Rocking in Paris
During the spring I heard rumours about this private benefit show on June 20, 2007. When it was finally confirmed, it did not take long before I decided to go. With a little help from Richard, I was able to enter the show site, the beautiful Cartier Foundation building in Paris. The audience consisted of approximately a hundred invitees.
After he was "smuggled" behind the closed curtains to the stage, he started up with Good Golly Miss Molly. He played a lot of fine piano on a wonderful version of Directly From My Heart. Old Time Rock And Roll was again the tune during which people were asked to come and dance on stage. Lucille turned out to be a real crowd pleaser since after it the audience just kept on clapping their hands!
This time he did unusually many Little Richard songs, some of which I have not heard him do in years. Among them were The Girl Can't Help It, In The Name, and Slippin' And Slidin'. When it was time to do Tutti Frutti, he asked the other singers in the audience to join him on the stage. Tina Turner, Wanda Jackson, and the French stars Eddy Mitchell and Dick Rivers, joined him, sang, and rocked to his trademark tune!
Getting closer to the end, Richard once even started Long Tall Sally, and stopped it after a few words, since it was supposed to be the last song. Then he went on to Jenny Jenny, during which the curtains were closed, and the show was over. He never had a chance to play more, as he seemed to want to. However, Tina Turner enjoyed the show to the full, she danced wildly all through it!
After the show, the Cartier Foundation gave people red paper bags which contained a rock 'n' roll pen and an exhibition book, ”Rock 'n' Roll 39-59”, which contained a CD with 20 tunes from years '39 to '56. Also, Tina Turner came to talk with Richard, and, as being old friends, they spoke something like 10 minutes in the limousine.
Prior to the show, one of the organizers told me that no picture taking is allowed, but people took them, and videos, all the time, especially when the other stars joined Richard. Eventhough I did not get a single picture of him onstage, you find a picture with all the stars onstage here:
Richard had not been able to walk in eight months, and was moving on a wheelchair. That does not seem to slow him down, though, as the show was incredible, and he was in a good mood all the time! I thanked him for the amazing night. And what is nice, he did not even hint that he would retire. On the contrary, as you hear on the greeting video, he clearly indicates that he will continue touring. The Quasar is still among us, as vivid and rocking as ever!
The approximate playlist, not necessarily complete nor in order.
Good Golly Miss Molly
Directly From My Heart
Bama Lama Bama Loo
Old Time Rock And Roll
I Got A Woman
In The Name
The Girl Can't Help It
Cry To Me
I Saw The Light
Slippin' And Slidin
' Long Tall Sally ("false start")
The incredible band this time included:
Wayne Chaney, band leader, trumpet
Derrick "D'Mar" Martin, drums
Mark Holland, drums
Charles "King C" Glenn, bass
Mark Du'Velle Doyle, guitar
Kelvin Holly, guitar
Ken "Buzz" Ford, saxophone
Kenny "International" Walker, saxophone
Chalmers Davis, keyboards