Across The Way Thread #15852
Bill Richert's Foreword for Barry's Book
Created Byelc712
Created DateSat, Apr 03, 2004
Created Time03:50AM GMT

elc7124/3/2004 3:50:00 AM
Scott4/3/2004 4:00:01 AM
Armand4/3/2004 5:20:00 AM
Mona4/3/2004 6:40:00 AM
Dani The Girl4/3/2004 12:40:01 PM
~* Marjie *~4/3/2004 12:50:01 PM
Pietro4/3/2004 5:40:01 PM
Michelle B.4/3/2004 8:50:01 PM
Robin4/3/2004 9:08:34 PM
in_rio4/3/2004 10:20:01 PM
maija4/4/2004 1:00:01 PM
califtom4/4/2004 3:00:00 PM
Helene4/4/2004 5:10:01 PM
Lil* Sis714/4/2004 7:10:00 PM
gyrate4/5/2004 5:17:03 PM
........................................4/6/2004 5:20:00 PM
BARRY5/30/2004 3:20:00 PM
BARRY5/30/2004 3:40:00 PM
Total Messages For This Thread: 18
AuthorMessage #32432
elc712SubjectBill Richert's Foreword for Barry's Book
PostedSat, Apr 03, 2004 03:50AM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Hi RiverFriends!
It's taken me more than 18 months, but I have
finally, Finally, FINALLY convinced Barry to let me
put Bill Richert's Foreword to the book on ATW! LOLOL
We were with Bill and Gretchen this evening when
I mentioned it to him again and this time he said YES!

You are about to read one of the most beautiful
and thoughtful pieces ever written about River. It's
short, of course, but it's long enough to include an
anecdote ort two of the sort which fill the
book---from Bill, and from many others who knew River,
and whose conversations with Barry have allowed him to
write a book unlike any of the other books available.

Bill's foreword is a wonderful introduction to
the book, and it is a real taste of the book's style
and sensibility. I don't think anyone will be able NOT
to love the tribute Bill has written and IMHO, anyone
who reads this little piece will want to know more
about River even if he has never heard of River

Just a few more weeks, now; the photographer who
owns the copyright to the picture Barry chose for the
front cover has refused to let Barry use the picture.
Several artists are now at work to make renderings of
the photo for Barry to use.
In the meantime, we have Bill's foreword to enjoy
and to whet our appetites!

Love to RIVER and to All of Us!


+ + + + + + +

There are people among us who can take our
breath away with their character and style, with
qualities of goodness and generosity which make us
blink to be sure we are seeing correctly; they are
rare, and so beautiful. River Phoenix was such a
Angels were not restricted to Heaven until the
Dark Ages. Before that, they were thought to walk
among the living, ever-present benefactors and
spiritual guides. River was like that; no one who ever
met him can deny it, nor can anyone explain it. For me
he was a bright, unexpected crack of glowing light in
the universe, and I mean that literally; when he
died, a kind of fog and gloom settled in which I feel
even now.
River was aptly named; he was a gusher of
talent, of curiosity and wonder. His temperament was
to go to the very edges of life, and with his
humanness and the tentacles of his talent, to feel
around, and to probe with that mischievous, cat--like
smile on his face, extending himself in empathy and

He was always asking questions. When I last saw
him, he had all sorts of questions about how I was
living my life, and about subjects multifarious.
Nobody close to River could escape his scrutiny (or
his sly teasing wit) and I, perhaps, represented an
“Older Person's Point of View.” We were in my funky
apartment on the ocean side of the Pacific Coast
Highway in Malibu. Still full of energy at 2 AM, he
asked if he could play his guitar on the deck when I
said I had to sleep. I said, “Sure,” and left him
looking out over the ocean and playing. I told him he
could lock up after himself.
In fact, River was still there in the morning; he was
sleeping on the floor with his guitar, lying on
pillows he had taken off the couch. He had slept in
the clothes he was wearing the night before. I woke
him making coffee. Getting up sleepily, he thanked me
for waking him, and drove into town to the set of the
motion picture in which he was starring. From his
clothes, from his very simplicity, you'd have thought
he was homeless.
Maybe he was.
Maybe he's home now.
Often I think about the image of River lying on
the pavement toward the end of MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO,
and about the image of our real--life River lying on
the sidewalk in front of the Viper Room on Hallowe’en;
I wonder if the first was a prophecy and the second a

All of us who knew River miss him. For a while
we decided in unspoken agreement that we would stop
speaking about him to reporters or writers because so
many of us had been misquoted. That was a mistake, I
think now, because it left those who knew River less
well, or almost not at all, to speak on his behalf,
and misrepresentations crept into the stories that
were written.
Barry Lawrence said he lived in a house on a
mountaintop, that he was a vintner, and that he wanted
to write every true thing he could discover about
River Phoenix. He was persistent and thorough, and
seemed hungry for every detail of River's life. His
devotion and research have been extraordinary. I think
this book will be of great value to the memory of
River, and helpful to all those who want to know more
about him.

On his last night I know River had been on a six
weeks’ vegan’s diet of artichokes and corn, that he’d
been working until late to help the film crew of DARK
BLOOD, the production he was starring in, and that the
responsibilities he'd taken on with his work, his
friends and his family were bearing down on him. Among
his own he was the breadwinner, and he worked
tirelessly at his craft. When River started a film, he
not only knew his own lines but the lines of all the
other actors as well, and he could recite the stage
directions to boot.
On the night he died, he had come to LA for R&R
like any hard-working guy. He drank a fatal potion
given to him by a person he trusted, and it killed
him. I think his body was too pure for the common
weekend--night assault that far less healthy eaters
and drinkers could handle. However, I also think he
wanted to touch danger, too, and that the artist he
was felt he could handle death, perhaps even
collaborate with it and play out a scene or two. This
time, however, he opened the one door from which he
could never return. He was locked out...or we were.
The bit of Heaven he brought to earth he took away
with him.

Nevertheless, he could not take away our
memories and illuminations, and we have Mr. Lawrence
to thank for helping us to keep them.

---William Richert

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AuthorMessage #32433
ScottSubjectRe: Bill Richert's Foreword for Barry's Book
PostedSat, Apr 03, 2004 04:00AM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Barry, Bill and Ed

This foreword is the most wonderful description of River i've ever
read, it's beautifully said and from the heart, i can relate to the
part where River was lying on the pavement on MOPI, and then outside
on the sidewalk, maybe that was a prophecy.

I can see why Barry didn't want this on ATW just yet, cos all your
doing is teasing us Edward and im getting HUNGRY!! lol

Thanks to Ed for being persistant and to Barry for being weak and
giving into Ed, lol



A prayer for the wild at heart in cages
AuthorMessage #32436
ArmandSubjectRe: Bill Richert's Foreword for Barry's Book
PostedSat, Apr 03, 2004 05:20AM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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I reiterate Scott's comments. Richert's forward seemed so tender, he
gave us an insightful and personal, even paternal, view of the
ordinary River, beyond the 'River Phoenix' star/golden icon, the
mortal River that played guitar and spent time by himself, with his
own thoughts.
Richert has left us all for a beautiful image, River sleeping with
his guitar and has left some very heartfelt and enduring remarks
about the young artist he obviously loved very much. The parralel of
this to River's death outside the Viper Room has a very profound
What a wonderful way for someone interested in River, to open
Barry's book and be greeted by William Richert's forward. Thank you
immensely Ed for posting this, I'm sure it will greatly impact every
Riverfriend and admirer of River's out there .
Thank you.
AuthorMessage #32437
MonaSubjectRe: Bill Richert's Foreword for Barry's Book
PostedSat, Apr 03, 2004 06:40AM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Thank you Edward for posting this, and thank you Bill Richert for
writing this, and thank you Barry for making this happen!
Reading this was like being welcomed into an amazing world where
River once lived, I can't believe how lucky I am to have read this,
and I feel great, it is by far one of the best things I have read
about River, the way Bill described how River was when he was
playing the guitar alone was amazing, and so I can't wait to read
the whole book.
Thank you
AuthorMessage #32451
Dani The GirlSubjectRe: Bill Richert's Foreword for Barry's Book
PostedSat, Apr 03, 2004 12:40PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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*bursts into tears*
I am so happy to read that!
This book is going to be so wonderful, I can feel it.
Barry, if you read this and don't mind, I'd love to meet you one day
to have a copy signed.
This beautiful foreward and the other parts I read are written
so...tastefully and full of love. It makes biographical writing a
true art.
Thanks so much to both Barry and Bill
Take care
Total Messages: 18 Page 1 of 4
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