Building Bridges

Jeff Bridges grew up immersed in a Hollywood family. His dad, Lloyd Bridges, was a successful actor, as is his brother, Beau Bridges. Jeff is the only one with a music career.

“I look at all of my creative adventures in the same light,” Jeff Bridges says.

As a singer-songwriter/musician, Bridges has been writing and performing music for most of his life, but he says he just didn’t have the time to release his debut Be Here Soon until 2000.

What else has he been up to? Bridges has made more than 250 television and film appearances, including the iconic role of The Dude in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski.

Jeff Bridges & The Abiders Live is his most recent work and a good example of what The Dude’s live set is like – in Monterey he’ll be performing solo – considering there’s even a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Lebowski fave, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door.”

“I think, musically, I have fantasies of getting out and seeing the world with my music and taking the band to different places,” Bridges says.

Wherever the band goes, Bridges has already been there. He racked up seven Academy Award nods, snagging the Best Actor statue for his mesmerizing performance as Otis “Bad” Blake, a tortured soul with a guitar and a taste for booze in Scott Cooper’s 2009 acclaimed underdog,Crazy Heart. Most recently, in 2017, Bridges earned a nod for Best Supporting Actor for his beautifully restrained portrayal of lawman Marcus Hamilton in the acclaimed Hell or High Water.

As for his musical influences, the names span the genre mill.

“Bob Dylan would be up on the top of the list,” he says “I’m a kid of the ’60s, so I guess it would be The Beatles and The Stones, Chuck Berry, Little Richard. I think the first record I ever bought was Wake Up Little Susie by the Everly Brothers.
”

When it comes down to how the multi-talented artist would like to be remembered, he says: “I guess as a human being just like all the rest of us; nothing too special.” To that end, he’s long been involved in fighting hunger, both as a co-founder of the End Hunger Network and with Zen Peacemakers, a group that operates a “non-traditional” soup kitchen.

AN EVENING WITH JEFF BRIDGES 8pm Friday, July 26. Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado St., Monterey. $44-$88. 649-1070, goldenstatetheatre.com
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