Volume 10, Issue # 18                                            May 7, 2002

Satirist Changes His Tune


By Elisha Pappacoda

A Brooklyn writer best known for his social satires on the American government has written a collection of songs which embody post September 11 nationalism.

Eric Zaccar began writing songs when he was 20 to impress a girl he knew.  But the 40-year-old Bensonhurst resident says he has been writing scripts since he was 10.

Zaccar's latest play, "Starr's on Broadway," features all the members of the Clinton/Lewinsky saga and then some. He hopes to have his political parody on Broadway in the near future.

"If you look at my Kenneth Starr play, its not like I just don't like Republicans," Zaccar said. "The worst villain there is probably Lyndon Johnson, who kept us in Vietnam for his own political gains and probably had something to do with the Kennedy assassination." He added that even though he loves former President Bill Clinton, he also parodies him.

But at the Bensonhurst West End Community Council World Trade Center honor roll dedication last week, Zaccar's songs were featured as a patriotic tribute to the Bensonhurst/Gravesend Victims killed in the attacks.

Carolynn Black of Carolynn Black and the Blues sang Zaccar's song "Empty Skyline" accompanied by guitarist Peter Margolis. Vocalist and pianist Franca Vercelloni took her seat at the piano to sing "You Won't be Here," a song written by Zaccar from the perspective of a widow and her child.

Many in the audience at Seth Low's auditorium cried when the songs were played. Zaccar said he had mixed emotions about their reactions. "I felt good that people were reacting but it was a really sad moment."

 Zaccar grew up with Firefighter Alan Feinberg, who lived in the same building where both Zaccar and the BWECC President Carmine Santa Maria currently reside.

Playwright, lyricist and screenwriter Eric Zaccar poses with James Gandolfini of The Sopranos.

On his website, Zaccar has a baby photo of Feinberg wearing a fire hat with a tribute beneath it detailing their childhood memories together.

What inspires this lyricist is the same as what inspires many artists anger.

"What angers me is what I write about," Zaccar said. "What impassions me is not necessarily left wing or right wing but I've always been anti-war."

Yet after September 11, Zaccar's perspective shifted. He, like many other peace-loving Americans, felt the need for military retaliation.

In Zaccar's song, "The Last Radical" it is clear the events of September 11 changed him.

"And the last radical waves a flag/ And the pacifist screams go to war/And we don't understand how this can happen here/ Or what so many traded life for."

"The Last Radical" along with "Empty Skyline," "You Wont Be Here," and "Turn Around" are featured on his latest CD titled "Empty Skyline." Zaccar's friends Grace Clarke, James Raddock, Mike Boldt and Carolynne Black contributed music and their voices to the album. Black performs her heart wrenching rendition of "Empty Skyline" at clubs and bars around the City.

Zaccar is currently working on finishing his CD and a screenplay for the Sopranos, in which he is in talks with producers.

To find out more about Zaccar's works, visit www.starrplay.com.

 

Empty Skyline by Eric Zaccar

I saw your shadow
Midst the empty skyline
You were one of the many fallen saviors,
Until then, unsung
I saw your flame rise
Through the empty skyline
As you burned into memory
Eternally
So vibrant and young

I felt your presence
Midst the vast pile of rubble
That yesterday were towers

Filled with people
Just trying to get by
I saw your image
Rising up in a bubble
As you soared to a finer place
Leaving your trace
In the empty sky

The sun came up on the day
It started like any other day
But when the noon siren chimed
Black carbon filled the air deep in space
And by the sun set, deep somber shock was
All you could feel
And I clung to my mind's portrait of

Your exquisite face

Saw your reflection
Fading in the twilight
As I realized the world I knew was a world
That was forever gone
Saw your impression
Melting into the twilight
Though I tried to cling tight to you
Twas then I knew
Your soul had moved on

The sun came up on the day
It opened like any other day
But when the noon siren rang
Black smoke had filled the air deep in space
And by then the sun set

Deep somber shock was all that was real
And I had but my mind's portrait of

Your sweet pretty face
 

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