Monday, May 07, 2012


Ten minutes before the concert starts and I'm in a ladies room line winding through the lobby of Copley Hall. Everyone's getting anxious. Richard breezed through his bathroom experience and was patiently waiting for me.  Fortunately the pace picked up a little and we made it into our seats just in time.

The San Diego Symphony played four rhapsodies: Alfen Swedish Rhapsody, Enesco Romanian Rhapsody, Rhapsody in Blue and the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini which was brilliantly played by Jon Kimura Parker.  Not just a great performer, he gives a marvelous short talk about the piece here:  

 Awash in all the musical creativity I thought about the Rolling Stones, having read Keith Richard's "Life" recently. He wrote "Satisfaction" 47 years ago (today, May 7th is the anniversary) in his sleep! He claims he woke up bleary eyed, grabbed a recorder and sang/played the riff into it. He still has the tape which captures his singing, followed by 45 minutes of snoring. Gershwin, at 26, wrote the entire outline for the Rhapsody in Blue on a train ride; he was under pressure to get it ready quickly because a competitive American jazz/classic piece was reputedly in the works. Youth doesn't explain these inspired works: Rachmaninoff wrote the Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini when he was 61. 24 variations, all completely different, amazingly inventive and original. It takes 25 minutes to play; my fingers ached from merely watching Jon eat up the keyboard from end to end. Fabulous.

After the concert we had to fight our way through the buses from several San Diego County assisted living residences. The matinee audience was an old bunch. Richard told me the man standing next to him at the urinal was about 90, bent over and unsteady. He attempted to use his cane to snag the flush on the urinal and dropped it.  Immediately two or three men leaped to his assistance; one of the rescuers bumped his head on the urinal. The cane was retrieved and the very aged fellow teetered out. Senior bathroom follies.

The fun didn't stop there. While standing alone waiting for me, Richard got hit on.  A woman about 80 approached and asked him if he was "the movie star". He laughed - this never happens to him - he doesn't look like anybody we know in films. He suggested George Clooney. The woman couldn't come up with a name but kept trying to jog his memory and her own. He told her that "his memory", meaning me, "was standing in the ladies room line". She gave up and went away.  You can't leave a ambulatory man, without a visible handicap (colostomy bulge, oxygen tank, cane or walker)  loose in a crowd of predatory senior ladies - they've got nothing to lose and they don't get out often. Watch out. 


  1. This post had everything- A wonderful music review with history, sadness, heroics and injury in the men's room, ending with a senior paparazzi story.
    It must be hell being married to a "movie star"!

  2. When you got it, you got it!