“There were a lot of people under 40 going. ‘Who the hell’s that spiky-haired little guy up there accepting that award’,” joked legendary songwriter Paul Williams about his winning this January’s Grammy for album of the year for his work on Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories.” That’s someone who got nominated for his first Grammy in 1972, that’s who.
At 73, Williams, who is also president of performing rights organization ASCAP, remains extremely busy. He and composer Gustavo Santaolalla are writing a musical version of Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 film “Pan’s Labyrinth” for the stage.
“I think the essence of any good story telling is a good story and Guillermo del Toro’s story is a brilliant story… I think this is wonderful edgy adult fairy tale. It will be heavy with effects, the Broadway version thereof, but it’s a story that I think can be told on a high school stage. It’s the iconic hero’s journey.”
Of all of the songs he’s written, “The Muppet Movie’s” “The Rainbow Connection” remains the one that resonates with generation after generation. He talks about what it was like to work with Jim Henson. “[Kenny Asher and I] were trying to write about that sort of every-frog, amazing character that Jim had created in Kermit. It was a labor of love.”
As far as reuniting with Daft Punk, Williams said he’s write with them again, “in a heartbeat.”