Forgotten, but not Gone


It takes a will of iron to push up outta bed this morning. I'm feeling like a rusty nail. Yet, I'm set to do an "in-store" pro bono concert at the Rough Trade Record store. Paying obeisance to an imploded industry of physical recordings is an end-game priority for me. It's a nooner. On our arrival, Don's drum kit is assembled on stage, with a state of the art miniature electric grand I'd asked for, now positioned. It's an Avant. It practically plays itself. We play from noon to one, with a Q & A. Yet, the real focus for me is David Sefton, who's attended my self promotion in London. David is my "first friend". I'd join him in Berlin, when he invited me to die Komische Oper to see Weill/Brecht's 'Seven Deadly Sins'. It had opened in Paris in the '30s, with Lotte Lenya, and the choreography of George Balanchine. I decide that soon I must pore over Weill's score, to garner technique. I notice he'd made parallel decisions on par with ones I've made about the instrumentation for a theatrical chamber group. (Basses divisi, one dedicated to pizz, while the second lends its bow to the arco lines of the string component). I was amazed by this revelation, and delighted. Truly, Weill had mastered his formula for such in 'Seven Deadly Sins'.

Now in London, true aim Ami takes to a hot spot of nouvelle cuisine. Saint John's Restaurant is where a member of Grizzly Bear (Chris Taylor) has served famously as Über chef. It was the second time I'd been there. Close as I'll ever come to pig skin, snout to tail. I'd left my credit card in my hotel room. Works like a charm. Saxophone great Terry Edwards sits across from Sefton. They're old pals. I end up with a vow from Edwards to join me in a solo in my next tented concert with the Britten Sinfonia, scheduled on a return to the U.K. in July. Once again, David hosted.

He and Ami had confabbed at breakfast. Apparently, David will have me in a similar orchestral event in Adelaide, Australia. Having spent a glorious decade as UCLA's Arts Director, he now directs the Adelaide Festival.

David's encyclopedic grasp of all Arts and Artists now alive, and his comprehension of it all in a historic context is astonishing. A testament to that is in his having received France's highest civilian award, as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. A good man to pick up the tab, that David. From humble origins in Liverpool, he went too far, when he quoted the Liverpool Taxi Drivers' motto:

"Boldly going forward... coz we can't find reverse."