I went to bed Saturday, confident that I’d wake up at 9am, since I’d set my alarm. However, in my fatigue, I didn’t notice that I’d set the alarm for 9pm. Doh! I woke up late, around 10:15am, rushed to eat breakfast, get dressed and be ready to join Fausto on a quick tour of Paris with some local musician friends of his by 11am. Fausto’s friends did not speak English, so it was an excellent opportunity for me to practice speaking Spanish and French! I rarely practice speaking anything but English, so to be immersed in a situation where I had to at least make an effort was a wonderful thing. We ran from one monument to the next, taking in as much as possible in the small 3 hour window that we had for touring Paris. We hopped on the subway and headed into town. First stop was the Arc de Triomphe. Next was the Champs Elysee, the exterior and entrance to the Louvre Museum, and finally the Eiffel Tower. One of these days, I’ll have to actually take a vacation and make time to really see Paris without rushing. Walking in Paris felt very natural to me. I do believe I could live there…at least for a while!
We made it back to the hotel just in time to catch the bus to the venue. What a great crowd! Paris has got to be the best crowd that we’ve had. The energy was unbelievable and all of us musicians responded to it. Harmonica player, Frederic Yannet, made a guest appearance on “Boogie On Raggae Woman”, and had a fabulous harmonica duel with Stevie. After the show, I met Natalie Portman, who was very kind and complimented the show and my performance.
As we left the venue, and headed for the club where we’d be performing with Mao, there was a large gathering of fans cheering us and thanking us for our performance. The people were so kind and gracious, and we all appreciated them. At the club, we performed Mao’s set to an enthusiastic gathering of people, including Stevie. After our performance, Youssou N’Dour, the fantastic African singer, performed one song. What a voice!
Stevie was in a happy mood. After sitting for a while, the crowd was clamoring for him to perform, and he obliged. Stevie walked up to the stage and performed a series of songs, including a few songs that I didn’t know, including “Saturn” and “Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Ba Day”. Aisha and Dejah came up to the stage with the rest of the band at hand, and we all made music. The stage was unbelievably hot, but we stayed up there nearly an hour. Finally, at 4am, we left in the busses and headed for the ferry to cross back into the UK.
After the Paris concert
Me and Natalie Portman
Me, Frederic Yonnet and his wife
At the club with the guys