Monday, August 9, 2010

Joe Negri on All Things Considered

Guitarist Joe Negri, Handyman Negri from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, admitted today on NPR’s All Things Considered that he is not very handy:

“I’ll never forget, we had a big joke about that. Cause I said to him, ‘Handyman? You’ve gotta be kidding.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s pretend.’ So I pretended my way to being a handyman.”
Joe Negri is eighty-four and has a new recording, Dream Dancing. YouTube has him playing the title tune (by Cole Porter) and much more.

Related posts
Blaming Mister Rogers
Fred Rogers and Pittsburgh
“Lady Aberlin’s Muumuu”
Lady Elaine’s can

comments: 2

William V. Madison said...

Yet another case where Fred Rogers blurred the line between reality and pretend! Betty Aberlin has talked about the challenge of using her own name on the show, yet playing a character who was in some ways quite different from herself. (It's clear, for example, that she's still a bit uncomfortable with her aristocratic identity as a Lady in King Friday's court.) Though Fred Rogers often talks to viewers about the importance of distinguishing between reality and pretend, sometimes it seems that the Trolley is the only one in the Neighborhood who knows where to draw the line.

Beyond that, I'm retroactively grateful once again that Mister Rogers placed such a high value on music, and gathered such remarkable talents as Joe Negri's.

Michael Leddy said...

Remember though that Joe Negri was a handyman only in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. In “real life” he owned Negri’s Music Shop. The Platonic and Puritan objections to theater as deception are finally making sense to me. : )

Here, for the interested reader, is a link to Bill’s interview with Betty Aberlin. It’s great reading.