Andy Warhol – famous for far more than 15 minutes – still thought everyone was due their “15 minutes of fame.”
Alex Nackman will be happy to take his 15 to 20 seconds.
This Sunday night HBO's new much-buzzed-about series The Newsroom, which gets behind the scenes of a nightly cable news show (and its relationships), will feature a portion of a song by this Sleepy Hollow native.
Nackman, 28, who grew up in Philipse Manor (“the ideal place to be a child, especially at Halloween,” he said) and went to school at for all of K through 12, now calls Brooklyn Heights home though both his parents still live here. His father is a former college professor and his mother a journalist, so he described them both as very sympathetic to the alternate musical track he found himself on during his college years and beyond.
Nackman has six CDs out and many tours under his belt, but getting his songs on shows (of which he has had a few) is particularly gratifying. The HBO connection was one he had forged a while back but it took many emails, phone calls and sending material along to finally get one part of one song on this one episode. Wrack it up, he said, to a combo of persistence, good timing, and (what he didn't say:) of course talent.
The song to listen for on Sunday night is called “Burn from the Rockets” from his current CD, which you can sample here. The music is all very listenable in a Coldplay kind of way, and not at all dumbed down pop. Nackman says the Brits have been very influential in his art and lists bands like U2, New Order, The Cure.
How much does a few dozen seconds on HBO pay? Nackman isn't sure – the pay will come in two varieties, the upfront and the royalties – but in any case, “not enough to shack up in some Hampton's mansion.” He's happy for the exposure and the further connections that could come, but he's not going to be throwing any viewing party. In the same way getting the deal is about riding the fine line being aggressive and annoying, so too with tooting his own musical horn. “I try not to blow it up too much,” he said.
The Newsroom series stars Jeff Daniel as anchor, Emily Mortimer as his new producer, among a whole cast of staff members and their boss. According to the HBO site, the series “tracks their quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles-not to mention their own personal entanglements.”
Creator Aaron Sorkin happens to hail from Scarsdale, but the Westchester tie is just coincidence, said Nackman.
The Newsroom airs 10 p.m. July 15 on HBO. More info on Alex Nackman on his website here.