by Chad Campbell, senior producer
Clearly it takes a “genius” to create back-to-back, critically-acclaimed HBO series. Former journalist David Simon recently won a MacArthur Genius Grant for his body of work on The Wire (which offered an unblinking look at Baltimore and all its charms) and his latest series, the New Orleans-based Treme. We were originally scheduled to interview Simon LAST April in New Orleans during the city’s Jazz and Hertitage Festival, but a family illness forced him to miss the entire trip. Bob finally met with Simon at his Baltimore office in late July to discuss his work for HBO, his former journalism career and the state of the country.
During our trip to New Orleans in July 2010, we concluded our Independence Day with one last interview (Bob’s 7th of the day!). We found Davis Rogan’s house in Treme, climbed the stairs of his extremely messy row house and talked about his music, his hometown and his part in the David Simon HBO series named for his adopted neighborhood. Rogan is the inspiration for Steve Zahn’s character, Davis McAlary. Since we knew next to nothing about “The Real Davis” going in, I told Bob just to pretend to interview the character he’d been watching on TV every Sunday — so there’s a lot of comparing the show to the actual life experiences of Rogan. He later told us that our visit and interview inspired a song on his new album. The tune is called “My Every Day” and answers a lot of our questions in rhyming, song form. Rogan’s CD The Real Davis is now available, and so is the DVD of Treme season 1. The second season premieres this weekend on HBO.
Click here for the Treme series homepage.
Click here to learn more about the cast.
Here’s a link to purchase Davis Rogan’s previous CD, The Once and Future DJ.
You can read more about the Treme neighborhood here.