Nikki Bacharach: knew writing a biography would be difficult — not because of his never-before-told backstage stories or his rocky marriages, but because of the emotional toll it would take.
He understood that being truthful would compel him to confront his daughter’s loss.
He added of his daughter Nikki’s early delivery, years of emotional troubles, and eventual suicide at the age of 40, “It was incredibly challenging because I had to review what that period was and delve further into it.”
The 84-year-old award-winning music composer, who wrote such classics as I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, the Oscar-winning Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, and The Carpenters’ (They Long to Be) Close to You, knew that disclosing his deepest, darkest secrets was crucial to his recently released autobiography, Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music Harper.
Nikki Bacharach: Opens up about
Nikki’s memoir was conceived long before her death in 2007. Nikki was paired with Bacharach’s ex-wife Angie Dickinson, who was well known for her appearance in the 1970s TV serial Police Woman.
“You should know the deck is stacked against you when you’re one pound, ten ounces at birth,” Bacharach remarked.
Nikki Bacharach claims she struggled with emotional troubles as a child, which he subsequently discovered was an untreated instance of Asperger’s syndrome (the autism-spectrum disorder is a relatively new diagnosis).
“Nobody ever stated she had Asperger’s or autism. She’s only dealing with some behavioural issues, they claimed “he stated
But after all of her suffering he never anticipated she’d commit suicide.
“It’s the equivalent of the youngster who cried wolf. Someone who says, ‘I can’t take it any longer.’ The helicopters, as well as the gardeners and blowers, are making too much noise, and I’m going to kill myself if they don’t stop.
His voice was cracking as he said it. “And you hear that enough times and you know it’ll never happen, and then she simply kills herself one day.”
She killed herself at her apartment in southern California.
“Textbook 101: When she did kill herself, she did so alone. Her head was covered in a bag. Alone. I suppose she was brave for someone who was afraid of so many things, and she left a note for me.”
He eventually understood that the indicators had always been there, but he assumed that her close bond with her mother would keep it from happening.
“”We all tried everything we could,” he stated, adding, “They had a very connected, symbiotic relationship.” I did what I believed was the proper thing, but it wasn’t, and I was only trying to help her get well.”
Bacharach was alluding to her being sent to a special school, which was a difficult decision. He believes he made the decision because Nikki’s diagnosis was incomplete. He believes Nikki has always held it against him because she spent some time apart from her mother.
“There was always the bitterness that I had kind of imprisoned her and she was the last thing in the universe,” he explained. “I wish someone had just said, ‘You’re not going to heal her,’ and left it at that.”
On the autism spectrum, Asperger’s syndrome is a widespread developmental disease. People with Asperger’s syndrome frequently have a high IQ and a wide range of knowledge on specific topics, but they lack social skills.
Bacharach continued to compose beautiful music despite his family’s hardships being hidden from the public eye.
“I was always able to drown out part of the noise, whether it was the news of Nikki becoming a Sikh or anything, by turning to my music. During that period, I scored the first Casino Royale and What’s New Pussycat. I’d lose myself in my music because I couldn’t think of anything else to do.”
Bacharach is still plagued by Nikki’s death, even though he continues to compose music (he has a musical project with Elvis Costello coming soon). Nikki had left him a note when they discovered the dead.
“I’m well aware of the contents of the note. The note was never read by me. I’ll never do it, “As his voice cracked, Bacharach said. “It is not necessary to read it. I’m aware of what she stated.”