Monday, December 20, 2010

Dept. of Off Topic: John Otway

A friend and past co-worker is stranded in the UK right now because of the recent pile of snow they've acquired. Unlike my past home of Syracuse, NY where life doesn't get seriously messed up unless 3-4 feet of snow falls overnight, the UK isn't up for serious snow fall, at all. Her mentioning this reminded me of an experience I had while in England, no snow connection, the UK connection, not the "French Connection" but I digress.

Many years ago now, I wish it weren't many years ago, I got to see John Otway perform. My past co-worker Celia and her now husband Ivor took me to a pub somewhere in England (Fulham? I just can't remember now) to see him. All Ivor would say is you won't believe it, you'll love it. When I tried to get him to explain him, his music, he just replied you have to see it to believe it.

We'll I don't think I've laughed as hard or had as good a time since then (sad to admit I suppose). Hilarious is an understatement. Thanks to You Tube you can get a slight sense of him from a far. The best way naturally is to experience him up close and live. If you read up about him you'll find that at one point he tried to arrange for a 747 to have a world tour where all the fans would climb aboard and take the world tour with him. It didn't work out but it is just the sort of understated outlandish thing that he'd do, try to do.

If you find yourself in England, try not to leave without finding him playing at a pub, elderly home, restaurant or festival...anywhere! I'd start with this video first...then move on to Body Talk...or maybe his big Christmas hit from 1977 "Really Free"...

or his slightly more straight forward full band gig, watch for the somersaults...

When I saw him it was just him and a guitarist accompanying him, I think it is the soloist during this full band version of House of the Rising Sun. I'm not sure you'll be able to discern a difference in playing skill though :wink:

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