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Going Around In Circles—Tony Perkins

Well, we all have our little idiosyncrasies and Tony Perkins’ is that he can’t concentrate with shoes on. It took him three hours to record his latest album, “Tony Perkins,” released this month, and he was utterly miserable until he unloaded the sneakers that have become his trademark. Once off, he wiggled his toes in delighted freedom and let loose with enthusiasm on such songs as “Accidents Will Happen,” “This Time the Dream’s on Me,” in an untrained, yet cool, after-hours jazz-style all his own.

Friends Venetia Stevenson and Tab Hunter, who’d dropped in to sit on the sidelines, silently cheered him on. Venetia admitted afterward, “I was so nervous. I could hardly sit still.” Tab kidded: “You may not be a Caruso, but it sounds good to me.” But Tony, still tense, simply pushed his glasses on top of his head and stared at the man in the control booth, waiting for the final playback. He literally jumped straight into the air when given the signal that meant he could go over to the booth to hear himself. All through the session he was like a little boy, looking from one person to another for approval.

“Approval”—that’s an important word in Tony’s scheme of things. He has been called “basically insecure” and therefore in need of approval. Saddled with a fifteen-million-dollar investment by his studio, he must have fans and critics’ approval to survive. In an effort to win the approbation he both wants and needs, some say Tony’s biting off more than he can chew. So far there have been seven films in a row, TV shows, a Broadway play slated for this fall and now records. But we’re betting, unlike the disc he’s cutting above, Tony’s future is destined for much more than going around in circles.



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