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Monday, July 20, 2009

Tony Bennett 1992

There is a story behind this photo.

I have always been a fan of Tony Bennett. I went to see him in the Royal Festival Hall London in the 60’s , he was appearing with the Count Basie band. It was fantastic show even though I really couldn’t afford good seats. After the concert I went around to the artist’s entrance with my little program to get it signed. I did not get to meet Tony Bennett or Count Basie but I got the rest of the band’s autograph. That was good enough for me, I thought myself very lucky and went home to my flat.
Fast forward to 1992, I was the executive chef at a big resort in Palm Springs when I heard that Tony Bennett was to play in the local concert hall. Furthermore, he was staying at the resort where I worked. I sent him an amenity to his room with a note telling him all about the fact that I missed him at the concert 30 years previously and told him to call if he needed anything special. It turned out he was a vegetarian and did have a special request so he called and we prepared something for him. This became a daily thing where he would call and we would give him a menu.
Anyway, I dug out my program and got to meet him. He signed the program for me and remembered the day of the concert in London. He told me all about the small stage at the Royal Festival Hall. He was a charming man.
To show his gratitude for all the attention we had given him he offered to sing a few songs for the staff in the ballroom of the hotel with his accompanist Ralph Sharon.
This is where this photo was taken. He called out my name from the stage: It was great.
I went to his concert later that night.


grahamer said...

thats a great story jim love it...

phyllis said...

Great story J, it's well for yeah meeting all these great people,
I love tony Bennett.
I met and had my photo taken with Daniel Day Lewis.

phyllis said...

oh forgot, i also met Joan Kennedy,
President Kennedy's sister.

James Walsh said...

You should post the photos. I would love to see them

phyllis said...

will do as soon as i get my *** up to the attic, and if i don't stop eating all this good food my *** is not going to fit in the attic:-)

James Walsh said...

Hope you will be one of our guest chefs. You can't let Graham outdo you , you know. Didn't you teach him everything he knows.