Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Blogger Break

As some of my regulars are probably aware, I'm taking August as a posting Sabbatical. It isn't a European thing (many Countries seem to take August off) although I will be fitting in a holiday to Spain during the month. I'm particularly looking forward to a visit to Barcelona- I've had a fascination with the style of Antoni Gaudi since seeing photos of his works in my youth and I'm looking forward to taking the Kodak up the Basilica.

Thnking back over a hectic July, the highlight for me was the Dean Friedman Concert in Morley. I planned it really carefully so that the show would go well technically and theatrically. There was only one problem- the Turn was late for his sound check. Eventually, I prowled the perimeter of the building a couple of times and, standing looking expectant in Queen Street, an Estate car pulled up and a silver haired troubador wound the window down and said "Are you Ian?" I said I'd hop in and get him round to the back of the Town Hall (as it is all one way there) at which point I realised the Guy was practically living in the car, or certainly using it as a travelling Restaurant. He handed me a couple of boxes, scraped assorted detritus onto the floor & into the back then I eased in. (I'm sure his Jewish Mother would have disapproved- "My Son, the International singer/songwriter, brings disgrace on our family with his shitpit of a car!"). As we navigated the One Way system two thoughts suddenly struck me- he was touring all by himself- and he was having trouble with the gears. Flashback to Northern Telecom in the 80s, where it was Company Policy that all Company Cars had automatic gears as the Canadian Wives struggled with having to drive on the "wrong" side of the road and have to wiggle the wand of power and pedal of slippage as well.

Getting to the Venue, he opened the Boot to reveal a Guitar, a Ukelele, and a suitcase- full of CDs. We unloaded and he moved the car as he didn't want to risk the wrath of double yellow line guardians. As he drove off, another car pulled up on the lines and the Morley Mayor & Deputy got out- unworried about the Wardens.

He eventually reappeared and the sound check was surprisingly short as he only had accoustic instruments. We sorted out various details of the running order and he agreed to pop upstairs and visit the Mayor in her Parlour (which he thought sounded rather quaint) whilst I nipped home for tea.

Later on, we opened the doors and the expectant crowd arrived, although by 7:55pm Dean hadn't. Suddenly struck by a thought I nipped round to the side entrance, opened the crash doors- and there he was trying to work out how to get in. To preserve the theatricality, I took him the concealed route backstage (down into the smaller Morleian Hall and through the platform doors) rather than through the audience. I showed him his Dressing Room (labelled Ladies Chorus, the Mens Chorus also led to the Custodian Office so there was the possibility of passing traffic in that one) and left him to prepare, limbering up his vocal chords with some type of Yiddish chant and giving him a chance to put his showbiz togs on (a change of shirt!). At 8:05pm I went down to call beginners please
and he said that if I wanted to introduce him that would be fine. That caught me out slightly, as my mate Lincoln had joked that he wanted to make the offstage announcement & big build up before he found he couldn't get a pass out but if I'd thought about it I would have arranged for a Mic in the Wings. Anyway, I switched off the house lights, faded up the PAR Cans to 6, nipped on to an expectant silence and made my entirely unscripted announcement for posterity:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Morley. Sorry we don't have a Bar but we have some cans at the back for the interval which will be 15 minutes. Anyway, enough from me, lets have a big cheer for the main man: Dean Friedman!!!" Cue applause and cheering...

Scurrying back, he gave me a warm smile and a twinkle as he walked on and I returned to the Wings to give him the Cans at 10. Wow! I thought, it is finally here, Dean is playing Morley and the crowd love him already. Finally, I can enjoy the show!

Anyway, I'm going to enjoy August because I can devote time to the other important thing in my life- my family. I'll still be around keeping an eye on other Blogpower blogs and my other regular haunts but I won't feel the need to come up with postings. Instead, I'll mentally file away any experiences and thoughts, hopefully returning energised in September.

Shades of Grey won't be Tumbleweed though- a number of Blogpower Bloggers have agreed to put some posts up in my absence and I look forward to seeing what has appeared on my return. This is what I see as the spirit of Blogpower, it wouldn't even have occurred to me six months ago, or have a happy band to call on.

Bye for now.

Guest posters, start your engines...


Ruthie said...

Have fun on vacation! Barcelona sounds lovely-- I bet you'll have loads of beautiful pictures for us when you come back!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I will Ian. And what a great post you have left us with! I envy you seeing some Gaudi - take lots of pics and tell us about it in Sept! Buona vacanza!

James Higham said...

I felt that I was actually there as I read it. Have a great break and I shall post.

Shades said...

Thanks all.


Shades said...

You know when I hear the name Gaudi I think of Steeleye Span.

Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!

Also Tom Render, the Music teacher that taught us it at school, and what it meant.

jmb said...

Barcelona and Gaudi, you are very fortunate. Have a great vacation and I'm sure your guest posters will do you proud.