Author Topic: Heath Ledger - News Accounts  (Read 360382 times)

Offline Monika

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1060 on: November 05, 2010, 04:08:11 am »

Grace Woodroofe describes how Heath Ledger and Ben Harper came knocking at her door

YOU'RE 16, at home in Perth, getting ready for school, when a world-famous movie star calls on the phone. He invites you to come to Los Angeles and hang out. He wants to manage you. Maybe you could meet a few record producers, some Hollywood movers and shakers, A-listers. Bring your mum. Then you wake up.

That's how it happened for Grace Woodroofe, except she wasn't dreaming. The call, four years ago, was from her schoolmate Ashleigh Bell's half-brother, Australian actor Heath Ledger. Bell had sent him a couple of songs her friend had recorded as demos for Triple J's Unearthed competition. He liked them. A lot. He wanted to make things happen.
A few months later, just a week into her Year 12 studies, Woodroofe was in California, meeting the kind of people Ledger had promised, including one of his mates, internationally acclaimed roots performer Ben Harper.

Not surprisingly, the young singer had to keep pinching herself to be sure of what was happening. At home she kept quiet about being groomed for stardom by one of the hottest properties in Hollywood.

"I told my family and some of my closest friends, but I didn't go around screaming it to everyone," she says.

You couldn't make up such a story, but just to prove its authenticity, in two weeks Woodroofe will release the debut album she recorded in Los Angeles, with Harper in the producer's chair. Tragically, it's an album that Ledger, the man who discovered her, did not live to hear. The Perth-born actor died in January 2008, six months before his protege began work on her album Always Want.

The release, 20 months after she finished recording it, completes an incredible first chapter in the burgeoning career of an Australian artist who, when she got that call from Ledger, was an unknown, even to herself. Her only stage experience of note to that point was playing guitar in an all-female punk band at school. Her voice then was a well-kept secret. Even her parents didn't know she could sing.

Woodroofe, now 20, is sitting in a cafe next door to the Ellington Jazz Club, one of the gigs around Perth where she cut her teeth as a teenage performer. She's comfortable with the idea of being a professional singer now, she says, yet admits this with a charming degree of shyness.

Her mild-mannered disposition is at odds with the voice that has emerged on disc, however. Traces of Nina Simone, Julie London and Aretha Franklin shade the melancholy, rootsy creations on Always Want. There's also the less obvious influence of bluesy rockers the White Stripes in among the jazz-roots arrangements.

"It doesn't get any better than that for me," she says of Jack White. "I love everything that he does."

Woodroofe's musical education began at the age of 11 when her father gave her a Beatles CD. Until that point she had no more than a passing interest in music as a listener, and no interest in doing it herself.

"That Beatles CD completely changed my life," she says.

"That was me acknowledging music as a huge force that took over my interests."

Three years later she picked up her dad's guitar. He taught her some chords. She became obsessed with the instrument. One of her earliest influences was Jimi Hendrix.

What prompted adding vocals to her repertoire was another gift, this time from Woodroofe to her mother: a CD of bluesy jazz singers such as London, Sarah Vaughan and others. "I ended up stealing it back," she says.

"They really made me want to sing and experiment with my voice. Blues artists made me acknowledge the different ways you can sing. My voice didn't happen right away. I had to grow into it. It keeps growing. It never stays the same. It gets deeper and the more I sing, the more I learn how to manipulate it."

All of her early experimentation was done in private, however. The breakthrough came when her punk band needed a new song.

"One day I wrote a song for the singer to sing, but to show it to them I had to sing it," she says. "They all said, 'Wow, we didn't know you could sing.' I had kept it very secret for a long time. It was scary for me to sing to someone. Even my parents were surprised. It was something I didn't want to let people into."

Woodroofe did let her best friend, Ashleigh, in on the secret, though, once she had made a demo, and that was the moment that changed her life dramatically, although the relationship with Ledger developed over a long period.

"Ashleigh sent an email to Heath and said 'Check out my friend'. He replied saying, 'She's really good, I want to work with her.' I was in Year 11 at school. I thought I was going crazy. After that he asked for my contact details from Ashleigh and we started emailing and he wrote me a proposal. He was filming in Montreal at the time. He said: 'I want to bring you out to LA and introduce you to people who can help you and I want to make a video for you.' He had an alias name and everything. It was like a joke."

By the time Ledger came home for Christmas in 2006 and paid the Woodroofes a visit, it was clear he wasn't joking.

The singing schoolgirl spent the following month in LA meeting producers and industry executives, then was suddenly back at school in Perth. Only after finishing her Year 12 education did she return to the US to start work on the recording. She describes the gap between Ledger's death and her stint in the studio as "a long few months".

"I was grieving and my own family was having a few problems," she says. "It was a very intense, down period for me, but that's also when most of the songwriting got done."

The recording sessions were another new experience for the young Australian. Until she joined up with Harper and his band at the time, the Innocent Criminals, Woodroofe had only performed her songs by herself, with just voice and acoustic guitar. Suddenly she had a whole assortment of instruments to contend with. "I was taken aback by it at first," she admits, "but they were all great players and really helpful."

A WEEK after our meeting in Perth, Woodroofe is on stage in Sydney, playing a handful of the songs from her album to a gathering of industry executives and music media at the Raval in Surry Hills. It's an assured performance, accompanied by a band with which she has had one rehearsal a few days earlier.

Woodroofe has a commanding stage presence and her voice is as comfortable in a smoky jazz setting, such as on the title song, as it is in the rockier material.

There's little doubt about whom the sombre, delicate closing song was written. "I glance where you sit/ I mean where you sat/ I'm still readjusting/ Still getting used to that," Woodroofe sings, eyes closed. "Though you won't show up at my door/ Wherever you are I hope that you find what you were searching for." The song is called -H.

The show, Woodroofe says, brings her another step closer to the day she has been waiting for, when the work she has been sitting on for almost two years finally becomes available to the public.

The delay in releasing the album is due to a number of factors. She had to find new management in the US, plus a label here. Indie label Modular has signed her. With the album released, she will embark on a period of extensive touring, including summer festival appearances.

Woodroofe's biggest gig so far was at this year's Splendour in the Grass festival at Woodford, Queensland, where she joined headliner Harper on stage to perform the opening song from her album, I've Handled Myself Wrong.

It was another landmark in a career that to some of her friends in Perth is yet to get off the ground, or is already over.

"When we catch up at parties I think they think I'm past it already," she says. "They ask me, 'So how's your music going?' I tell them: 'Just you wait. It's going to happen.' "

Always Want is released by Modular/UMA on November 12.




source:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/make-you-a-star/story-e6frg8n6-1225943633372

Offline Meryl

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1061 on: November 05, 2010, 05:08:34 pm »
What a nice story about Heath's reaching out to help a young artist, now two years out from his passing.  I wish her all the good things in the world.   8)
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1062 on: November 05, 2010, 05:50:46 pm »



Grace Woodroofe describes how Heath Ledger and Ben Harper came knocking at her door
There's little doubt about whom the sombre, delicate closing song was written.


I glance where you sit
I mean where you sat
I'm still readjusting
Still getting used to that
Though you won't show up at my door
Wherever you are I hope that you find
what you were searching for


-H.




http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/make-you-a-star/story-e6frg8n6-1225943633372



Oh my.


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1063 on: January 02, 2011, 09:43:05 pm »


    Young Heath Ledger singing Hallaluh:


[youtube=425,350] 
[/youtube]



     Beautiful mind

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1064 on: January 03, 2011, 05:07:17 am »

    Young Heath Ledger singing Hallaluh:


This isn't Heath.

Offline Sason

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1065 on: January 03, 2011, 08:18:25 am »

This isn't Heath.

I'm glad you say so, Chrissi.  I was very much in doubt myself.

The guy doesn't look anything like Heath. Cute kid though.

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Offline louisev

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1066 on: January 03, 2011, 09:46:12 am »
he really doesn't look like Heath - t0 me.
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1067 on: January 07, 2011, 02:23:16 pm »
Here's something I thought you Heathens might find interesting reading. It's from the review of Country Strong by Carrie Rickey in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer:

"With his assured performance, [Garrett] Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) steps int the worn cowboy boots of Heath Ledger, working furrowed brow and easy smile to suggest a man in conflict. Like Ledger, Hedlund swallows words to near inaudibility and has a gallant restraint that draws others--especially his female costars and audience--to him."
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1068 on: January 11, 2011, 02:07:02 am »


   He does look like him to me, but I am very doubtful of it.  I do think it is very
funny however.  It was on youtube, but I guess you all are a bit uptight in that
way about Heath humor.  SORRY   I won't ever try and tell a joke that way again.
   I hope that we here are not too straightlaced about the movie and the people
in it, that we can not even say a single negative remark about the people in it
or any one connected with it.  I am very sad to think that we are starting to
be like the people this site was set up to fight against.  The bad minded and
the narrowminded.  We can not disagree with anything without being blackballed or spoken negative to.  I went thru this one time before.
  I love Heath, and Jake and Anne, and all the rest, but they are after all real
people.  Not Gods living on Mt. Olympus.



     Beautiful mind

Offline Monika

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #1069 on: January 11, 2011, 03:14:45 am »

   I am very sad to think that we are starting to
be like the people this site was set up to fight against.  The bad minded and
the narrowminded.  We can not disagree with anything without being blackballed or spoken negative to.  I went thru this one time before.
 
huh? I don´t think anyone said anything besides that it´s not Heath in the video? I´m sorry if you felt people were being narrowminded