There are fans, and then there are fans, but there were few who could match the late Scott Schechter, who really put his money, as well as heart, soul and full energy, where his mouth was, in his all-abiding devotion to Liza Minnelli, and her Mom, Judy Garland. Schecter’s book, THE LIZA MINNELLI SCRAPBOOK, is the definitive work about the star, and he was instrumental in many re-releases of Liza and Judy’s work. At the time of his death, he was spearheading the upcoming release of the CD, JUDY AND LIZA LIVE AT THE PALLADIUM.
Scott died of a sudden heart attack on May 15, a sad and shocking reminder of just how tragically short and unfair life can be, but, he won’t be forgotten by all who found such pleasure and enlightenment through his work, and he will doubtlessly be discovered, as well, by generations of future young Liza-Judy worshippers who will find his efforts absolutely indispensable.
Scott was anything but the weird, obsessive fan/collector/stalker, always overwhelmingly generous and gracious. I’ll always remember his excitement when I interviewed him with Billy Stritch on the occasion of THE LIZA MINNELLI SCRAPBOOK release, at a publication party held in the beautiful home of Liza impersonator (and my former Stella Adler classmate), Rick Skye. With the cloche hat Rosalind Russell wore in GYPSY “watching” over us, he was just as enthusiastic and inspired by the star as he must have been when he saw her for the very first time, as a child.
Liza Minnelli wrote the following:
It’s me, Liza May Minnelli. I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear that my dear friend, Scott Schechter, had passed away. I was in Paris recording a song with my mentor, Charles Aznavour, for a DVD/CD compilation for charity when I heard about Scott ‘s passing. Ironically, the last time I saw Scott was just a few weeks ago at the Bistro Awards in New York City at which both Charles and myself were being honored. Scott had a great time that night and I am proud that I was able to contribute to his happiness in some small way.
Over the years, Scott has been instrumental in keeping my music and performances current, relevant and accessable to my fans. Scott was my self-proclaimed biggest fan and he proved it time and time again in the tireless dedication and care he brought to my website and in the preservation of my work. I could always count on seeing Scott whenever I performed in New York. His presence always brought me great comfort and joy.
Scott will be truly missed. Because of the suddenness of his passing, it is still very difficult for me to fully comprehend and my heart goes out to Scott’s friends and family. Scott was a kind and gentle man and was well loved by everyone who knew him, including me. I will miss him dearly. I was recently asked for my thoughts regarding the passing of Beatrice Arthur, and I replied that heaven just got happier–sadly for us, it is even more so now.
With fond memories of Scott,
The below link details Scott’s many Judy/Liza projects and includes his bio.
A celebration of his life will be held on:
Saturday, June 13 – 1PM
The Wonder Bar
1213 Ocean Ave
Asbury Park, NJ
THE LEGACY OF SCOTT SCHECHTER (1961-2009)
GARLANDS FOR JUDY, Scott’s beautiful magazine was published four times a year, keeping the legend alive for devoted subscribers.