Singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop has been active since 1975, and has seen his songs appear as the main theme in movies as iconic as Tootsie, Animal House and Arthur. He's also released a string of quality albums, showcasing his wry, quirky view of life, the most recent being 2016's Blueprint. He has a new one on the way, and he's performing at the Coach House this week, so we chatted.
L.A. WEEKLY: What can we expect from the set at the Coach House?
STEPHEN BISHOP: Well, I’ve been on the road a lot lately. I’m used to doing shows, and I’ve gotten five standing ovations in the last month. Mostly Florida, Michigan, all over.
And the set list?
I have some new material. I’m doing an album called We’ll Talk About It Later in the Car — it’s coming out in July, I think, on BMG. I’m excited about that because I’ve been working on this album all year. I do songs from that album, I do songs people are not used to hearing from me. I do a Jimmy Webb song, “Someone Else.” I use this little Q chord gizmo, and I wrote a song on there called “New York in the ’50s,” so I usually do that in the middle somewhere.
How do you think you've evolved musically in recent years?
I’ve been around. I’ve played all over the world, and had my songs recorded by everybody from Phil Collins to Eric Clapton to Barbra Streisand to Art Garfunkel. I’ve been very lucky in that way. I’ve been around so I usually do good shows.
Some of your best-known songs are in movies — is that blend of industries something you enjoy?
I’ve had a lot of songs on film: “It Might Be You” (Tootsie), Animal House, “Separate Lives” (White Nights), Arthur, The Money Pit, China Syndrome — a whole bunch of things. It’s great. There’s nothing like being with your best girl and seeing a movie that you’ve done a theme for. It makes you feel pretty good. We’re working on a documentary about the fact that I’ve played the Philippines 11 times. Also, it will be an “untold story of Stephen Bishop” kind of thing. I also have a book I’ve been working on called On and Off. I’m just a plethora of stuff that’s happening.
What's next for you, this year?
We’re going to Seattle, the East Coast, New York, Long Island, Jersey, Florida again, Texas — all over. But I’ve never been to me. That’s a joke. It’s a corny song.
Stephen Bishop plays with Cindy Alexander at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, at the Coach House.