Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fun Times Baby

I don’t know what to say. Once again, I’m sorta dumbfounded!

In the space of nine morning shows, I’ve had the crazy pleasure of interviewing Murray Head, Matt Dusk, Jason Derulo, James Blunt and Gino Vannelli! For a musician and music fan, it’s been pinch-myself fun! I know I’ve talked about how cool it is to interview musicians before, but even I've gotta admit, that’s a pretty stupid nine-day stretch!

I grew up listening to Gino Vannelli! I remember the moment my attention first locked onto the sound of the instrumental section in the middle of “Powerful People”. That led me to other great songs on that album, including, of course, “People Gotta Move”! I soon discovered that on top of great music, he was a Montrealer! I’ve always paid attention to his music and own several of his records. The story of how the singer, songwriter, musician, composer got signed to A&M Records is absolute legend! When I met Gino today, I asked him about that original encounter with Herb Alpert!

I remember attending GinoVannelli’s “Inconsolable Man” show at the Spectrum. When I came out of the show, my car had been towed and, suddenly, I was the inconsolable man!

My Top Ten Gino Vannelli songs:

10) Just a Motion Away
9) Hurts To Be In Love
8) Black Cars
7) Powerful People
6) Living Inside Myself
5) I Just Wanna Stop
4) Appaloosa
3) People Gotta Move
2) Wild Horses
1) Brother To Brother

I also grew up listending to Murray Head. Clearly, his song, “Say It Ain’t So, Joe”, is destined to stand the test of time! While researching the interview, I learned the propulsion-packed tune, “One Night in Bangkok”, was from a musical, and I also learned Murray was part of the original soundtrack of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. He visited Global Montreal to promote a big show coming to Montreal in the summer of 2014.

Singer, songwriter James Blunt got the most hits on my Facebook page!

He was on our show to promote his terrific new album, “Moon Landing”. He talked about how incredible it is to be able to sing songs for people who love his music.

As I pointed out on Instagram, R&B artist Jason Derulo is chill. He visited our show to promote his new album, "Tatoos". He’s good-natured, gracious and forthcoming, happy to talk about his life and his music!

I knew Matt Dusk’s name and knew his latest album features Chet Baker songs. Having sang Chet Baker myself, I was interested in meeting him to ask about the challenge of making Baker’s iconic vocal tracks his own. My wife wanted to take her Mom to see Matt’s show at Theatre Symposia. My son offered to go with them and I went along as well, not really sure what to expect. His show absolutely blew us away! He was easygoing and charming as he visited Global Montreal studios for an interview, clowning around with guests and agreeing to help me sing “Happy Birthday” to our fitness columnist, on-air.

He was just as easygoing, charming and funny on-stage.

He had some hilarious bits, and touching ones. He told the story of how he wallowed after a tough break-up. At one point, he met a songwriter who had an unfinished song. Matt and the songwriter eventually finished the tune and then recorded it. He did a first take of the song and then insisted he “could do it better”. The songwriter replied, “Yes, but you’ll never feel it better”. According to the story, that original take is the one that was released. He finished the story and began singing, “Five”. Promptly, tears began streaming from my eyes. Luckily, my wife and son didn’t notice! I’ve written in this blog many times, about how they mercilessly slaughter me when I get overly sentimental! Close call!

We discovered Matt Dusk is a great talent, with great energy, great tunes, a great band, performing in a hall with great sound! The day after the show, I added ten more Matt Dusk songs to my ipod, a fact I tweeted, and a fact he "favorited".

We met him after the show, along with a crowd of people. He generously gave everyone time and attention. Thankfully, we avoided calling security by finally managing to pry my mother-in-law's arm from around his waist! Another close call!

All of these impressive, talented people were so patient and happy to oblige guests, visitors and Global Montreal staff with pictures and autographs!

Also within those same nine days, were live performances in our studio by members of “Eclipse - The Pink Floyd Story”, and the passionate, ethno-classical duo, Beija-Flor.

Fun times, baby!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

An Apple Away

An apple orchard in St-Joseph-du-lac sent us a half-bushel of Cortland apples this morning. I refrained from offering any to our morning crew, wanting to have the bag look as full as possible when we showed it on the air.

Right before 7, we talked about how, at Vergers Lacroix, it's currently prime picking season for Cortland apples. As Camille read the note from the orchard, I clutched two impressive, softball-sized samples of the fruit, holding them up for viewers to see. Inevitably, I took a bite out of one and during Camille's next newscast, hurriedly ate it up! 

After we showed the apples on the air, I went into our control room with the bag and offered apples to our crew. Our producer took one, but our directors were too busy. I brought the bag of apples back into the studio with plans to mention Cortland picking season once again, later in the show.

The next guest to come on the show was David "Avocado" Wolfe, an enthusiastic proponent of super foods. His interview with Camille finished, we shook hands and they left the studio. Camille also stepped out. When she came back in a moment later, she spotted the apples by the door and exclaimed, "I should offer an apple to the guest!" I agreed.

She dashed out with the bag and it never returned.

Apparently, she generously offered the guest some apples and he very gratefully took the bag and left!

I'm confident this particular guest wholeheartedly appreciated the quality and quantity of the apples!

Camille was apologetic. I got a juicy, sweet, crisp apple out of the deal, so it's all good! Not only was it an  honest mistake, it's one that's hilarious to its core!