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Opening Night New York Premiere of STILL BILL Q&A Session

By Maria Esteves - March 2, 2010

The Opening Night New York Premiere documentary of STILL BILL, co-directed by Damani Baker and Alex Vlack, commenced January 27 - 28, 2010, at the IFC Center, New York. Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and musician Bill Withers appeared for a special Q&A session following the two sold out opening screenings with filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack. STILL BILL played at the IFC Center for a week. Arrivals at the opening night included artists, producers, industry professionals, and celebrity guests.

Questions from the audience posed to Bill Withers at the Opening Night New York Premiere Q&A session included:

Q: At Carnegie Hall, was the song,"I Can't Write Left-Handed" put on a record?

BW: The song was spontaneous at Carnegie Hall. The story around the song has to do when I was in the Navy for nine years and worked on aircrafts. While in Guam, I saw soldiers coming back from the Vietnam War with missing arms, missing legs and shell shocked (I called it crazy). When I was at a radio station in Washington, DC, a guy came up to me who was missing an arm and said, "Bill where are you going? I'll drive you where ever you want to go." Therefore, I told my limo chauffer, "I'm going to ride with this guy" and the chauffer said, "This is his father's limo service." The guy appeared to have been in the Vietnam War. He had a half pint of military liquor and we shared it then road around. We never talked about that, but I knew what he meant. He was just bonding. That is the story around the song.  I thought about what it must be like living day to day with your right arm gone. I can't write left handed would you write a letter.

Q: How much song writing have you been doing since your last album?

BW: I have a song on the new George Benson Songs and Stories Album called "A Telephone Call Away." One of my favorite was working with Jimmy Buffet's License to Chill Country Album called "Simply Complicated" and "Playin' the Loser Again".


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