Our social media overlord, Facebook, informed me that today is Andy Dursin’s 47th birthday. Happy birthday, Android!
That’s a very old and not-funny joke that started when I worked in a grocery store on Martha’s Vineyard in my late teens. We had an employee named Andy (a good dude and “Masshole,” complete with rat tail to his hair, remember those?), who got duly nicknamed “Android.” I reflexively used it with “our” Andy (whose full name is Andre) and it stuck, but only in my own brain.
In the above pic, I’m the nerd on the right, Andy is in the center, and on the left is Paul MacLean; Andy and Paul came to visit me on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer (I think) of 1994. My mom memorably pulled me aside to ask about Paul, “Is that guy on heroin?” No, only Jerry Goldsmith!
In 2010, the three of us got together again at Andy’s parents’ place in Rhode Island, and we wore the same shirts (or tried to):
This all started when I started the newsletter that became Film Score Monthly in 1990. Andy was one of the first people to write me about our interest in film music, and we lived not so far apart in Red Sox Nation.
I had almost nobody at my high school to share my love of film music and movies—aside from my pal Jonah Walker—so Andy and I would make the short road (and Schamonchi ferry) trips to get together at each other’s houses to geek about about soundtracks, watch ridiculous odds and ends on videotape (Andy had a great collection of old Siskel & Eberts), bitch about Boston sports, and see crappy new movies like The Specialist (with a theater full of rowdy high school kids) and The Cable Guy. Even then, I was an antisocial weirdo who would sit in Andy’s room playing “Pilotwings” on his SNES!
I was so deeply lonely at this time in my life—that’s why I created Film Score Monthly—and I just want to say to Andy how much I cherish our friendship. You were there for me, pal! And I still have the mix tapes you made me! Much love to your wife and son, and to your parents who were always so supportive and sweet. When all this pandemic craziness is behind us, our families need to be introduced!
Andy’s calling in life is to be a critic. He started the review section of FSM, which we called “Score,” and in 1997 started his own website, The Aisle Seat, which has been reviewing new movie and home video releases for...wow, coming up on 25 years! So check it out!
Paul, I’m sure you want me to say something nice about you too. It’s not your birthday, but your name was mentioned, so relax!