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Marshall Terrill has two new McQueen books on the way. The first, due out March 24th, titled Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool, features the memories of friends, colleagues in the motion picture industry, and several fan contributions, all of which are accompanied by related photographs, many of which are rare, personal, and previously unseen by the general public. The second, a completely new biography, due November 2010,will be the subject of a later interview...
In this exclusive interview Marshall talks with McQueenOnline
about Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool.
MO: Can you give the fans an idea of what this book is all about?

Marshall: It's simply a celebration of Steve McQueen's life in photos, memorabilia and remembrances. What makes it unique is that it's written entirely through the eyes of the people who knew him, worked with him, had an encounter with him, or simply have an appreciation for him. It's different and original. I think McQueen fans will love it.
MO: How did the idea for the tribute book come about - or what inspired you?

Marshall: Have you ever heard of that phrase “accidentally on purpose”? That's how this idea evolved...it really started with Steve McQueen: The Last Mile. As I was putting that book together, I saw pictures of people like Lee Majors, Karen Wilson, Dave Friedman, Pat Johnson, Loren Janes, and said to Barbi McQueen, “Wouldn't it be nice if we could get them to contribute a 400 to 500 word essay/memory about Steve?” She liked the idea and I interviewed about a dozen people and the idea seemed great at the time, but when I saw it on the printed page, it slowed down the rhythm of her book. The Last Mile had it's own mood and feel to it, and the guest passages took away from the flow of the book. So I decided to put the passages to the side and something would figure itself out.

MO: And so the tribute book concept was born... Since the release of The Last Mile a few similarly themed books have come out. What are your feelings about them - in relation to A Tribute to the King of Cool?

Marshall: We started The Last Mile in July 2005 and at that time, there had not been a coffee table “tribute” book on Steve's entire life (Claxton had issued his book in 2004, but it covered only a few years of Steve's life). It turned out my idea was sound, but several other books beat me to the punch – Steve McQueen: A Life in Pictures (2007) and Unforgettable Steve McQueen (2008). Those books were presented well, but you can only look at a picture for so long. I think I'm like most people – you look at a coffee table book once, say “Nice” and then put it on the shelf where it usually stays. I wanted to create a coffee table book that's not only readable but can be used a resource. I think I've succeeded in that regard.
Tribute Cover
MO: So how did you gather all other passages after the initial dozen?
Marshall & Barbara
Marshall and Barbara
Marshall: Barbi and I did about five art exhibitions/book signings for The Last Mile in 2007 and 2008. In each city inevitably about ten people who came to the show would say to Barbi, “I knew Steve when...” and proceeded to tell a McQueen story. Then Barbi would call me over and say, “Talk to this man because he's putting together a tribute book.” I always bring my tape recorder with me and I'd tape their stories and eventually ask if they had any pictures. In some instances the people I met had incredible unseen photos. A guy named John Plumlee had a rare photo of him with Steve sharing a beer on the set of Dixie Dynamite. It was taken by the unit photographer and is a professional shot. Another gentleman by the name of Richard Baker was a firefighter and technician on the set of The Towering Inferno. He yielded two photos and a “lost” interview McQueen did in 1973 for 'Grapevine', a firefighter's newsletter. I've also included that interview in the book. There's about 215 passages in all and I've arranged it in chronological order so you feel as if you're reading Steve's life story, only it's through the eyes of other people.
MO: Tell me more about the featured photographs. It sounds like quite a few of these will be from private collections, and largely unseen?

Marshall: The photographs are a compilation of private, unseen, rarely seen, widely seen, candid and movie stills combined with movie memorabilia, documents and personal possessions.

MO: What celebrities have contributed?

Marshall: Lee Majors was the very first person who contributed a passage, and then it snowballed from there. Some of the celebrities have submitted a passage expressly for this book (Jack Garfein, Bud Ekins, Martin Landau, Sharon Farrell, Chris Noel and Nancy Malone) while others are excerpts from their books and magazine articles with their publisher's permission (Faye Dunaway, Norman Jewison, Alec Baldwin, Eli Wallach, Ernest Borgnine). But some of the most fascinating passages are written by McQueen's friends who weren't necessarily celebrities, but had better insight into the man than most. I've also solicited McQueen fans from around the world because I've always wanted to know why McQueen was so big in other countries. I've got some very compelling passages from fans in England, Japan, France and Germany, who explain why McQueen appeals to them.

MO: What is your favorite contribution in the book and why?
Marshall: I can't just pick one my friend...that's like asking me to pick my favorite Beatles tune...you've gotta give at least a dozen! So, in order of how it appears in the book: Robert McNamara (Boys Republic roommate); Cliff Anderson (McQueen's buddy in the Marines); Richard Martin (great insight into McQueen in New York during the 1950s); Howard Fishlove (great stories about The Blob); Sir Stirling Moss (he's a legend and McQueen's racing idol); Elisabeth Osborn (McQueen's secretary in England when he filmed The War Lover); Chris Noel (McQueen's co-star in Soldier in the Rain); Sharon Farrell (co-star in The Reivers); Anthony Zerbe (co-star in Papillon); Gary Davis (stunt director on Dixie Dynamite and his section includes awesome photos); Christopher Keane (author of The Hunter) and Dr. Cesar Santos Vargas (the man who operated on McQueen in Mexico) and Mike Jugan (the pilot who brought McQueen home from Mexico to California). It's a book about life and death...I think I deal with the subject of his passing in a very classy manner. Ultimately, it's an uplifting experience because once you've finished reading the passages you say to yourself, This man lived a very full life.

MO: There will be an initial special ltd edition run. Can you tell me about that?

Marshall: Yes, think of this as a sister book to Steve McQueen: The Last Mile in terms of presentation. It's signed (and numbered) by both me and Barbara McQueen, who has written a foreword and contributed a poem for her passage. It will also have a slipcase cover and a bonus CD (the CD is a 1978 appearance by McQueen where he is talking to film students at Loyola Marymount College in Los Angeles regarding An Enemy of the People). The book is 385 pages and weighs about five pounds! I think the limited edition will retail for $89.99 and the hardback, which will come out later in the year, will sell for $49.99.

MO: Will you and Barbara McQueen be doing any appearances or book signings to promote Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool?

Marshall: We're talking about doing a handful of appearances together. Some of the cities may include Pebble Beach and Palm Springs, California; Seattle, Washington; Ketchum, Idaho and Cleveland, Ohio. It all depends on various circumstances, but it really depends on who's willing to sponsor our visits.

MO: Can you give us a quick tidbit regarding the new biography you're currently working on, now called Steve McQueen: The Life and Legacy of a Hollywood Icon.
Marshall: I can say with much certainty that it's the best work I've ever done, and the last I will ever produce on Steve McQueen.


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Stay tuned for the upcoming interview on Steve McQueen: The Life and Legacy of a Hollywood Icon.

To order a limited edition copy of Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool, go to www.daltonwatson.com on the Internet.