Thursday, October 05, 2023

Larry McMurty And Honkytonk Sue

 October 5, 2023

   There is a new book out on the late, great Larry McMurtry and I wondered if it might mention a certain encounter I had with him.

March 9, 2013, Cottonwood Room,
La Paloma Resort, Tucson. Diana Ossana
and Larry McMurtry receive 
the first True Westerner Award.

   Actually, that was my second encounter with the renowned herder of words.

McMurtry & Honkytonk Sue

   Just got this from a fellow True West contributor: "I don't know if you saw this nugget in 'Larry McMurtry: A Life' by Tracy Daugherty, (Page 352):

"Just as he'd written screenplays with Cybil Shepherd and Diane Keaton, [McMurtry] did three drafts of a script called 'Honkytonk Sue' with [Leslie Marmon] Silko. The story was based on a comic strip by Bob Boze Bell about a rollicking heartbreaker, the "Queen of Country Swing ("See Sue take on Mr. Disco and make him look like a dork"). In the screenplay, the heroine whips bad boys in C&W bars and fights off evil dam developers in the Grand Canyon. Briefly, Columbia Studios expressed interest in the movie, and Goldie Hawn said she might like to star, but the project never came off."
   End of quote from the book. Then Peter adds this: "Too bad. That would have been a way better movie than 'Barbie'
   "The McMurtry bio is a good read. I did not realize how prolific he was." 
—Peter Corbett

   Yes, all true! Although from my perspective Columbia Pictures was more than "briefly" interested in Honkytonk Sue since they paid McMurtry and Leslie Marmon Silko $60,000 for the first, full script and then they paid for two rewrites, then they went out and got Jerry Leischling and Arlene Sarner who wrote another three drafts. This from the duo who wrote "Peggy Sue Got Married." A decade later, someone tried to buy the rights to Honkytonk Sue and Columbia told them they had $125,000 in the project. But other than that, I am thrilled. So damn cool. Ironically, I just read the review of Daugherty's book in the NYTimes book supplement and told Kathy I wanted the book. 

"Remember girls, unless he's wearing a diaper, you can't change him."
—Honkytonk Sue

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