‘New York’ Video Shoot

Chris and I were up and off to Times Square this morning at 5:30 for day two of the ‘New York’ video shoot. As we wrapped across from The Dakota at 8:30, Yoko Ono wandered into the shot.

The premise of the ‘New York’ video, you’ll recall, is that I am walking home from LaGuardia having landed on the red eye from L.A. (which is ostensibly what the song’s about). I wanted to pay homage to Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan’ by walking past some of my favorite spots in the city — Times Square when empty, Sheep’s Meadow, Bethesda Fountain — while picking up where ‘Crash Site’ left off.

We shot a few sets ups in Times Square, then grabbed a cab to Central Park where we jumped the gates into Sheep’s Meadow to steal a few takes before getting the boot from park security. We wrapped Bethesda Fountain in just a few minutes, then moved onto Bow Bridge. Jason Thompson, our buddy who loaned us the DV, had to drive up to Foxburough Stadium to shoot for NFL Films, so we had to cough up the camera at 8:30. So it’s 8:15, and I’m standing on Bow Bridge looking across the lake at The Dakota thinking ‘We should shoot there’ because a) I was going to wear the classic John Lennon New York City t-shirt in the video but decided against and b) I sat in Strawberry Field playing guitar the day I decided to move to New York.

So we resolve to do it, but agree that it was a little macabre to shoot right where John Lennon was shot. So Chris set up on the east side of Central Park West, and I’m crossing westward on 72d over and over and over. We were just about to wrap when I realize that the woman walking towards me in a wool newsboy cap and sunglasses was Yoko Ono. She looks me over quickly, and my mouth goes dry — I don’t know what to say or do. I keep walking, but have to turn around for another take. And so Yoko Ono and I are standing on the corner of 72d and CPW and I’m hoping on hope that my brother’s getting it on tape!

We won’t know whether she’s in the shot until Jason gets back with the camera. But it’s hard not to feel kinda’ graced by the serendipity of it all.

It’s tough not to feel pretty graced in general these days. I had a charming cup of coffee with a friend in Soho yesterday. I spent the afternoon playing with Ethan. I had a great time at Kevin and Monica’s Brooklyn housewarming party last night, and rode the subway home with a dude I’d just met who has worked at the MTV and lived in Hell’s Kitchen for four years. Then I woke up and shot a music video.

So… I dunno’ what to tell ya’. Life doesn’t suck. I’m happy. I’m hopeful. And I’m grateful.

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