Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It's somebody's birthday....

Apologies for the lack of posts this past week - I was off getting some wisdom teeth pulled (several years late, in fact) and recovering with what seemed like an endless supply of chocolate pudding and dreadful movies. Pudding gets old after about three bowls, but it turns out that oral surgery provides a prime excuse to watch Christopher Walken's Puss in Boots.

That aside, I missed out on the chance to notify you, dear public, of two important events. First, Jeff Hanson, Kill Rock Stars resident and effeminately-voiced but talented folk singer, will be at the Knitting Factory's Alterknit Lounge tonight (a 7pm show for $7). He's also doing a show later on at the Bordello and will be finishing up a tour of these western parts over the course of the next week. Tour schedule can be found here.

Second point of the day: while I was busy getting my gums cut up on Friday the 3rd, Tony Bennett celebrated his 81st birthday. Tony and I have had some exciting encounters over the last few years, and I owe him the world's cannolis for all the joy he's added to my life. Sometime in 1998, when he released his autobiography, The Good Life, he came up to Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard to do an in-store signing. I'd never given him much thought up to that point, crucial point being the moment he was visible enough from line for me to exclaim, "Dude! It's Tony Bennett!" My mom pulled 14-year old me through to get the book signed, and I flashed Tony a huge idiotic smile. Since then, I've driven into San Francisco with windows down and his ode to the city blaring. I've joined my family at the Hollywood Bowl for two performances in the last five years (see above photo, from 2005). I've stood in line at Borders in Westwood just to get ten seconds of face time with him while watching him sign that godawful Duets CD (honestly, was a duet with Bono necessary??). He's even helped me through school - a 12th grade Golden State Exam in Writing, its topic being the ideal celebrity with whom to spend a day, found me receiving High Honors for my response: a day in Vegas with my favorite Italian-American. And that copy of The Good Life Mom and I had waited in line to get signed? Scored a 95 on my eight-page analysis of it for a music survey class in college. Tony and I have made some memories, and now he is 81. That's just great.

It's highly doubtful that he'll celebrate his birthday three times, as he did last year (thanking Target, the sponsor of his birthday gala, at the Grammys, no less), but he will be at the Greek Theater in L.A. on August 16.

Tony Bennett - Sweet Lorraine
(Purchase fifty years' worth of genius)

Jeff Hanson - Let You Out
Jeff Hanson - Welcome Here
(Purchase Jeff Hanson)


Stephen said...

but did you get to keep your 'cuspids?

China said...

Well, I've got two remaining teeth o' wisdom, and then I've got one in a sterile pouch.