A Question Of Scruples

The Daily Mail

Jim Steinman 1998

The Songwriter: Songwriter and producer Jim Steinman has worked with Meat Loaf and Celine Dion and has just written lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical, Whistle Down The Wind, which opens at London's Aldwych Theater on July 1. He is in his 40's and single. He talks to Lester Middlehurst.

  • Q: You are working with a temperamental artist who is making your life misery. Would you quit?
  • A: It depends on how talented they were. If the person I was working with was incredibly talented, I would really try to bite my lip.
  • Q: Your leading lady is crucifying a song you have written but the director thinks she is wonderful. What do you do?
  • A: I would fight the director. I am as protective of my songs as a mother is of her children. I would go to any lengths to protect a song.
  • Q: Your mother has just been killed an armed robber. How would you vote in a referendum about bringing back the death penalty?
  • A: I don't believe in the death penalty, although I think if you have it, it should be done publicly, preferably on television, so that it really does have some effect. I would probably want to kill my mother's murderer myself.
  • Q: An actress offers to sleep with you in return for a role in your next show. Would you sleep with her?
  • A: Absolutely, as long as I didn't think she would damage the role. I suppose it is exploitation on both sides, but as long as we both got a fair deal out of it, why not?
  • Q: Your bank account is wrongly credited with 5,000 pounds. Would you tell the bank?
  • A: No. Any mistake by a bank is a sign from God that he is still around.
  • Q: A good friend sends you a song which you think is awful and asks you to include it in your next show. Would you?
  • A: No. I would never sacrifice the quality of a show for friendship. I would think of a good excuse not to use it - it doesn't fit, I never received it, I have gone blind and deaf.
  • Q: You are late for a meeting and the only parking space is for a disabled driver. Would you park there?
  • A: Considering that I would be able to find many reasons to describe myself as disabled, I would park there. I could always bring a collapsible wheelchair with me.
  • Q: If you were wearing odd shoes to a business meeting, would you go home and change?
  • A: No. All my shoes are odd. On the subject of shoes, I am totally mystified as to why certain restaurants don't allow you in wearing trainers. I have never noticed a congregation of diners intently watching people's feet as they walk into a restaurant.
  • Q: What would you do if a friend never paid his way because he thought you were rich?
  • A: It wouldn't bother me - I enjoy spending money on people.
  • Q: Running a marathon, you accidentally trip up another runner. Would you stop to help him?
  • A: No. I would go on to win and then tell my girlfriend how brilliantly I ran. I'm pretty competitive.
  • Q: On graduating from anniversary with a science degree, the only job you can find is experimenting on live animals. Would you take the job?
  • A: No. I'm really sensitive about animals. I would much rather take a job that involved doing live experiments on humans.
  • Q: You need a kidney transplant but the only one available is from a rapist who will get parole in return. Would you have the transplant?
  • A: Absolutely. If I needed that kidney I wouldn't care what the guy had done. I would believe that my contribution to the world by staying alive would be more important than the possibility of this man committing another rape.
  • Q: Two women, equally qualified, apply for a job as your personal assistant. One is fat and plain, the other is stunningly beautiful. Which would you employ?
  • A: The stunningly beautiful one, no doubt about it. Being beautiful reflects more than just physical appearance - it gives an indication of what's underneath. I would wonder why the other woman didn't take better care of herself.
  • Q: A friend, who is having an affair, asks you to lie to his wife. Would you?
  • A: Probably. I have never considered lying to be a bad thing. I think lying is most overrated as a vice.
  • Q: If you stumbled across a young couple making love would you stop to watch them?
  • A: I would debate for a second about whether or not they wanted company and then I would probably watch. I have quite a voyeuristic streak.
  • Q: You are a doctor whose patient has only six months left to live. Her husband asks you not to tell her. What would you do?
  • A: My instinct would be to tell her. I would be very suspicious of the husbands reasons for not wanting her to know. I think my obligations as a doctor would override his wishes.
  • Q: Your 12-year-old niece wants to rent a video of an award-winning film, which contains an explicit sex scene. Would you let her?
  • A: Yes. I think kids are amazingly resilient and quite able to deal with that sort of thing.
  • Q: After a burglary, you make an insurance claim for an item which later turns up. Would you own up?
  • A: Probably not. I don't have any very generous feelings towards insurance companies.