Alan Bean

June 10, 2010 - Alan Bean 06/10/2010 Views: 17,856

Alan Bean paints scenes from his time in space to leave behind stories that regular people don't know about. (5:26)

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT WAS THE FOURTH

MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON.

BUT THE FIRST TO SKIP.

PLEASE WELCOME ARTIST AND

ASTRONAUT ALAN BEAN.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

MR. BEAN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

COMING ON.

TREMENDOUS HONOR TO MEET YOU,

SIR.

>> MY PLEASURE TO BE HERE.

>> STEPHEN: THANK YOU FOR COMING

ON.

NOW, SIR, YOU ARE ONE OF ONLY 12

MEN WHO HAVE WALKED ON THE MOON.

[LAUGHTER]

I'M TRYING TO THINK IF I CAN ASK

YOU A QUESTION YOU HAVEN'T BEEN

ASKED BEFORE.

BECAUSE I WANT TO ASK WHAT IT'S

LIKE BECAUSE THAT'S FIRST

QUESTION YOU'RE ALWAYS ASKED,

RIGHT?

>> OFTEN IT IS.

>> STEPHEN: I'LL ASK YOU THIS:

IF YOU COULD IMPROVE THE MOON IN

THREE WAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

>> FIRST OF ALL, I LIKE CHEDDAR

CHEESE, SO I WOULD CHANGE IT TO

CHEDDAR.

>> STEPHEN: OKAY.

>> I'D MOVE IT A LITTLE BIT

CLOSER TO THE EARTH BECAUSE IT'S

240,000 MILES AWAY, AND WHEN I

WAS THERE, I KEPT THINKING, THIS

IS A LONG WAY TO GO BACK HOME.

I HOPE THIS WORKS.

>> STEPHEN: I'M SURE THE CELL

RECEPTION WAS TERRIBLE.

NO BARS.

>> I'D PUT IT UP A COUPLE

HUNDRED MILES.

IT WOULD LIGHT UP THE NICE.

>> STEPHEN: BEAUTIFUL.

NICE IDEA.

NOW, YOU RETURNED TO EARTH AND A

FEW YEARS AFTER GETTING BACK YOU

GOT OUT OF THE ASTRONAUT GAME

AND BECAME AN ARTIST.

>> YES.

IT WAS MY HOBBY BEFORE I BECAME

AN ASTRONAUT.

>> STEPHEN: SO YOU COULD PAINT

BEFORE YOU WENT?

>> NOT VERY WELL, BUT I SAID...

>> STEPHEN: THEN YOU WERE HIT

WITH COSMIC RAYS AND IT GAVE YOU

A SUPERPOWER?

>> NO, NO, NO.

>> STEPHEN: I'M TRYING TO MAKE

THIS A GOOD STORY.

>> I WISH WE COULD DO IT.

IT'S HARD WORK LIKE ANYTHING

ELSE.

YOU HAVE TO STUDY, PRACTICE,

MAKE MISTAKES, STUDY, PRACTICE,

MAKE MISTAKES.

I'VE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE ONE

OF THE 12 TO GET TO THE MOON.

I NEED THE LEAVE SOME OF THE

STORIES BEHIND AFTER WE'RE ALL

GONE.

I'M 78 NOW.

ALL THE OTHER ASTRONAUTS THAT

WALKED ON THE MOON ARE ABOUT THE

SAME.

WE'LL BE GONE SOON.

AND I SAID, I'M GOING TO LEAVE

SOME OF THE STORIES BEHIND THAT

REGULAR PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT.

>> STEPHEN: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE

DOING ART WHO WENT TO THE MOON?

>> NO.

IN FACT, IF MY BOSS KNEW I WAS

AN ARTIST, I MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN

TAKEN AS AN ASTRONAUT.

>> STEPHEN: LET'S LOOK AT SOME

OF THE ART HERE.

THIS FIRST PAINTING HERE I

PARTICULARLY LIKE THIS.

IS MY FAVORITE PAINTING THAT WE

GOT FROM YOU.

THIS IS CALLED LUNAR HIGH-FIVE

FIRST MISSION AN IMAGINED LEAP

OF CELEBRATION AND IT DEPICTS

TWO ASTRONAUT HIGH-FIVING WITH

THE EARTH IN BACKGROUND AND THE

AMERICAN FLAG.

>> THAT'S HOW WE FELT ALL THE

TIME.

>> STEPHEN: CAN I SUGGEST

ANOTHER TITLE?

>> SURE.

>> STEPHEN: THE MOST AWESOME

PAINTING IN THE HISTORY OF

ANYTHING.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

LET'S GO TO ONE OF THE OTHERS

HERE, JIM.

NOW, IS THIS... THAT IS YOU?

WHAT IS THIS CALLED?

>> THE WORLD AT MY FINGERTIPS.

THIS IS ME.

I REACHED MY HAND UP AND PUT MY

GLOVED THINGERS AROUND THE

EARTH.

THAT'S THE EARTH IN THE

BACKGROUND, 240,000 MILES AWAY.

YOU CAN SEE MY CHECKLIST.

THERE I REPAINTED IT THERE.

>> STEPHEN: THE CHECKLIST IS

"IMMORTALIZE THIS AS A

PAINTING."

>> MAYBE IT WAS THERE.

>> STEPHEN: WHAT MEDIUM?

>> I DO ACRYLICS.

CAN YOU SEE THOSE BOOT PRINTS?

>> STEPHEN: I CAN.

>> I LOVE TEXTURING PAINTINGS.

I DID IT LIKE REGULAR EARTH

ARTISTS.

I SAID, WHY AM I USING THOSE

TOOLS.

I CAN USE MY MOON TOOLS.

>> STEPHEN: ARE THESE THE MOON

BOOTS ON THE MOON?

>> NO, JUST LIKE IT.

WE LEFT THE MOON BOOTS ON THE

MOON BECAUSE WE NEEDED TO LEAVE

THAT WEIGHT THERE AND BRING

EQUIVALENT WEIGHT OF ROCKS BACK.

>> STEPHEN: YOU HAD THE LEAVE

YOUR MOON BOOTS THERE.

>> WE HAD TO LEAVE THEM.

>> STEPHEN: THE MOON IS LIKE A

BOWLING ALLEY.

YOU HAVE TO LEAVE... NOT NEARLY

AS ROMANTIC AS I THOUGHT.

YOU USE A VERY SPECIAL MEDIUM

YOU SOMETIMES MIX INTO YOUR

PAINTS.

TELL PEOPLE WHAT THAT IS?

>> I DO.

I WANTED TO HAVE MOON DUST IN MY

PAINTINGS BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT

WOULD BE FUN.

THAT'S ONE NICE THING.

>> STEPHEN: WHERE DID YOU GET

THE MOON DUST.

>> NASA DIDN'T GIVE IT TO ME,

BUT THEY GAVE ME THE AMERICAN

FLAG FROM MY SUIT, MY APOLLO 12,

NASA EMBLEM, NAME TAG.

THEY'RE DIRTY.

I SAID ONE DAY, BOY, THOSE ARE

DIRTY.

I BETTER CLEAN THEM.

THEY'RE DIRTY WITH MOON DUST OF

THE OCEAN OF STORMS.

IF I'M WILLING TO CUT 'EM UP AND

PUT THEM IN THE PAINTINGS, THEN

I'LL HAVE MOON DUST IN THERE.

SO THAT'S WHAT I DO NOW.

IN FACT, MY AMERICAN FLAG IS A

LITTLE LESS THAN ONE-THIRD NOW

AS I'VE USED IT UP THROUGH THE

YEARS, BUT IT'S THE FIRST

PAINTINGS I'VE EVER SEEN WHERE

PEOPLE DID SOMETHING, ARTISTS

DID SOMETHING.

>> STEPHEN: I THINK THAT'S

FANTASTIC.

I WILL CERTAINLY TESTIFY...

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

I WILL CERTAINLY TESTIFY ON YOUR

BEHALF WHEN YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR

CUTTING UP AN AMERICAN FLAG.

>> OKAY.

[LAUGHTER]

>> STEPHEN: ASTRONAUT AND ARTIST

ALAN BEAN.

IT'S AN HONOR TO MEET YOU, SIR.