Andy Burns Goes To The Twin Peaks Festival: Day 1

I’m back at my hotel room, having ended my first day at Twin Peaks Fest a little early. I decided to skip out on the screening of Fire Walk With Me, since I’ll be attending the  screening in Toronto that Rue Morgue is putting on for Fan Expo’s Festival of Fear at the end of the month, and rather than sitting in the movie theatre I figured I could actually do some writing.

The first day was quite fun. Driving in from Seattle, the highway to North Bend is absolutely gorgeous – the mountains and trees were truly something to behold. There were a few times where I wanted to pull out the camera while on the road, but I’m smarter than that.

The view from Twin Peaks Town Hall

The view from Twin Peaks Town Hall

To be honest, my initial feeling when I walked into the meeting hall for the fest was one of discomfort. There were certainly people who knew one another, and for a few minutes I felt like an outsider. However, I think I started to loosen up; as well, I was wearing my “We’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat” t-shirt, which wound up serving as an excellent conversation starter with more than a few people. What I soon realized is that if you’re willing to talk, everyone attending is happy to talk back. Makes sense, right? We’ve all travelled varrying distances because of our love of Twin Peaks, so we all have at least one thing seriously in common. That being said, I didn’t compete in the Twin Peaks trivia contest for fear of failing at minutia trivia – I actually would have done pretty well, at least for the first few rounds, but truthfully, I don’t know which hand Cooper uses to when using his dictaphone (though in my mind’s eye, I see him being a righty), and I thought there would be questions like that (there really wasn’t). I also had a chance to talk to Brad Dukes, a Twin Peaks expert who has just released Reflections: An Oral History Of Twin Peaks, which is exactly as described, and is beautifully put together. I’d say with Brad’s book, a thorough and extensive history of the show, and mine, which as you’ll see come February analyzes the show while placing it in pop culture context, you really won’t need anything else on your library shelf (hopefully I won’t be the only one who feels that way).

Leo Johnson's house

Leo Johnson’s house

Rob, who puts together the fest with his wife and lots of other friendly folks, was a nice fellow to speak with; he took some Wrapped In Plastic: Twin Peaks post cards which people will be able to pick up on Saturday, so that was very kind of him. Following the sign-in, I joined a caravan of about four or five cars over to where the exterior and interior of Leo Johnson’s house was shot for both the pilot and Fire Walk With Me. Honestly, this was worth the price of admission alone, as the owner of the house, an older gentleman named Dave, actually came out and told the bunch of us the story of how David Lynch came to use his house as Leo’s. The best part of the story in my mind was the fact that Dave watched only five minutes of the pilot before deciding it wasn’t his cup of tea. He’s never seen it since.

Tweed's Cafe aka the Double R Diner

Twede’s Cafe aka the Double R Diner

I checked into my hotel, but soon drove back into downtown North Bend to eat at Twede’s, the basis for the Double R Diner, where I had clam chowder, a Monterey Burger, fries, and of course, cherry pie and coffee. And damned if that cherry pie wasn’t absolutely fantastic. I anticipate a few more slices before the weekend is over.

The evening of films began with some short pieces, along with the arrival of the TP celebs who were on-hand, including Charlotte Stewart, Chris Mulkey, Wendy Robie and Kimmy Robertson, who had some very kind words to say about my Rue Morgue article on Twin Peaks which I interviewed her for earlier this year. As mentioned, I decided to skip out on the Fire Walk With Me screening, as I’ll be taking the early morning bus tour and figured I should get some shut eye.


3 thoughts on “Andy Burns Goes To The Twin Peaks Festival: Day 1

  1. Great article Andy! I’m glad I found it this morning! This is my first festival and I look forward to meeting up with you on the early bus tour!


  2. Hey Andy, just discovered your book and website. I’ve been on a big Twin Peaks kick since the spring, when I read the critical anthology Full of Secrets. From there it was Twin Peaks on all media fronts: I read The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer for the first time, bought Floating Into the Night & the Season Two soundtrack, and began re-watching the series on Netflix. Then out of the blue a fellow critic contacted me and invited me to a 4-part conversation on Fire Walk With Me for another site. At the time of all this I wasn’t even aware of the impending blu-ray release; David Lynch believes in serendipity, so I guess I should too! Long & short of it is, in addition to the conversation I ended up devoting June to Lynch’s work on my blog and have numerous Peaks posts slated for the upcoming months, including recently-completed interviews with Brad Dukes (whom you mention above) and John Thorne, publisher of the infamous Wrapped in Plastic magazine (we may also be collaborating on an upcoming video essay). I would definitely be interested in interviewing you too, at least close to the date of your book’s release if you are game.

    My email is movieman0283 at gmail. I’m also curious about your approach to the book: do you have a certain reading of how Twin Peaks unfolded, how the Frost-Lynch dynamic worked, what contributed to its downfall in the media, the relationship between the very differently-toned series and film? My own take is very much centered around Laura Palmer – I find it utterly fascinating how Lynch in particular shifted her character from object to subject (to use David Foster Wallace’s terminology) over the course of Twin Peaks, and how this played a role in the film’s (in particular) rejection. I also think the unexpected power of Sheryl Lee had a big influence on the development of the character (and even on Lynch’s subsequent career). Will your book focus more on Twin Peaks’ reaction/impact/influence in pop culture or will it dwell on behind-the-scenes detail as well? Can’t wait to find out – I’m already set to pre-order it on Amazon.

    Finally you may find my round-up of Twin Peaks commentary interesting: (you can also use the sidebar or banner to navigate to any other Peaks posts you’re interested in checking out – and my Missing Pieces review goes up in 24 hours). I’m sure you’ve run across 90% of the articles I quote – or more – in your own research but still some cool stuff I was able to dig up. I had not know before, for example, about the L.A. Times article claiming Bob was doing CPR on Laura in the season 2 premiere! The mind reels.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment but drop me a line if you’re interested in chatting. Can’t wait to read your book though I’m shaking my fist at its release date: February 2015?! C’mon, Andy, I was trying to wrap up my obsession by the end of the year. What did they say in Godfather III? Just when you think you’re out…they pull you back in!

    Enjoy the festival and Rue Morgue screening.


    • Thnaks for the message, Joel. I’ll absolutely be in touch. Coincidentally just finished watching The Godfather Part II for the zillionth time just the other night :)


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