Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finally spoke with Bill Koch yesterday

So if you are a nordic skier or if you have seen my recent film "Cross Country with the Snakes" you hopefully know who Bill Koch is. Well after almost two months of trying to track him down I finally spoke with him about the film itself. Back in July I had sent a letter and a copy of the flick to him to basically get his blessing on using his image. It took almost three weeks to get a return call from him and then literally another month to get him on the phone. A self admitted reclusive he abhors the phone and refuses to speak on it unless absolutely needed. He was extremely supportive of the film. He really loved the message that it sent and felt that I had captured his way of skiing and way of thinking about skiing precisely. He however was not into the music! Not a big surprise there as the Snakes are an aquired taste for sure. We also spoke a bunch on Kochs world view, how he sees his future and his kids future and how even to this day almost 31 years later he still believes that skiing has the power to change the world.
It was perhaps one of the most haunting and enlightening conversations I can remember having in the past 10 years.


dharma bum said...

Wow, what a great conversation that must have been! I'm still looking forward to seeing the film sometime.

Thought you might enjoy this photo essay on my friend Scott's blog.

We made a run to Duluth -- leaving the Twin Cities at 7:30 p.m. and back in time for breakfast -- a week or so ago to see the Snakes play at Pizza Luce. Scott took a bunch of photos and set it to some audio he also recorded.

The larger version of the slideshow is here.


Anonymous said...

good post hansi. Bill came out to Camels Hump nordic center and gave an imfromal skating seminar to my high school team in '85. he really has conviction and good delivery. i find it frustrating that the greatest american nordic skier of my generation is a recluse and and doesn't do more for the sport.

Loki said...

Hey Dharma!
Great photos! Crazy thing is that AL is hanging out with John Huschle tonight, as we speak in Seattle! I am sure no good is happening in that equation. So hey just shoot me your address and I will send you a copy of the Snakes deal. My comments are moderated so the digits will not see the light of day.

Loki said...

Hey JJ.
Yeah it was a really, really intense conversation. On the whole good and to be honest I found myself being jealous on the recluse side of things. I see your point, but I also sort of realized that he felt like he has done a ton and that now he wants to concentrate on his family and to perhaps reinvent himself in another capacity. I can say however that it really has been a lot of years since I have had a conversation with a person that rocked me that hard. Like you said, a ton of conviction, some really zen things to say, perhaps tinged with a bit near zealot intensity as to his beliefs. But hey he was a medalist as an Olympian! To do that is an very intense feat and it literally takes a very special type of person and Bill is the real deal. Only other person who triggered such emotions in me during a conversation was Al Sparhawk one of the characters in the movie I made with Bill in it so it was sort of a good match that way.

Tatterhood said...

Hansi, a friend and I saw your film at the Free Range Film Festival. Loved it. She wants a copy for her teenage son who is a cross country skier and idolizes the Snakes. I was in Norwegian language class and on the Carlton County Historical Society board, but I have your email address at home and keep forgetting it. Contact me at Thanks.