Sometimes Uncomfortable Doc Resurrects '70s Superstar Paul Williams


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Williams during one of 50 appearances on "The Tonight Show."
Ditto when, in Spinal-Tap fashion, Williams is left to wander in the kitchen of one casino concert venue, trying to find his way to the stage with nary a handler or PR person in sight.

But of course, there is an uplifting ending. Now sober for many years, Williams finds that he has small but highly-dedicated fan bases in pockets around the U.S. Canada, and.... The Philippines. Kessler is occasionally an annoying presence, but at least admits his evolution during the ensuing filming. And indeed, recent years (and this film) have/are giving Williams a late-career boost.

Houston -- and, specifically, the Hilton Americas hotel downtown -- makes an appearance as Williams is the featured speaker at a 2006 Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston benefit. "What does a Maid or a Minute have to do with orange juice?" a member of his group oddly asks while pondering our sports stadium. "Shouldn't it be spelled 'Made' instead?"

In the end, the title is a bit misleading. The now 72-year-old Williams has been "alive" for a lot of years after crawling out of his personal hellhole, but Still Alive is nonetheless one of the most brutally honest and squirm-worthy -- but creative and unique -- rock docs of recent years.






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3 comments
Houston Press Rocks Off
Houston Press Rocks Off

I met him after his panel last year at SXSW. He sang "Rainbow Connection" and most of us cried. It was great.

Carol Rodriguez-Sentonnian
Carol Rodriguez-Sentonnian

I saw this a few weeks ago. So sad, but also good to know he is helping others in their recovery from drugs and alcohol. It is a good documentary.

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