Buzzing. It's all amazing, this life for me. How about this: In 1973, a young Jewish plugger took an new EMI single around the BBC, mainly banging on doors at Radio 1. He was Eric Hall, and Sebastian was not an easy sell for him. Eric got a more amenable response when he turned up several months later with Judy Teen. EMI had told him and myself that there was not another single on The Human Menagerie. I found that opinion incredible, and to this day both Eric and I despair at the lack of imagination shown by those responsible. Muriel The Actor, maybe? What Ruthy Said? Loretta's Tale? None of them suited Radio 1 according to EMI. Eric took Make Me Smile to the Beeb, too. I had Dave Most on the case, too. Dave was Mickie’s younger brother, and his company, RAK, had signed me as publishers. Together, they got a Noel Edmonds breakfast show Record Of The Week, and I think Kid Jensen gave it a massive boost on Radio Luxemburg.
All this came up in conversation recently between me and Eric, as we chatted Live for a couple of hours on his BBC Radio Essex Sunday afternoon show, out of Chelmsford. Eric is still one of the industry's most charismatic characters and we are friends, too. It's a good feeling, reassuring to find the old-stagers still working in the business. The more out-of-touch still seem bemused and affected to know I’m still making new albums and constantly playing concerts, even many in this country.
And my dear dad turned 84 in Spain on October 2nd. We called to sing Happy Birthday down the line, but he'd forgotten. It all came back, though. Within minutes he was telling me how that evening he was being taken to dinner by my siblings and others. The power and accuracy of the short-term memory does seem to fluctuate more than somewhat. He should keep a white board on a kitchen wall with all dates, visits etc. as an aide-memoire. He's too proud though, even though I tell him we all need one.
Had a few good days in Cologne, recording a TV interview and several in-person chats with other media people to promote the German leg of the brief Euro-tour which starts, for me, tonight (Tuesday). We travel overnight on a cross-channel ferry from Harwich to The Hook Of Holland.
Home from Norway. What a country that is. A population of 4 million in a land that would swallow the British Isles several times over, a land where 65 million now live. Norway: mostly rock and water. Four flights in three four days, but a fabulous boat trip from Stavanger to Haugesund too. Stavanger gave us a massive opening night welcome. Haugesund had never seen me before, and the ticket sales were less than fantastic, but a good house got the full treatment, and maybe when we return one day, word will have spread that their money won't be wasted on a 70s throwback. New songs, and they appreciated them! Misapprehensions like that ("he'll only play the old stuff for an hour") are common. But usually the first visit does the trick. As for Trondheim - memorable, historic. We went on to a packed-out, resonant, large hotel ballroom. They sang it all, even the more obscure songs. There were plenty of die-hards in that room that night. Sebastian was moving for me, as I seldom hear a crowd singing the hook itself. A thousand people crooning "Somebody Called Me Sebastian", in what for them is a foreign language. It was.....beautiful. Got to pack again, this time for a couple of weeks. The tour bus is warming its motor and the team is getting that old frisson of quiet excitement again. We've only been home 48 hours, and it feels like starting over again. Yeah, buzzing.
written by Drew McAdam , October 19, 2010
"... "Somebody Called Me Sebastian", in what for them is a foreign language. In Scotland it's a foreign language, too. We sing: "Sumbuddy ca'd me Sebastian"
"Wiz intray-dyouced tae Saint Peter we wiz havin' a blether..."