Firstly, because an engaging, amusing, but deadly serious character was speaking: Patch Adams. Patch Adams is an “American medical doctor, social activist, citizen diplomat, professional clown, performer, and author ... he believes the health of an individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, community, and the world” (Wikipedia, 23 May 2008). He’s also a celebrity to a broader community since Robin Williams, the US comedian, starred in a film about him. At first sight, he was a mature, moustachioed and pony-tailed bloke in colourful clothing. I noted a quick wit and non-conformist streak when he was introduced. He quipped that he’d been at Parliament during the day and that the government had given an apology but he’d given the country back. As is my celebrity-ignoring and film-avoiding way, I vaguely knew the name but nothing more. The band only caught the last few minutes of his talk, but it was serious and heartfelt and impressive. Visiting someone else’s world (a family at a wedding, a doctor’s community, or whatever) is an aspect of performing bands that I love. My favourite story of this type involved playing for Rupert Murdoch at his Cavan property near Canberra many years back, but I’ve told that story before on CJ.
Secondly, our normal pianist was travelling, so I got to play with John Black, now a high school music teacher, and for many years a piano teacher at the Jazz School. Of course, he knew the charts including the pop tunes, he could read with aplomb, and his solos were both expressive and tastefully understated. There’s great pleasure in playing with musos who’ve had this level of experience. My first Crisp gig had Mark Sutton sitting in for a wedding and this was similarly satisfying.
More on Crisp when we do a public gig, but here’s the membership: Nicky King (vocals), James Hoogstad (tenor), Peter Kirkup (piano), Mick Schow (drums), Eric Pozza (bass). John Black (piano) sat in for this performance.