Rehearsal then CBC interview and shoot!

April 12, 2011

Sunny day.

Thank you. It’s cold but I’ll take cold before rain any day here.

I headed out of Surrey around 10:30 to get to Elliot’s house for rehearsal. I have played many a show with Elliot so it’s smooth and easy. Elliot is the drummer. He actually plays on some of the songs on Aventuriere Accidentelle. Gordon Grdina will play guitar. I had met Gordon doing his website then we played an impromtu show at Rhymes on Commercial Drive a few years ago and I had loved his musicianship, talent and virtuosity. Then Tommy Babin Joins us on the bass. I had never played with him. Elliot described him as Manson (the murderer) on a good day but also as a mad genius, musical scientist.

We got together and started playing the songs. It was immediately fluid, very musical. Their interpretation is different than what the songs used to be played like and that is good. On some of the songs I already had goose bumps. I think it will be outstanding. I am very grateful that these guys were willing to play and that the schedules all worked out. It will add quite a dimension to the music. A once in a blue moon kind of thing. We will reconvene on Wednesday.

Beowulf at the CBC

I left rehearsal and headed to Radio-Canada the French National TV and Radio Network which is the CBC in English (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). I was a bit early so I sat in the sun for a while next to the bike. The sun feels good. There is an electronic device and I see the date, 11, 11, 04. Seems like a good number. Leo asked to be let out so I let him hand out in the fresh air for awhile.

Leo hangs out

The Mountains are covered in snow in the distance. Vancouver is gorgeous on a sunny day. I know this air, this vibe. I know this town. I just sit there. I feel good.

At 4:30 I walk up to the CBC building I see a cameraman setting up outside for a shoot and I wonder if it is for me and Yolaine. Yolaine Mottet is the reporter I will be doing the interview with. She has known me for a long time. She was one of the first people to interview me, years ago when I had my first albums out. She has seen the ups and downs. She was there when I wrote music for plays for the Theatre la Seizieme. She knew when I my marriage and my life fell apart in 2009. I had seen her not long before the trip last May… Almost a year ago.

The interview was about the show, the musicians, the music and a bit about the album coming up.

Then, the funny part started. They wanted to get a shot of me taking off on the bike and arriving on the bike.

“Hugh the cameraman was directing the proceedings.

“OK, I’ll start with a shot of the helmet”

The helmet was set on a cement block. I could see in the visor the sun shine, all the buildings around reflected in it, then the worn out matte black finish of the helmet. A sort of worn glorious thing.

“OK, now put it on”

so I grabbed it as I would normally do. Making sure the straps are outside…

“No, no, doi it in one move, just one shot, on your head”

“hmm, OK”

So I guess we’ll stop again for me to pull out the straps from inside. I do what he says…

“OK, now put on the gloves and walk to the bike, get on it and start it”

So I start putting the gloves on… the key is in my pocket… I usually would get to the bike, get the key out of my pocket then put on the gloves, just because it’s so much easier to grab a key with no gloves on…

It takes a few stops and starts he gets his shots and I get on the bike.

“OK, now start the bike”

I do. He goes to the back of the bike and crouches down with the camera near the exhaust.

“OK, now turn it off and turn it on again” I obey. Then I look back and he says :
“I guess it’s a good bike… I was expecting it to shake and smoke!”

Yeah, it’s a good bike. No smoke on this baby and certainly no shakes. I had actually followed two lady motor cops on Harleys today, when we stopped at a traffic light I could see them just shake and rattle… which made me burst out laughing. Must make for a really long day on the bike and something like “pppaaapppppersand regggisttttration pppplease!” when they stop someone.

Nope. No shakes on my BMW. But back to the shoot…

“OK, now take off and go around the block and then park”

Off I went, around the block, and when I got around, he was just putting the camera on the tripod. He yells out :

“Can you come again?”
I give him the thumb up and I zipped around the block once more. This time he’s ready. I wonder if it’s cool to have the turn signal on when I park or if I should just turn and park… I get close to him pull out and start backing up in the parking spot…

“NO! No! Not like that! Can you… like just pull in the spot?”

“yeah, sure” I guess backing up in a parking spot is not cool… I zip back out around the block. Get close, no signal and pull in the parking spot and turn the engine off.

“OK, now start it again and turn it off, then get off, take your helmet off and walk towards the entrance.” He gets on the other side of the bike to get a couple of shots.

I do that. Get off. Take my gloves off…

“Oh… the gloves… yeah, OK, do that again.”

It’s funny all the little details.. like trying to get a helmet strap undone with heavy winter gloves… Can’t be done… well, it can but it’s not graceful… So I do it again, try to be as “smooth” as possible with the strap by cheating and just putting the end through the loop and not attaching it. I remove the helmet, while walking, do the little “Head & Shoulders” head shake to allow for the : “look! It’s a woman” kind of thing and walk decisively . So as I do all this, he was walking backwards to follow me and suddenly ran into a post! It was just so funny! Ooops! A guy was parked on the road watching the proceedings was laughing his head off at that moment I really wished someone would have been filming that from the outside. too, too funny!

“You’re all right?” I asked.

“Oh yeah… OK, now lets do it again.”

I do it again, this time it all works, and I walk all the way to the door. I can’t wait to see this!

They will have it on the art segment of the Vancouver news tomorrow, Tuesday the 12th at 6 something PM. It should actually be on the internet for the late edition, which runs at 11 PM I’ll try to get a link..

I re-join with Yolaine. We go back up to her office, where my extra jackets and bags were during the “shoot”.

She says to me : “I envy you. To just go. I mean, it’s good.. my life is good. But to be so free… I told her that was probably what I heard the most often on that trip. “You’re so lucky… I always wanted to do that… Oh I’m envious… It takes courage.” she says.

“No, I replied. It would have taken a whole lot more courage to stay put and keep the same old life.”

In her eyes I see the faraway look, the dream awakened. The desire for freedom and a sort of admiration.

We go back outside, I put on the gear. She helps me handing the vest, the jacket, the helmet.

“Oh it’s light!” She says. She used to ride when one of her boyfriend had a bike years ago. She said she always kept that helmet. A Bell.

“Technnology has come a long way…”

We hug again, she is getting cold so we say good bye. I get on the bike and one more time zoom around part of the block.

It was a good day. It is amazing to see these friends, these beautiful souls. To be at peace with it all. To have music to feed on and to share. To know I can still fly, free on the wind. To know all this love is all around me. It’s amazing to be so incredibly blessed.

Beowulf hangs on Cambie Steet at 16th Avenue

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