Saturday 6 November 2010

Is Elton the Guy?

Have I ever told you about the time I was asked to open the show for Elton John?

Clearly not, otherwise there would be a nice red-word-link in the previous sentence to click on and you could then see that I had.

Like this, which will tell you about Alex, who was also asked to open for Elton John – the opening sentence to this post should have said we instead of I.

Incidentally, Elton John was in the news last week – he announced his intention to stop writing pop songs and to go back to his roots. Apparently his roots were not, as I believed, writing pop songs.

In the same interview he said that he would no longer try to compete with Lady Gaga.

I had to giggle, and not only because it starts with g too.

Apart from the clothes I hadn’t realised that he had been competing with her.

In the interview he said nothing about the time that Alex and I were invited to open for him at the Wembley Arena in London.
Clearly an oversight.

Last night was Bonfire night (Nov 5/Gunpowder Plot/Sticky Toffee/Fireworks) and friends on the other side of the village, English folk, were celebrating.

I arrived late and so I had a good oversight of the guests standing around the fire that had already been lit and which was being tempted to insane heights by Theo, who is Dutch.

My host had e-mailed me an invite in which she apologised for having been too late to invite anyone French.

Anyway, at least the sausages that were served up were French!

When I took this picture I heard someone say – “we are all going to be famous on his blog tomorrow” – which is nice since I think she is the only one in the immediate area – France - who reads it.

So I couldn’t disappoint her.

As we started to stare into the embers that Theo had kindly decided to let die - my wife, always a model of diplomacy, throated a strong “I’m hungry” and strode off to the kitchen.

That broke the spell that had been settling.

Sticky toffee!!

Though of course, decorum prevailed and we ate the French sausages first.
Wine was poured, soup appeared from nowhere – pumpkin I think, delicious – neighbours, those living next door were confirmed to be in good health, I asked Denise if she would cut my hair tomorrow (today). I spoke with Daniel about Dr Who, I listened to stories about Southampton University from Patrik – who, how could it be, is French? -and then discussed fractal geometry with Martin.

That, especially with the wine was about all I felt confident to contribute so I wandered of to the other end of the house where the teenagers were. I had given away far too much information about my fantasy football team selection anyway.

They were draped artistically and breathtakingly beautifully around a very large TV screen.
I’m not sure they were watching it as they all held mobilecellphones - their attention was certainly divided.

I sat on the step at their side and, since I had left my phone in the car – all the people who know me were in shouting distance – I watched the TV.

Shamefully, for one who has worked in the bizz, I did not know the comic - who was very good - but I recognised the venue.

Wembley Arena London.

It was packed.

Have I ever told you about the time I was asked to open the show for Elton John?


Vicki said...

You've played the Wembley Arena? WOW!!!!!! Wish I'd been there.
I watched a documentary about Eddie Izzard the other day - called "Believe: the Eddie Izzard Story". I mention it because he talked a lot about learning his art as a street performer, and at the Edinburgh festival and it made me think of you. Oddly enough, I think the documentary ends with Eddie performing at the Wembley, so he seems to have been following in your footsteps, Chris.

popps said...

Ah Vicki, i have mislead you a bit.
I said "asked to open" i didn't say "opened" - it's a long story which might just get penned next week.
As for Eddie- not exactly "following". In the street we worked in the same place at the same time and would argue into the night about the pros and cons of comedy shoes and comedy socks.
However, i was ASKED to play in support of a star at Wembley, Eddie was a star and PLAYED Wembley.

Vicki said...

Wembley or not, you're still a star to us readers.
Was that street in Covent Garden or the Edinburgh festival?

popps said...

thankyou vicki, flattery will get you everything!
that street was covent garden, and edinburgh.... and amsterdam, new york, florence, barcelona..... but with eddie mainly covent garden.he used to do a sword fight double act, but was always ready before his partner so he would stand there rabitting on about whatever popped into his head.
i was a strong believer in comedy socks, i had special ones i only wore for show time.
he wanted to be free of that.
maybe his way was better?

Vicki said...

Hmmm, the documentary would suggest he hasn't entirely found a way to be free of that.

It also has footage of sword fights in Covent Garden.

Very curious about your socks Chris. What happened on wash days? And where are they now?

popps said...

Ah the socks!! At last someone is interested.
Now remember, MY comedy socks were comedy socks for ME, they made me feel funny and i was funnier with them than without them.
Also remember the whole costume was thought about - Tuxedo, white shirt, tie, comedy shoes - they made me walk in a funny way (least i thought so).
So the socks were those white tennis ones you can buy in big packs for very little money - 10 pairs for a pound - so i always had a pair spare.
What's happened to them?
Well, strangely the answer to that is hidden away in another post, and one that you have in fact read and commented on Vicki.