Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender

I recently saw “Elvis”; the movie by Baz Luhrmann. I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it because I’ve been such a big Elvis fan my whole life. No one can really be that good. There is nothing worse than watching someone trying to capture the unattainable. Sitting through over two hours of a bad impersonation. I’ve got to say this movie surprised me. As it went along, I settled into the gloss of it all, and began to let go of the idea that Austin Butler doesn’t look like Elvis. No one looks like Elvis. Something incredible happened though. Despite this, by the end of the movie, I couldn’t tell if I was watching the actor or the real Elvis. He had managed to capture his magic, his persona, his electrical energy, his combustable sexuality and his dancing The dancing and singing is incredible. Elvis was the music. Every cell of his body vibrated with each song. I don’t think he thought about how he was moving. He just moved. Somehow Austin Butler nailed it. I highly recommend it for anyone who has loved Elvis.

This brings me to another Elvis. When I was growing up in the 1970’s there was a kid who started impersonating Elvis in the Subway stations in Toronto. He was 16 years old in 1970 and his name is Mike McTaggert. Later he would become “Subway Elvis”. I was too young to see him perform, and didn’t live downtown, but I’d heard about him from baby sitters and older relatives. One day my mum took my sister and I to the Canadian National Exhibition and we rode the Subway. I was 8 years old. The train screeched into the station and the packed cars spewed its passengers onto the platform where a sweaty guy with jet black hair wailed ” You ain’t nothing but a hound dog!” He was twitching and thrashing with his guitar and a massive group of people surrounded him and danced along. I was mesmerized. I had never witnessed anything so wild. My mum was laughing saying ” It’s young Elvis. My sister wanted a candy floss so I was dragged away but I never forgot seeing him

Subway Elvis – 1970

A few years later, in the summer, I went over to my friends apartment, which was exciting because I didn’t know anyone that lived in a big towering building like this, with elevators, a swimming pool and a gym. I was 11 years old. We played in her room for awhile trying to ditch her 6 year old sister but she was sticking to us like glue. Eventually the talk moved onto my encounter on the platform that one day with Subway Elvis. Now everyone knew who he was. There was a pause and then my friend told me that, none other than Michel McTaggert, lived in her building! We went down to the lobby and read the occupants names. We saw his apartment number and proceeded to go up to the 15th floor. We nervously lined up in the hallway in front of his door and eventually got the nerve up to knock. An older woman came and opened the door. It was Subway’s mum. We sheepishly said, “Is Subway home?” She smiled and said that Subway was down at the swimming pool but would be back in a little bit. We hung our heads and said thank you. I was devastated because I wanted to see him up close and personal. We got onto the elevator to head back up to her apartment and as our elevator door was closing the one opposite us opened to reveal a tall man with wet, jet black hair flipping it out of his eyes. He had a towel wrapped around his waist and a white robe with the collar turned up. He didn’t notice us as our door closed immediately. We started squealing and went back to her apartment waiting an agonizing fifteen minutes before we hopped back on the elevator up to the 15th floor. Once again we stood nervously in front of his door and knocked. We heard footsteps and suddenly the door was flung open. We stood there gasping for air. He was dressed in a black shirt with white stars on the lapels. He had on black slacks and black leather boots. He sneered a smile at us.

“Are you Subway?”, we asked. “Well, yes…. yes I am. Do you wanna come in?” We giggled and came into the apartment. It was a normal looking place with family photos on tables and little miniature dog statues amongst a display of fancy tea cups. There were floral paintings on the walls and it smelled like cookies. Subway told us to sit on the couch and we lined up quietly.

“How about a song or two?” We said, yes please, and he went to grab his guitar. He swaggered back in wielding his acoustic.

His mother yelled out from the kitchen, “Subway”… she called him Subway…. “play that song I love so much; when you walk through a storm”.

“Ahhhhh…. I”m not playing that! Mind your own business!” I was hoping he’d play Hound dog because it was my favourite. He started strumming and then wailed, “Since my baby left me! I found a new place to dwell…..” Heartbreak Hotel wasn’t exactly what we wanted but we sat quietly and clapped when he finished. He sounded so much like Elvis. His mum came in the living room and put a plate of cookies on the table for us and we all took one. Subway looked a little peeved but he shoved a cookie down anyway.

“OK girls… one more song. ” He started plucking slowly and started singing “love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go.” His lip was twitching and the 6 year old started to laugh. She couldn’t help it. We all started giggling in hysterics. I tried to hold it in and my eyes started watering. I have to give him credit for continuing on and leaning in to each and everyone of us doing his most sincere and best Elvis. When he finished we clapped again and then stood up.

He escorted us to the door and said, “Thank you …. thank you very much.”

We tore into the hallway screaming. It was the funniest thing we’d ever seen and it was torture sitting there when he was so serious, giving his all to these little goofy girls. What a nice man… or boy I guess.

It doesn’t end there. Subway upgraded to having a full band and playing in clubs around the city, so on my 25th birthday, I declared that I wanted to spend it with a bunch of screaming girls watching our favourite Elvis. We put on our best duds and headed out to sing along with the King of the impersonators. He didn’t disappoint and did his best to pull off some fancy foot work will reaching a hand to the sky, dropping down on one knee, sweat pouring off of him. He was into the jump suit phase. I never did see the real Elvis but thanks to Mike McTaggert I saw someone that looked nothing like him but sounded an awful lot like him. It was enough for me. I don’t know what happened to him and I imagine he doesn’t perform anymore. He must be in his mid 70’s by now, far out living his hero. I was at a show once with my in-laws, and partner, who are all musicians. It was a big show around Christmas. My father in law suddenly said , “Hey we should get Subway Elvis down here to do some songs!” We all thought that was an amazing idea. He called Mike and Mike hummed and hawed and said he didn’t have a car and couldn’t make it… we looked at each and said, if only there was some form of transportation he could take.

ONE TWO THREE FOUR!

ONE TWO THREE FOUR!

I had to leave home because my father wanted me to become a legal secretary after I graduated high school. I had never met anyone with that ambition. My father was of the ‘Mad Men” generation where you had a bar in your office and women in tight sweaters, and tight skirts in heels, sitting at little tiny desks pressing intercom buttons, “There’s a call for you sir”. Occasionally they would sashay into the office with more coffee and phone messages.

Why would he want me to be that?? Why not be the freaking lawyer??? ( not that I’d want that job either.)

In high school I went to parties and drank beer and smoked pot and crushed on boys who didn’t know my name. I had no ambition. I didn’t care about marks or subjects. I only cared about music and movies. That’s all. I snuck out of bed at night in my parents home to watch old Elvis Presley movies. I was in love with him. I was also in love with Paul McCartney; neither of whom would ever cross my path.

My first big concert was The Faces with Rod Stewart. They were fantastically wild with great musicianship; probably drunk, and yes, I fell in love with Rod Stewart that night. He was gritty and glamorous at the same time. Long scarves caressing the tops of his jeans with a little bit of exposed belly as he threw his microphone stand high into the rafters and it twirled like a cheer leaders baton. That love lasted for as long as he was with The Faces. I stopped loving him when he decided to go solo in leopard tights and dyed blonde hair and bad makeup. “Do you think I’m Sexy?” No. I don’t. I never stopped loving Elvis or Paul McCartney though.

I sang in a really bad band called “Image” and we played cover tunes at high school dances. I got my hair permed and somehow it came out in the shape of a triangle; not unlike Rosanne Rosannnadanna. It was hideous and I wore a hat for months until it finally relaxed and grew out. I smoked cigarettes and drank rye and ginger. It was very popular. To this day I cannot tolerate the smell of rye because my throat automatically closes. I must have puked up enough rye to fill the Mississippi River.

I was not a child of the fifties but a product of the sixties and a teenager in the ’70’s. I couldn’t have been farther removed from my parents. They had no idea who I was.

In college I extended my cigarette smoking to the classroom. I had the coolest professor on campus who sported a blonde afro and taught his class in an orange shagged conversation pit. The school was built in the early 1960’s. He smoked endless cigarettes and sipped coffee and so did I. He talked about recorded audio and its techniques in a very conversational way that was not exactly understandable to me; partly because I was an undiagnosed dyslexic, but I understood and embraced his enthusiasm. I was studying film and television and all things related.

I was also going to bars as much as possible to hear live music blasting from huge speakers while sweaty singers twitched all over the stage… sometimes puking, in the case of Frankie Venom. I loved Teenage Head. They played my college and Frankie Venom climbed into the rafters of the cafeteria, hanging above the kids like a bat, while pasty, spotty nerds, in campus security uniforms, scrambled around below yelling into their walkie talkies all at once, “Alert! He’s in the raftors! Alert he’s in the rafters! Copy that!”

I loved The Ramones, The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls and went downtown to Larry’s Hideaway where the bar smelled like B.O. and puke and beer. The washroom smelled like rancid semen. It was a dump but it booked the best punk bands at the time. Locals and imports. The Viletones, The Diodes, The Cramps, The Cult, Circle Jerks…. They were all fantastic. It was such a scene back then. I did not pogo. I stood on the sidelines watching kids bounce up and down and off of each other while I smoked, trying not to burn someone’s hair or torch a ripped tee-shirt. I gingerly stubbed out my butts on the cement floor with the pointy red toe of my mother’s curling boots that screamed punk to me and pissed off my mother.

I lived in a townhouse with eight other kids. We had a dark room in our closet and beer in our fridge. We stayed up all night listening to music when we weren’t out watching bands. I had an intellectual boyfriend with a large collection of albums that were placed in a specific order. This order only made sense to him since it involved the year produced, by whom, band name, label… etc. He introduced me to Harry Nilson and Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Louden Wainwright 111 and Marshall Crenshaw who penned a song called “Cynical Girl”, which I swear was written about me at the time. I was fortunate enough to get a part time job at “Records On Wheels”, which lead me to labels like Stiff Records and Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Nick Lowe, The Damned. It opened up a whole new scene of music for me.

There were only two times in my life where I was really effected by the death of an artist. The first was Elvis. He died on my sister’s birthday, August 16th, 1977. I was obsessed with him at that age. I even had his name written on my jeans like all good compulsive and obsessive teenagers. All of my friends knew how much I loved him. I was teased constantly but I held strong to my daydreams of being reborn into another lifetime where I was Elvis’s girlfriend. I was devastated when he died. I took my little AM radio to bed and I cried all night long listening to stations playing him over and over again, “Do you miss me tonight, are you sorry we drifted apart?”

The other; was the night John Lennon was shot. I was in my apartment at college and we were supposed to go out. I was still in my pink fuzzy onesie when the news broke. My room mates and I all turned on the television and to our horror found out he was dead. It didn’t seem possible. It does now…. because it’s been so long ago, but then… it was incomprehensible. How could a Beatle be dead? How could John never ever record again? His album “Double Fantasy” was just coming out. Other students started assembling in our apartment and we just sat in silence and cried. We would smoke some pot and chat and then go silent again. I will always remember the shock and horror and feeling that nothing would ever be the same. Music had died somehow that night.

But I was wrong.

As the years have passed I think about all the things that shaped my life and music has always defined the times for me. I wonder if on March 26, 1857 young people were devastated to hear the news that Beethoven had died? Probably took a couple of years for the news to reach them.

I remember when I heard the news that Kurt Cobain died and I think that hit close to a latter day generations John Lennon.

Who will define this generation musically?

Who is their Elvis and John Lennon?

2 responses to “ONE TWO THREE FOUR!”

  1. Anne Beadle Avatar

    Love this – so many parallels to my own life especially musically. No love for Elvis but Paul McCartney will always be my favourite Beatle.

    Like

  2. Dimitri Avatar

    Lovely stories. Thanks for sharing! More please:-)

    Like

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2 responses to “ONE TWO THREE FOUR!”

  1. Anne Beadle Avatar

    Love this – so many parallels to my own life especially musically. No love for Elvis but Paul McCartney will always be my favourite Beatle.

    Like

  2. Dimitri Avatar

    Lovely stories. Thanks for sharing! More please:-)

    Like

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2 responses to “ONE TWO THREE FOUR!”

  1. Anne Beadle Avatar

    Love this – so many parallels to my own life especially musically. No love for Elvis but Paul McCartney will always be my favourite Beatle.

    Like

  2. Dimitri Avatar

    Lovely stories. Thanks for sharing! More please:-)

    Like

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Havana- Part 1

Havana- Part 1

Stepping onto the plane to go and work in Havana on a movie for 5 weeks was exciting and terrifying at the same time. I met a coworker, the Costume Designer, at the airport in Toronto and we boarded our plane. She had three large bags of vintage clothes she was bringing for the film. I had my enormous bag stuffed to the brim because I needed to survive for a month and I knew that snack bars and toiletries were scarce in Cuba. When we landed in Havana we experienced something straight out of “Midnight Express”. We were immediately pulled aside by security, once we snatched our bags off of the carousel. The Cuban guards were yelling at us in Spanish and pointing for us to go into a back area. Neither one of us spoke the language. They started opening our bags and going through everything. They kept saying to my coworker in English. “You cannot bring to gift… you must pay.” We kept saying we were working on a movie and none of the clothes were gifts. Of course we didn’t have our visas yet because we were told by production that we would acquire those once we actually came into the country to start work. It was scary and confusing. After two hours of being held in the back of the small airport I remembered I had printed out the crew list which had contact information for our Cuban Producer and some of the Cuban crew. I pulled it out and gave it to the guards. They looked at it and then snapped their fingers at us to repack and zip up our bags. I was so relieved. As I was zipping my bag, one of the border guards that had been yelling at us approached, with a huge smile on his face, and said quietly to me, “I want to be an actor.” It was so hilarious after our ordeal that I suddenly felt relaxed and had no animosity towards him. I gave him the universal thumbs up and we were allowed to exit. It was not the way I had wanted to be introduced to such an incredibly beautiful and complex city but it is one for the record books. It was night as we exited the building to meet our patient driver who had been waiting now for three hours for us. It was hot and muggy as we sped through the empty streets that had the smell of gasoline mixed with the salt of the sea. I thought maybe it was the old car we were driving in, but later, realized that this is the way Havana smells. There are so many old cars on the road it has created a smell of an automotive seniors center where cars cough and chug along with the help of young, innovative home mechanics, who will use anything to keep their original family cars on the road.

There is something to be said for a country that does not have a single MacDonald’s or Burger King.  It’s wonderful. Havana sits in a time warp.  Everything sort of stopped in 1959 or more aptly was reborn, depending on who you speak to.

The Cuban revolution, lead by Fidel Castro, began on the 26th day of July 1951. Within the last five years, President Obama famously visited Havana, in his efforts to finally mend relations between the US and Cuba, but since Trump has come to power, it all seems to have gone awry. It makes me sad since the people of Cuba are the happiest and kindest, most generous, people I have ever met and its history is like no other place I have been. Americans are missing so much by not being allowed to visit this complicated country, but then, the selfish side of me doesn’t want to share this amazing place. I do fear that once things open up it will destroy the innocence and beauty. I also know that the people deserve better but do not assume that everyone wants change. Some people are fearlessly loyal to their government and system and are also wary of what could happen if everything opens up. I think the smartest thing they have done in Cuba is to not allow anyone who is not Cuban to own property. If you are a foreigner you can only buy a home or estate in Cuba if you have a Cuban partner and the property has to be in that persons name.

There are signs everywhere signifying the Revolution. The Museum Of the Revolution is fascinating and is in the Palace in Old Havana. There are bullet holes in the marble walls as you go up the steps inside. You will also find many photos and tributes to Che Guevera.

“Ernesto “Che” Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, activist, guerrilla leader, diplomat and major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.”

This is a picture of my desk that I used at an old police station where we were shooting for a few days.

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

I could not believe our luck as we pulled up to the famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba, where Frank Sinatra honeymooned with Ava Gardner. Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan in movies, used to famously dive from his third story room overlooking the Olympic size concrete swimming pool. 

 The hotel also entertained politicians like Winston Churchill and Jimmy Carter and actors like Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich.  In December of 1946 the Hotel also hosted the famous  Havana Conference which was a summit of mobsters run by Lucky Luciano and attended by all the notorious mob bosses of the day and was recreated in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part II”.   This was going to be my home for the next five weeks and it was a dream come true.

The Tropicana, which is the nightclub at the Nacional,  had performers like Eartha Kit and Nat King Cole, who were not allowed to stay at the hotel, because they were black, but were hired to sing  to sold out audiences.    There is a bust honoring Nat King Cole today outside the Tropicana. 

I was thrilled to be in a place that is an Art Director’s dream come true.  The 1950’s are preserved in Havana.  The cars are meticulously taken care of but if you open the hood you see makeshift parts that have kept them running.  Wire coat hangers, spoons, forks or anything metal  is used.  They have not been able to get new parts for decades because of the sanctions against them from the United States.  There are some newer European cars but the majority of people can’t afford them so they have to keep their old American made cars running. You are not guaranteed ,that when you hire a car, it will make it to your destination without breaking down.

Out front of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba

The architecture in Havana is in a Baroque style but is also Cuban.  Open balcony’s with barred windows and huge rounded columns are common.   In the suburbs of Havana you find homes that were built in the 1940’s and 1950’s and are still decorated with original ‘50’s furniture.  The mornings are a symphony of roosters greeting the dawn.

The Malecon is along the coast of Havana and stretches for 8km.  It began construction in 1901 during temporary U.S. military rule.  It is a broad esplanade that has a seawall protecting the roadway from a ,sometimes, tumultuous sea.  It is also a social gathering area for people to walk  and sit and play music.  You can stroll along the sea wall into the area referred to as Old Havana. 

The Malecon

Old Havana is Cuba’s capitol and it is filled with vintage cars, enormous museums and cobble stoned, narrow streets ,with shops and open air restaurants. 

 There is lively music everywhere and some of the best Spanish guitar players you will see playing on a corner. After speaking to many musicians , the one thing I came away with was an intense sadness. Guitar players in Cuba can’t buy strings. Most of the guitars are still using ancient cat gut strings and if they break one then they are out of business as musicians.

I decided that anytime I visit Cuba I will bring along packs of strings.  I handed them out to the street musicians and saw grown men cry to get something  so essential to their careers. A tiny gesture that makes a huge difference in someones life.   Music is a huge part of their culture.  The talent you will see from a busker on the street is mind boggling.

Some badly placed maracas
Old Havana

Old Havana has a central area called Plaza de la Catredral which is named for the stunning Catredral de San Cristobol.   It is an open square in front of this Cuban Baroque cathedral where there are many outdoor cafes and restaurants to sit, have a coffee or a drink and have a bite to eat.    The square is also filled with music and colorful locals who are entertaining you or selling you something. 

You will also find line ups of retro cars from the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.  All of these cars are for hire and some are just taxis.  You can get a taxi for 6 Cubanos , which is a Cuban currency that has a floating exchange rate. Its bizarre and it is the luck of the draw if you get a good rate.

The rates seem to correspond with the American Dollar but my Canadian dollar was never factored in and is worthless in Cuba. As a matter of fact you have to buy Cubanos when you land but you can also use your credit card in hotels and most places will take American money.

I went to the old Ernest Hemingway haunt La Florida, which, from the outside does not look that impressive but the interior is dark wood and elegance. A lively band plays at the front while they serve delicious Daiquiris, which was apparently Ernest’s drink of choice at the time.

La Floridita

You can sidle up to the bar beside the bronze statue of Ernest sitting in his favorite seat at the bar.

La Floridida
Having a Daiquiri with Hemingway

Cuba also has some of the finest rum in the world. And ,of course, everyone knows that the best cigars in the world are Cuban. One of my favorite drinks is the Mojito. It is rum, lime, soda water and sugar and mint. A delicious and refreshing drink for a hot day. I had my fare share over the month I was in Havana.

The art in Havana is also everywhere. There are original paintings hanging in the streets of Old Havana alongside the outdoor vintage market. You kind find everything from old typewriters, jewellery, cameras and books pre-revolution and post revolution. I think the prices have gone up recently because the Cubans are aware how precious some of these antiques are.

There are also many restaurants called Paladars. The government has allowed people to get a license to serve food in their homes. Some of them are in huge old mansions that are crumbling around you with a fading opulence of another time and place. Families of enormous wealth, at one time, now trying to survive, still living in the ancestral home with cracked Spanish floor tiles as a reminder of how things used to be.

I went to a Paladar in Old Havana and the food was delicious. It was logistina, which is a Caribbean lobster, with fragrant seasoned rice and free Mojitos. The tiny laneway beside the house was decorated with Christmas lights and flowers. It was hidden away and the man who owned it chased my friend and I down and begged us to follow him for a tasty and cheap meal. He just happened to show up at the right time because we were starving and ready to sit and eat. We could see the apron of his wife cooking our meal in the kitchen as we sipped on our Mojitos.

At the Paladar- hours before disaster struck

The food was amazing and we thanked them as we left with a full stomach. What I need to warn you about is the danger of having a drink with unpurified ice. We had at least three. This is exactly what happened to us. Hours later I was feeling a bit off. I managed to get back to the Hotel after work but entered to find my friend projectile vomiting across the room. I joined in! Then it was none stop fun for the entire night. I really don’t want to go into the gory details but we also plugged the toilet. I was so dehydrated my hands were cramping. The hotel maids came in the next morning and were horrified at the pasty white grub creatures they found and immediately called the Dr. who rushed over with injections for us both.

I have never been so sick. I would suggest asking your Dr., prior to going somewhere that may have bad drinking water, to give you a prescription in case you accidentally have bad ice like we did. You will be cured in 24 hours instead of going through the three days of torture that I went through. Oh well, live and learn, and the next time I visit I’ll be a little more cautious.

Some of the most beautiful, generous, happy and kind people that I have met in my life are Cubans. They share everything because they have very little. There is no jealousy or ambition to have more than your next door neighbor. I have seen this rarely. You see it everywhere in Havana.

In my next blog I will talk about Havana from a working perspective and the people of Havana. I also will explore one of the more fascinating historical hotels… The Riviera … which was owned by gangster Meyer Lansky and was built in 1957. It is a virtual time capsule of ’50’s design, art, furniture and cool. Stay tuned readers!

Mr. Rhythm

Mr. Rhythm

A dear friend passed away this week.  Andre Williams.  He was a legend.  He was the most complex man I’ve ever met.  He had an explosive personality and his talent as a performer, writer, and producer influenced generations.  He was an R & B singer born in Alabama and raised by his Aunts after his mother died when he was just 6 years old.  He ended up finding his way to Detroit in the 1950s and was first recorded at Fortune Records in the 1950’s.   His hits included  “Bacon Fat, Jail Bait, Greasy Chicken and Cadillac Jack”.  He co-wrote “Shake a Tail Feather” which was a hit record and made it on the Billboard Charts.  He co-wrote Stevie Wonders first hit, “Thank you For Loving Me”.  He moved on to Chess Records in the 1960’s and produced Ike Turner ,as well as many others, along with releasing more of his own material. 

I met Andre later in his life when he recorded the album “Red Dirt” in 1999 with The Sadies , who were both on Bloodshot records at  the time.  It was released in 2000 and remains one of my favorites.  In the studio he would tell the guys… I want it to sound like this…. “da da da da…dadadadadada”.  They knew exactly what he meant. 

Andre Williams, after being homeless for a time in the ‘80’s ,with a nasty drug habit, had returned at the end of the 1990’s and he did not look back.   

The Sadies maintained a life long relationship with Andre and toured Europe in 2006 with him which included playing The Roskilde Festival in Denmark and playing at a Hospital for The Criminally Insane all in one week. An unforgettable time.

Along with his music, Andre Williams knew how  to dress.  He had so much style and owned more clothes than anyone I have ever met.

I have fond memories of Andre descending our stairs in a fire engine red suit where everything matched and he beamed as my eyes popped out of my head and my jaw hit the floor.

He was in a red jacket, vest, shirt, pants, belt, shoes and topped off with a red Fedora and a big flashy smile.

The next day he would be a vision in mustard… or green… or yellow.    He always matched and took such pride in his appearance. He was the real life version of Super Fly in the wardrobe department… only cooler.

Being a white Canadian girl from the suburbs I had never met anyone like him.  He charmed every woman he ever met.  He said some very provocative things but was always a gentleman.  He had a way of getting inside of you and melting your heart. 

I can’t believe that he is gone and I also can’t believe he made it to the age of 82.  He roared through life full steam ahead.  He did not believe in taking things slow.

We thought he was invincible and would always be around.  Some people seem bigger than life.  He was one of them.

Thank god he left so much music behind for us to listen to. Thank god for Andre’s voice and spirit and words. He was never one to shy from controversy as you will hear in his lyrics. He was a real revolutionary. So, my homage  to Andre Williams is to pass on the gift of his music to you. If you have never heard of him…. Google him…  seek out his recordings and enjoy one of the greatest of all time.