Phone Message Transcript: Mar. 3, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"Hello everybody this is Sunday March 2nd. So how the time could have flown like this, I don't know. But here it is already march 2nd. I want to bring you just a few pieces of news, the publisher at Knopf has told me that VIOLIN, my new novel, won't be published until October, so I won't be out touring in July and August, and people will not be fainting in line. The second thing is that I will be on television on March 3rd, gee that's tomorrow night, doing a one on one with Bill Maher on POLITICALLY INCORRECT. I had an absolutely wonderful time on the show, we taped it some time ago, I have no idea how it's going to come off. But if I recall, Bill Maher hit me with just about every difficult question a person can be hit with. I still had a great time but I wanted to alert you to the fact that I think it's on very very late in New Orleans, and I just wanted to let you know that it's on if you wanted to see it.
Regarding The Cafe Lestat, we are still maintaining our building on 1515 St. Charles Avenue, and even though it will not be the large Cafe Lestat that will appear on Magazine Street, we intend, we are thinking very strongly now of making it a doll museum combined with a small confectionery. I don't announce these things until we kind of get along with them, but in this case I mention them because Mr. Copeland seems so upset about competition and about everything that pertains to me and statements I've made about his restaurant, so I simply wanted to say that we have an interest in the strip of St. Charles Avenue. We do still care about the building at 1515 St. Charles Avenue, and we are thinking this is an excellent place for the doll museum. I have a very very large collection and it would be a beautiful place, the building has 2 floors and I think the confectionery and the ice cream parlor as you leave, would be very much fun for the kids who come to see the dolls. In any event, once again, there's no competition with Mr. Copeland and his restaurant.
I've been listening to a lot of feedback and I've been reading the articles in the Times Picayune and the letters to the editor and how much I think it's important that New Orleans care about the strip of property from Lee Circle to Jackson Avenue. It's terribly terribly important. It's much more important than two personalities or whatever personal publicity they generate. What's at stake is whether or not we can make that strip beautiful again. Whether or not we can replace the dilapidated buildings with new ones, that have taste and elegance and have something to do with the romance the people want when they come to New Orleans, I think we can. I think with the doll museum at 1515 St. Charles will try very hard to do that, to make a very tasteful building that New Orleanians could be proud to visit and tourists could be proud to see. But the main thing is the issue is it's your street it's your neighborhood, it's not whether Mr. Copeland likes Anne Rice or understands her, and it's not whether Anne Rice doesn't like Mr. Copeland's building or think it's art deco, the question is really how much you care about zoning in that area, how much you care about control, how much you care about replacing the old fast food places and flop houses with something new that has dignity and beauty and will contribute to our image. During Mardi Gras when I passed there in a parade, the crowd was as thick in that section as it was on Canal Street practically, well not quite but what I mean, we had a huge number of black families and white families coming out on Mardi Gras, we were hosts to the world at Mardi Gras, and that strip of St. Charles is very important. Invite people here to see parades and then expect them to stand on that street it's kind of a little bit grim really. So anyway, of course it has many beautiful places on it, I don't want to forget for a moment the Eiffel Tower, or the Pontchartrain Hotel, or Delmonico's which has recently changed hands, or other buildings, but it needs a lot of work, and I think we all want to do the work and we want to do the work together, and so I ask you please, to think about that more than any fight between Mr. Copeland and me. It is true that Mr. Copeland is suing me? I will not sue Mr. Copland, I am not a (?) person, I do not believe in suing people, I will not use the courts to sue people, unless absolutely pressed to do so by matters of life and death and this is hardly a matter of life and death.
So, I'm really going to be pretty much at Mr. Copeland's mercy in this suit, however I want my public to know and my readers to know and the people I care about to know taht I will not sue people, I will not use the courts to try to punish them or make them sorry for what they did to me. The day I sue somebody will have to be a very very important moral or Constitutional issue. Now with this issue of Mr. Copeland and the lawsuit, I'm still not sure what he is accusing me of, it seems to be a whole list of things, but I can say this, that it has been (?) in the lower courts, I hope they appeal because I hope we can take it to the Supreme Court. I would just love to go to the Supreme Court and have a great decision made in favor of freedom of speech, and the freedom of one woman to say that she didn't like the way a restaurant looked on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans,
Love to all of you. And I'm sorry to be on that dreary subject again, let's all get on to beautiful things, last night I watched a little bit of AMADEUS, I took out IMMORTAL BELOVED again, I watched it. I'm swimming in old films on music. There are new films coming out all of the time that are wonderful, I missed HAMLET with Kenneth Branaugh but I will get the laser disk just as soon as I can possibly get it. I highly recommend Kenneth Branaugh and all his Shakespearean interpretations to you, I think he's absolutely wonderful, God bless you all, take care, I wish I had something more specific to say except that I'm working on ARMAND and I'm working on a new novel about Jesus Christ. And I'm working on, as usual, several projects at the same time, by the way we do have our TV series going in New Orleans, it's called RAG AND BONE, they have an office set up and they are actively casting and they are actually looking for locations, so our series by CBS and Tri-Star/Sony is definitely in the works, we've got a shot. We're going to get a pilot shot here, and that's going to bring revenue. I'm going to be heavily, heavily involved, and want very much to have a real Anne Rice, gothic New Orleans flavor to it. That's my hottest news really, we talked to the office everyday of the people who are doing the TV series and we like them. I'm the Executive Producer, I kind of like being an Executive Producer, and anyway, just wanted you to know about it. By the way people who are interested in calling about this series, and I have received several calls, I can't take your calls through this number, I really don't have information, but I would almost bet that RAG AND BONE now has its own channels in the city, little theaters, people who work in theaters, find out how to reach the RAG AND BONE office. The show runner is Jim Perriot, an absolute jewel of a man. Really it's to him that pictures of actors and resumes and requests about the show should be sent. My love again to everybody, have a wonderful weekend, or what's left of it, have a wonderful March, with all that's left of it, God love you, God bless you, God keep you, and may my writing be good or may there be no writing. "