If one wants to go on living, one must evolve. Before, when we composed, we would start by a series of music themes. Once created, we would hire writers and lyricists to make up the text and the story line. I was the first to do this backwards with 'Man of La Mancha.'
I grew up in Brownsville; most of the kids I grew up with went to jail, not Yale. If they had heard of Yale, they thought it was a lock to pick.
If you're not a nice person, don't call.
When I left Yale, I was prepared to write anything.
You can't make money on advertising; you just have to seed the clouds. What you're after is word of mouth.
You have to do what is real and what is right and what is good and what you believe in. It doesn't mean it's always going to work. It doesn't. But when it does, it is truthful and forever.
There's more musical freedom on Madison Avenue than anywhere else. It's an Eden for a composer.
To call somebody a Jewish composer is obviously redundant.
I applied to Yale, and I got in.
I'll write anything; I don't want to judge its form.
If I do what I really want to do, I'm not going to do a typical commercial Broadway show, so I'm going to write what I want to write.
It's still word of mouth that is going to make or break a show, and while critics can't help a show, they can hurt it.
One doesn't go on television for the Manhattan crowd. You buy the sides of buses for that.
The old joke was Mitch Leigh, land baron, barren land.
I was in the army, and I had given up the thought of being a composer.
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