Q&A: February 2012, Part II
3/16/2012 (updated 3/16/2012)
When you did the Black Cab Sessions a couple of years ago you did a version of Fat's Waller's 'My Very Good Friend The Milkman' that I loved. The arrangement seems to be a little different from the standard and I've been trying to figure it out with only partial success. Could you tell me the chords for the verse and the bridge. I'd be most appreciative. Keep up the good work! Joseph Ballerini
Here, approximately, are the changes - I thought I was being fairly true to the original:
||D / / / | D6 / / / | Em7 / / / | A / / / | Em7 / / / | A / / / | B / Em / | G / A / | D / Bm7 / | Em7 / A / ||
|| F7 / / / | / / / / | Bb / / / | / / / / |F7 / / / | / / / / | Bb / / / | Em7 / A / ||
How did Cayamo 2012 compare to 2011? Any highlights of the cruise, musical or otherwise, that you'd care to share, e.g. snorkeling with sharks, watching exotic birds, playing the slots, etc.? BTW, it was good to see you and Buddy Miller share the same stage again. Did you try out any of his exotic guitars, such as that funky Wandre?
I thought it was a wonderful experience, and I thought musically and in every other way better than last year. I had a good hike on St. Maarten, good snorkeling as well, a couple of fine beaches, some excellent French food on St. Barts - somewhere I deserve this! Yes, it was fun to play with Buddy - didn't have a chance to test his various unorthodox guitar choices.
How did the New York Times "Styled to a T" photo shoot come about? How was the overall experience? Was it difficult to eschew the chapeau?
They asked me, I said yes. As those things go, it was fairly painless. And Chapeaus are neither hair nor there.
Speaking of the New York Times, do you ever do their crossword? Saturday's puzzle is notoriously difficult.
I'm not culturally equipped - too many US references to baseball, TV, etc., that I don't know. I do the London Times crossword, which I believe is equally tough, and requires a good knowledge of things like ecclesiastical garb, wartime military slang, and unfashionable Victorian poets.
In your interview with the Examiner.com, you mentioned that audiences in Glasgow are famous for heckling. What do they heckle you about? As a long-time fan, it's hard for me to imagine anyone heckling you - unless it's good-natured!
Because I'm half-Scottish, they only heckle half of me, or heckle all of me half-heartedly. I think they're losing their edge - used to be a bit more intense. Used to be a famous graveyard of English comedians.
This from the Daily Record:
'Mike and Bernie Winters joined the ranks of those crucified at the Empire in their debut performance.
Their act always started with Mike springing on to the stage to play a zippy number on his clarinet. After a couple of minutes, Bernie's cheeky face would peek through the centre curtains.
But from the Glasgow audience came the cry "Christ, there's two of 'em".
Liz O'Neil, who was an usherette at the Empire in the Fifties, said it wasn't just comedians who got pelters.
SHE remembers a topless act facing an onslaught of ice cream from outraged punters in the stalls.
She said: "They had to close the theatre midway through the show when the audience started throwing ice cream on to the stage and the main dancer nearly slipped on it. Bobby, the maestro in the orchestra pit, was hit on the head with a coin thrown from the audience."
And more recently Glaswegians have shown their disapproval to stars such as Sheena Easton and Ryan Adams.
Easton's much vaunted homecoming ended in disaster when she performed at the massive Big Day festival on Glasgow Green in 1990.
She was booed by tens of thousands of fans after introducing tracks in an excruciating mid-Atlantic accent.
The visibly shaken singer was showered with bottles, some containing urine, throughout her short, chaotic set.
Afterwards, she vowed never to play in Scotland again and has been as good as her word.
New York rocker Ryan Adams was booed by an angry crowd at Glasgow's Carling Academy during a shambolic performance, which saw him make false starts to songs and ramble incoherently between numbers.
But perhaps a tale from the old comic and impressionist Victor Seaforth best illustrates the Glasgow audience.
Victor, known as the man with a thousand voices, died a thousand deaths when he played support at the Empire.
In a book, he recalled how he couldn't be heard over the shouts for the main act, Charlie Gracie.
Sheer terror took hold and he had to resist the urge to vomit.
He said: "I cut out my gags and just worked on my singing numbers.
"But I broke into a cold sweat, knowing that I had to finish on my impression of Charles Laughton as Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
"The rude noises got louder still and, as I carried on towards the end of my study, a really loud Scottish voice shouted out 'Away hame, you humpy-backed old b*****d.' "It was the longest week of my life and every performance was a nightmare."
And of course, poor Roy Castle was getting to the climax of his act at the Empire, which, after telling jokes and singing, involved him tap-dancing and playing the trumpet at the same time, at which point someone shouted out from the audience, "Is there no end to your f***ing talent?"