Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pie in the Sky

IN the middle of his sixth pint of SA bitter the Wonderful One had a great idea for a wedding gift that he could bestow on myself and Wren. There we were, outside the Yard, bantering about this and that when the subject somehow came around to the legendary Blues player Buddy Guy.
For your information, during a trip to Chicago a few years back I infamously bumped into the Windy City's own Minister for Blues, who took us along to a nightclub called Legends. He gave out free t-shirts and on the back of mine was a picture of a Hendrix lookalike playing licks on the guitar.
His name, I was informed by said Minister for Blues, was Buddy Guy.
Well, two weeks ago I saw Buddy playing a fantastic set at Glastonbury and I have been waxing lyrical about the great man ever since.
Anyway, back to the present day and the Wonderful One announced: "I know. As a present I will get Buddy Guy to play a set at your wedding."
At this, Danny Boy (the Poipes, the Poipes), Roly Rowland and Myself spat out our booze in unison. "How the hell are you going to do that," we chorused.
"Oh, it shouldn't be that difficult. I'll just ring up his people and get him along."
Yeh, right, Withers.
I can just picture the scene. "Right, Buddy," his agent announces. "We have the itinerary for your next few gigs. You are playing Madison Square Gardens, followed by Carnegie Hall, then over to Britain for V2009 and then on to Bristol for Rippers wedding. Ok with that?"
Still, I decided it was an opportunity not to be missed - him being well on the way to inebriation.
"I bet you £50 you won't be able to get him."
At this, Withers railed. "Course I will, I will make it my prime task. In fact, I could write a book about my progress, a bit like that bloke who wrote 'Around Ireland with a fridge'."
Can't quite see the similarities, but why look a gift horse in the mouth? Having made sure the witnesses were watching, we shook hands on the deal.
A day on and Withers looked up from his googling activities. "The good news," he announced, "is that Buddy Guy does do private functions."
And the bad news?
"To book him for your do you have to pay $50,000."
Well, there goes that little plan then. Grease my hands with silver, young man.
"Oh, I'm not defeated yet," announced Withers, a bit like that bloke in Monty Python's Holy Grail who has just had his arms and legs cut off. "If you pretended you had some terminal disease..."
Now, I'm sorry, but I would rather forego the Buddy Guy experience than spend the whole of my wedding day wandering around with a jaundiced look on my face, like the youngster in Shameless who had to pretend he had cancer so that they could have a fundraiser.

Talking of jaundiced expressions, the Prince of Darkness looked like he had seen a ghost when I entered the office this morning. Not so the people around him. They were rolling around on the floor having a good laugh at his expense.
I had to find out what had happened from the Horse's Mouth. "I just had a call from Louis Walsh," he said. That's Louis Walsh, X-Factor judge and manager of that wimpish Oirish boy band Westloif.
"Oh yeah?"
"He had me on the phone for 20 minutes ranting on about a story that Monsieur Le Debussier did for us at the weekend."
"He was having a right rant, then he mentioned Shirley Bassey and started singing. I thought: What a nutter! I tried to calm him down and then he said, 'Wayne, why don't you sing me a song'?"
At this the Prince objected vehemently. "I'm not singing a song for you, Louis. No way."
Then came the punchline. The Louis Walsh character was actually some DJ from Radio Glasgow who had seen our X factor story on the web. The nerve!
Still, I think the Prince now fancies himself as an X factor judge. Think of all the new blood he could tap into...

This week has been pie week. Having fallen for the bargain offer of four steak and kidney pies in Morrison's on Saturday, I am now trying desperately to get through them all. Hard work, but someone has got to do it.

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