Clean-shaven, wearing a suit and tie, Gould sits back down, carrying a carrot-and-coriander soup from the rather lavish buffet.
Gould became a counterculture icon; Time magazine put him on the cover, calling him "the standard bearer for the Western world's hung-up generation". Rumour had it that Gould was difficult to work with. "And I remember everything, and I don't distort." Nevertheless, when he returned to the US, he went from hero to zero in an absurdly short period of time.
"As un-linear as I am," he tells me, "it all has to do with what I'm feeling and where I am." When I ask about Fred, a rather bleak new film of his that's playing at Edinburgh about an aged couple struggling with illness, he goes from talking about the director Richard Ledes to a tangent about Christopher Walken and his brother Ken to a story about meeting Alfred Hitchcock after a tennis lesson. The following year they wed, just as Streisand became the top-selling female vocalist in the US in the wake of her first album; though, as he later told Playboy, "The happiest memories I have of Barbra are when we were living together before we were married." Quite simply, even at its height, his career couldn't keep apace with hers.
"I went wearing long red underwear and white tennis shorts," he laughs; Hitchcock called him "a clown" and, due to his headband, "an Indian". An early conversational gambit sees me asking, "Have you been here before? And there came a point when he could no longer stand to be referred to as "Mr Streisand".
" meaning Edinburgh, a city I later discover he first visited after finishing A Bridge Too Far with Sean Connery. "It was difficult to be married to someone who was married to their success," he says.
"I was very young, she was very young, and we went as far as we could together." He calls her "my first wife", rather than by her first name, and says she's one of the reasons why he has yet to – and may never – publish an autobiography: "I thought it'd be too exploitative." While his divorce from Streisand was finalised in 1971, two years after an initial trial separation, it was during this period that Gould's career hit its peak.