Danny Wynn: ´La perfección es vivir entre Mallorca y el Village neoyorquino´


So that you understand the general tone of the interview: “Who told you that there was the slightest chance of drug smuggling in Majorca?”

I have no actual knowledge of drug smuggling in Majorca.  I know from news reports that there is a lot of smuggling in the Mediterranean in general, and the world is of course aware of the reputation of another Balearic island in this regard.  My book is completely a work of fiction, and is not based on any actual experience.

As a writer, how would you explain the power of seduction of Majorca? (Which part of the island do you inhabit?)  

The island’s power of seduction lies in its stunning beauty, the casual elegance of the lifestyle, and the overall vibe, which is positive and unpretentious.  Originally I was seduced by the mountainous western coast, and by the physical beauty there being the exact type of natural beauty that I find most pleasing to look at (endlessly).  When I stay in that area, I rent houses in the Deia area.  However, over the course of 25 or so visits to the island since 1987, and with the help of  a close friend who now lives in Sa Caboneta (with whom I stay sometimes) , I have explored many other parts of the island , and have come to appreciate the other types of beauty on the island — the vast rolling plains, Palma itself, the beaches in the southeast, Formentor, Pollensa, the road from Puigpuyant to Esporles, the extraordinary drive up over the mountains to Cala Tuent, Sant Elm.  Every time I go, I discover something new and fantastic, and i expect that will continue for as long as i live.

How would you explain your thriller to the locals? (Why did you choose the island?)

It is a thinking man’s adventure story.  As such, it is more about the human condition than about adventure.  The adventure in the story always stays within the bounds of realm people’s live, and doesn’t veer off into extravagant excitement.  It’s a book about life.  I chose the island because I love it there, and always wanted to base a novel there.

You also love the bohemian West Village of New York, could you find any spirital relation with Majorca? (Could you live in one of them without the other?)

Good question.  The two locales certainly have many things in common — for example, the West Village truly feels like a village, though surrounded by the massive city of New York.  The West Village has a human scale to it, and is calm and down to earth, all of which are similar to Majorca.  The two locales  complement each other superbly.  Splitting time between the two is the perfect life, and gives me everything I need.

You attended Woodstock, did it change the world or was it as devoid of consequences as trhe Parisian May’68?

Well, I think the 60’s definitely changed the world, and Woodstock helped bring that change to the masses, from certain limited subcultures.  And when the changes hit the masses, they of course had a much more wide-ranging and lasting effect .  The music at Woodstock was extraordinary.  People forget, but look at the lineup of talent, almost all on the rise.  There has never been as great an assemblage of brilliant musicians.

The record industry was a nice world while it lasted?

I enjoyed the business as long as everybody was in a good mood.  The good mood disappeared as the industry was devastated by the digital era.  Even in the good times, though, the industry was populated by as lot of cut-throat people.  But that’s life in a lot of industries, and i did get exposed to a lot of great musical artistry over the years.  i think Matt Johnson from The The had a house in Fornalutx for a while.

If you ran away from the music because of piracy, now illegal downloads have reached literature.  Literature was already losing readers before the digital area, so in a way, the digital era was not as much of a shock for the book business.  These are tough times for anybody involved with books, and it’s going to get worse as fewer and fewer young people are becoming readers — video games, TV and the internet have taken over the brains of young people.

An executive vicepresident of Sony was more powerful than a minister in the Spain Government.  On the contrary, music is a great art form, but governing people in a just and beneficial way has a bigger effect on people’s everyday lives.  Whatever power i had lay strictly in the world of musicians.

You juggle three strong characters: Springsteen, Dylan and Van Morrison. Could you list them in the order of importance and explain why?

Dylan is the biggest talent, as i hope the other two would agree.  The body of art he created just blows the mind, from melodies to musical sensibility to lyrics to his successful use of his weird voice to the sheer quantity of great work.  But while Dylan may be in a league of his own, Van and Bruce are certainly at the top of the heap of the rest of musicians.  Both of them have extraordinary voices, signature sounds, and bodies of work.

What did Majorca make to you and to the ‘Man from the sky’ on your novella?  s

orry, don’t understand question

Would you like the book to be translated into Spanish (and/or Catalonian)?

i would love that!

Which are the most overrated and underrated groups/artists in the history of pop?

Most underrated are Luna, Joseph Arthur and Matthew Ryan — your readers will have never heard of any of them (although Luna has played in Majorca).  I wouldn’t describe any artist as over-rated – tough to argue with success.  I would just say there are lots of successful artists who i just don’t get.

A Majorcan music resident, guitar player Paco de Lucia died today.

Yes, I heard.  Very sad.  I will give a toast to  him when I am with my friends this evening.

Did you ever found a pop star who was humble, and is the ego of stardom contagious?

There are definitely some who have humility, but having a substantial talent throws off the balance in almost all personal relationships, and it’s a rare pop star that guards against the bad effects of that.

— As an executive, which is your plan to avoid the book industry going the way of the record industry?

I wish I had one.  fortunately for  me, I primarily care about getting to write my books and don’t care so much about success (though it would be nice).  I just wish kids would read more than they do these  days.

Shall we be able to live with your assumption that there are corrupt policemen in Majorca?

There is probably much less corruption in Majorca than in most places (in part because Majorca is thriving), but there is corruption everywhere.

With your book, you are promoting the island for free.


Amazon customers have been very enthusiastic about your novella.

Yes, the initial reaction has been favorable.  I just hope it keeps going.

Writing a book is harder than dealing with Bob Dylan?

Yes, by far.  Writing a book is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  Besides with Bob, you deal with him mostly through his manager, who is an extremely nice guy.

Are you nearer the drug smuggler that fell from the sky or the 73 years old Jaime?

I am near to neither of them, actually.  They are both truly separate from me.

How would you improve Majorca?

I wouldn’t improve it.  I would protect it by very carefully controlling development.  You have a brilliant gem.  Please don’t ever let it be spoiled.

Danny Wynn (Nueva York, 1953) es un legendario ejecutivo discográfico, que alcanzó la vicepresidencia ejecutiva de Sony y que ha trabajado con los artistas más importantes del mundo. Novicio en Woodstock y ferviente enamorado de Mallorca desde hace un cuarto de siglo, ha reorientado su carrera hacia la escritura. Su última novela, ´Man from the sky´, narra el aterrizaje forzoso de un narcotraficante en la Serra de Tramuntana.

Danny Wynn: ´La perfección es vivir entre Mallorca y el Village neoyorquino´

Matías Vallés –Para que se haga cargo del tipo de entrevista: “¿Cómo se le ocurre insinuar que en Mallorca hay narcotráfico?”
–Sé por las noticias que hay narcotráfico en el Mediterráneo en general, y el mundo entero es consciente de la reputación a este respecto de otra isla balear.

–¿Cómo explicaría el poder de seducción de Mallorca?
–Por su deslumbrante belleza, la elegancia informal de su estilo de vida y la vibración dominante, que es positiva y poco pretenciosa. La he explorado en unas 25 visitas. La seducción comenzó por la costa montañosa, pero he aprendido a disfrutar de las otras bellezas de Mallorca. Descubro algo nuevo y fantástico cada vez que voy, y espero que me siga sorprendiendo durante toda mi vida.

–Cuente su novela mallorquina a los nativos.
–Es la historia de la aventura de un hombre pensante, se centra en la condición humana. Escogí Mallorca porque me gusta, siempre quise ambientar una novela en la isla.

–¿Se siente más próximo al narcotraficante caído del cielo o a Jaime, el septuagenario mallorquín que lo encuentra?
–En realidad, a ninguno de ellos. Están separados de mí.

–¿Existe alguna conexión espiritual entre Mallorca y el bohemio West Village neoyorquino donde reside?
–Buena pregunta. Tienen mucho en común. Por ejemplo, el Village posee una escala humana pese a estar rodeado por el macizo de Nueva York. Allí reina la calma y está pegado al suelo, otras cualidades similares a Mallorca. Los dos sitios se complementan fabulosamente. La perfección es repartir la vida entre ambos, me dan todo lo que necesito.

–¿El Woodstock que usted vivió cambió el mundo o fue tan estéril como mayo del 68?
–Los sesenta cambiaron el mundo, y Woodstock ayudó a trasladar esa transformación a las masas. Se olvida que nunca se ha congregado una alineación de músicos con semejante talento, casi todos ellos en la fase ascendente de sus carreras.

–¿La industria discográfica fue bonita mientras duró?
–Disfruté de ese negocio mientras todo el mundo estaba de buen humor, aunque siempre hubo mucha gente que iba a degüello. El buen humor se esfumó cuando la industria fue devastada por la era digital, pero me puso en contacto con grandes artistas.

–Por ejemplo, le puso en contacto con Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen y Van Morrison. ¿Cuál es el orden de importancia?
–Espero que los otros dos concederían que Dylan es el mayor talento. Su obra artística te deja sin aliento, desde las melodías a la sensibilidad musical, pasando por las letras, la utilización con éxito de su extraña voz y el volumen de su producción. Aunque Dylan juega en una liga aparte, Van y Bruce encabezan al resto del pelotón.

–Un vicepresidente ejecutivo de Sony tiene más poder que un ministro español.
–Al contrario, la música es una gran expresión artística, pero gobernar con justicia tiene mayor efecto sobre la vida cotidiana.

–¿Quiénes son los artistas más infravalorados y sobrevalorados de la historia del pop?
–Los más infravalorados son Luna, Joseph Arthur y Matthew Ryan. Sus lectores nunca habrán oído hablar de ellos, aunque Luna ha tocado en Mallorca. No calificaría a ningún artista de sobrevalorado, porque es difícil discutir con el éxito. Diría simplemente que no me llegan muchos de los artistas que triunfan.

–Si huyó de la música por la piratería, las descargas ilegales han llegado a la literatura.
–La literatura perdía lectores desde hace tiempo, por lo que la era digital no supuso un shock tan grande para la industria del libro. Son tiempos duros para la literatura, y empeorarán porque cada vez menos jóvenes se hacen lectores. La televisión, internet y los videojuegos han secuestrado los cerebros de la gente joven.

–Como ejecutivo, ¿cuál es su plan para que la industria del libro no siga la senda de la discográfica?
–Ojalá tuviera uno. Por fortuna, me preocupo fundamentalmente de escribir mis libros. Ojalá los niños leyeran más que hoy en día.

–¿Ha conocido a una sola estrella del pop que fuera modesta?
–Por supuesto que algunas se comportan con humildad, pero poseer un talento sustancial desmonta el equilibrio en casi todas las relaciones personales, y son pocas las estrellas del pop que se protegen contra los efectos nocivos de ese desequilibrio.

–Su libro promociona Mallorca gratis.
–¡Encantado de hacerlo!

–¿Cómo mejoraría Mallorca?
–No la mejoraría, la protegería controlando muy cuidadosamente el desarrollo urbanístico. Tienen ustedes una piedra preciosa. Por favor, no permitan que nunca se eche a perder.