The film Ghost (1990), written by Bruce Joel Rubin won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and laid a solid foundation for Ghost The Musical.
Dave Stewart, together with Glen Ballard and Bruce Joel Rubin have worked together in writing the music and lyrics for this fabulous new musical.
Dave Stewart is acknowledged as being one of the most respected and accomplished talents in the world of music today. Aside from his creative work as a musician, he is also a celebrated producer, writer, and noted for his astute business acumen.
His career spans more than 25 years with more than 100 million album sales. With Eurythmics’ partner Annie Lennox, he delivered fabulous hits. In 1999, the pair were honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits, succeeded by a world tour that saw proceeds donated to Amnesty International and Greenpeace.
One of the most in-demand writers and music producers, Dave Stewart has crafted songs for and worked with the likes of Joss Stone, Bono, Bryan Ferry, Gwen Stefani, Tom Petty, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, and Shakira. He has won Best British Producer four times and Best British Songwriter five times, as well as many Grammy, MTV, and European awards.
As an entrepreneur Stewart has created Weapons of Mass Entertainment, a “media company for the new world” (The LA Times), linking imaginative ideas to a host of projects in film, television, books, theatre, and new media.
A highly-regarded artist and filmmaker, Dave Stewart has scored films for directors Robert Altman, Paul Verhoven, and Ted Demme, and has written and produced the title songs for many hit movies over many years. Together with Mick Jagger, he wrote and produced the score for Alfie, starring Jude Law, which won the pair a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. He produced the award-winning documentary Deep Blues, and his feature directorial debut Honest premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000.
I recently asked Dave Stewart about Ghost The Musical.
How did the process evolve in writing the music for Ghost The Musical?
I was asked to write the music/songs for ghost by the producers and I then asked to meet and work with Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote the screenplay and the book. From there I suggested Glen should work with us as well.
Do either of you focus on particular aspects the whole time or does this vary from song to song?
We are very open and ego free so we just say what we think. I may start something and Glen may finish it off or vice versa.
Do you have a preference to writing lyrics or putting music to lyrics or do these go hand in hand with each other?
I like working in every different way – could be lyrics first or melody and lyrics coming from me at the same time.
I understand that you were in the Abbey Road recording studios in November 2010 to record four tracks for the then forthcoming soundtrack to Ghost, together with a select audience who were there to give feedback. What are your recollections of this time?
It was a bit of a scramble as everything was still changing, but we are a great team, and all friends, so it was fun.
I understand that Bruce Joel Rubin was ‘nervous’ about bringing Ghost to the stage but having spent time with yourself and Glen, he knew that you had something he felt confident in. How did you manage to inspire him into believing that the musical adaptation could be a success?
I think Bruce started to see that songwriting, and the way we approached it, was exciting and inclusive. We made him feel very welcome and we did really enjoy his company and contributions.
Do you have a particular favourite song in the musical?
I have a few, “I’m Outta Here”, “With You”, “Here Right Now.”
Presumably you have had to spend a fair amount of time working with Glen Ballard, what is it like working together?
Glen and I are great friends so it’s easy.
You can follow Dave Stewart at www.davestewart.com and on Twitter @davestewart
Article Editor Neil Cheesman on Twitter @LondonTheatre1
2nd August 2011