This album pays tribute to 12 great artists whom I crossed paths and worked with.
It was time to round them up on the same record and revive old memories.
My next door neighbor invited me to his housewarming.
I didn't know anybody. So I lit my pipe and sat down next to a long-haired guy who was enjoying a piece of chocolate cake.
In a high voice, he asked me if I knew the girl who danced like a duck at the back of the room. I asked him:
- who is that?
- Billie Jean
- she's your lover?
- no, she's just a girl who thinks that I am the one.
My buddy Ray Manzarek who had proudly invited me to attend a rehearsal of his newly formed band. I went to their studio on a Wednesday afternoon in July, the outside temperature was around 32°c in the heart of Los Angeles.
In the studio, the temperature was hotter than an oven. Dense cigarette smoke made the place unbearable.
But it was quickly forgotten as their music started.
Suddenly, the man sitting in front of me stopped singing before the end of the song. He looked up, grinning, and asked what smelled.
Every Tuesday, I gave a private music lessons to my students.
Once finished, I stood for a moment at the piano, developing a new composition.
A guy burst into the room and asked me somethin' stupid. Annoyed, I told him jokingly:
"you can start by pulling your tie from your pants !"
This Monday morning in august, 1968.
Only a few survivors remained on the great plains of the Woodstock festival. I took the opportunity to sneak backstage using the pass my friend Joe Cocker lent me.
Just around the backstage corner, a voice calls out:
- hey Joe
I turned in his direction. There was a tall guy with an afro. He came toward me, smiling. With his fingers, he took a lock of my hair, rolled it, and said, laughing:
- goddamn Joe, your hair looks so much like dried grass you could roll a huge joint.
The evening started well. The hall was filled and people were motivated.
The fourth musician to move on stage was blind. None the less, from the first notes of the piano, the room was conquered.
I myself was caught in a desire to tap your feet, and enjoy music at its fair value. Once the concert ended, I took the last sip of my whiskey and headed to the piano.
I leaned towards the musician's ear and whispered my famous joke of that guy jack whose wife told him to hit the road.
I found a job as a technician in a small bar in france.
It was really nice, I was feelin' good.
The trouble was that the equipment was inadequate, and that infuriated most of the artists.
I remember a fabulous moment when, despite a technical problem of the microphone, the singer kept her smile and brought the room to life as she invented a dance.
I hit a car that ran a red light on sunset boulevard.
The driver, an old man with dyed hair, quite drunk, looked stone deaf and did not understand what I was trying to say.
It was only when I asked him if I had to take him to the hospital, he replied :
- no, no, I feel good !
I had the opportunity to take a few weeks and work as an assistant in a music hall in Manhattan.
I wasn't the most interesting job in the world, but I was able to attend concerts for free.
A special milestone took place during one of the evening concerts. The singer looked dizzy, probably because of the heat of the room.
I rushed on stage and offered her tissues.
I came back from central park where I went runnin '.
I sat for a moment on the stairs at the foot of my building to catch my breath, and I finally dozed off.
When I woke up, a man of a considerable weight with a gold chain and a bandana was sitting on my arm with all his weight.
I could not feel my arm.
I walked quickly along penny lane, thinking only of the date I was heading to.
When crossing the road, I looked to my left. Since the coast was clear, I crossed. I had forgotten that in England, the traffic is reversed.
The VW beetle came to a screeching halt and crashed into me. The rest of my recollection is very vague.
I remember only a man with round sunglasses helping me to regain my senses.
I won a contest to be a first time viewer on a new tv show. It hosted all kinds of musicians I never heard of.
Among them was a big guy with a bright smile, who was the center of attention wearing a neon yellow shirt.
He seemed a little embarrassed to be the only one without a suit. He repeated to everyone:
"they will call me mr. Pitiful."
I went to get him the blazer I kept in the trunk of my car.
He was sensational with his new style.
On an autumn sunday, my horse "hyppolite" had conjunctivitis and advanced very slowly.
So it is 35 minutes late I arrived to the reverend Marvin Pentz Gay Seniors Mass.
In order not to be noticed, I climbed one of the windows of the church and I knocked on it, hoping that the son of the rev. In the back row could hear me and open the door.
- what's going on? He said smiling.
Only after I drew a heart on the window pane did he open the window, just as the mass was finishing.