Monday, July 13, 2020

WMEX Interview with Official Bob Crane Biographers, Carol Ford and Linda Groundwater

On July 12, 2020, Linda Groundwater and I were interviewed about Bob Crane on WMEX by hosts Gary Leavitt and Keith Leavitt as part of their newly re-established program Gary Leavitt and Friends. What was supposed to be a twenty-minute interview on the Boston radio station, beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 6:50 a.m. (ET), ended up going for more than forty minutes, concluding around 7:20 a.m.

Linda and I had hoped to go on the air together yesterday. When we get going about Bob Crane and his life and career, we are a powerhouse—and it is fun! But there was a technical difficulty. Linda was having trouble connecting from Australia. Unable to delay any longer, I started the interview a little after 6:30 and blasted through. Worried that Linda would not be able to get patched in, I rushed to try and cover as much as possible in our twenty-minute segment. Also happening on the side as I was speed-talking—me trying to figure out how to help Linda connect! 

Fortunately, Linda did get through, but they were not able to bring us both on together. After I talked about Bob Crane's early growing up years in Connecticut and his radio career, not to mention setting the record straight about Auto Focus (at a rapid pace and multitasking—who says I don't have radio skills!), Linda came on after me to discuss Hogan's Heroes and Bob's role in it in detail. It was a fun interview, and I am delighted that our segment stretched long past the originally allotted twenty-minute mark. Fantastic! Big thanks to WMEX and to hosts Gary Leavitt and Keith Leavitt, and deepest apologies to whomever we bumped!

Today marks what would have been Bob Crane's 92nd birthday. Born on Friday, July 13, 1928, Bob jam-packed so much life into his short 49 years. The only thing is, unlike how we were given an extension on our interview despite how much we crammed in there, Bob was not given an extension beyond 49th birthday. He was murdered on June 29, 1978—just two weeks shy of his 50th birthday. The crime remains unsolved to this day. During his time alive, Bob Crane accomplished so much, and I have no doubt he would have accomplished so much more had he lived.

When Linda Groundwater, Dee Young, and I were researching Bob's life for Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography, we didn't know what we were going to learn. What we did learn was the truth

We continue our work on Bob's behalf because the truth is in stark contrast to the glaring tabloid headlines and the erroneous plot of Auto Focus (as a reminder, director Paul Schrader stated to the New York Times, "You know, [John Henry] Carpenter was not as important in Crane's life as he is in the film. It is a distortion... My intent with Auto Focus is not to be true or definitive. People's actual lives are not really that interesting. And with Crane I wanted to get at something meaty. Otherwise, who cares? Would you want to watch a movie about Alan Hale?"). 

To put it another way, if we had learned that Bob Crane had actually been a creep, freak, jerk, weirdo, asshole, and any other number of colorful adjectives used by the public in inadequate judgment of him since his death, we would have reported that as such and moved on. Rest assured, we would not have continued. But all of those words are not who or what he was. And because we know that, we have an obligation to Bob, his family, his dearest friends, and his coworkers to keep setting it right. More importantly, we have a moral obligation to the truth.

Take some time and listen to our WMEX interview (YouTube link above). Read our book. Listen to our podcast. Follow us on social media. Ask us questions. Discover who Bob Crane really was, and just as importantly, who he was not.