merrill.  Dina grew up in Mar Al Lago, and donated it to the Park Service.  Along came an upstart from NYC who applied (and was rejected for membership) from the tony Palm Beach Country Club - so he wheedled it out of the Park Service (for as yet to be paid "one million") turned it into his own "country club" and is where this film had it's "World Premiere" in 1997. I got a call from the producer asking why the current resident was offering me "$50 grand to my favorite charity" to get him a photograph of Dina Merrill at the Premiere.  

I stopped by her Palm Beach condo (she had a home in East Hampton) and asked her why this Mar Al Lago resident was so desperate to get her photograph.  She said "Because he knows how much I loathe him. Rich, I made a promise to never step foot in my home again as long as he's there, and so that means I can't come to the premiere of our film. But here's something for the charity your benefitting that night."  And literally... wrote me a check for fifty grand. On the spot. Which benefitted the charity 100 percent.) 

So if you want to see the only film that has ever premiered at MAL, this is the one.  I got a guided tour from the resident's second wife, and got to see all the hilarious "self portraits" in every room including his bathroom.  People ask me what I think of the guy and I say "I try not  to.")

Here's the audible version of "Architecture of the Afterlife

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension— a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the"

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