Little Jimmy looking big
Uh, did I mention that, a couple weeks ago, Little Jimmy Scott came into the jazz room at Amoeba Music Hollywood? I used up a whole box of tissue, my mind was so blown – and I’m not easily star-struck. Most of the people I’d like to meet are dead (a quality I admire in a person). Never have I been as giddy and star-struck as I was at meeting Jimmy Scott. I cried. I actually cried! Like I was a seventeen-year-old girl at a Beatles concert in ’64. Okay, I didn’t grab the sides of my face and scream – not externally, anyway.
He was sweet like an angel descending on the city for a day to offer a glimpse of light unsoiled by our planet’s spiritual smog. His voice was unmistakable, his smile generous, and he patiently listened to all our gushing with the grace you’d expect from your favorite Kindergarten teacher. The fact that he was wheelchair-bound only enhanced the sense that he was visiting royalty, forever receiving people at his throne.
Poor health has made his already diminutive body more frail, and the stiffness in his hands made for an other-worldly contrast to his skin, which was soft and warm like a newborn infant.
He was flanked by a small film crew from Germany who were shooting a documentary on the making of his next album which, they reported, would be of the blues genre. They were excited that, in the employees of Amoeba, they finally found some young people who not only knew who Jimmy Scott was, but were fans. One of them bullied my fellow co-worker, Lucas, and I into being interviewed for their documentary, despite my emphatic explanation that I was too shy for interviews and anyway, English was my sixteenth language. (I acquiesced after they called my bluff and offered to allow me to answer questions in my native Ket.)
My apartment. ...Or wait - No, this is a picture of Dresden after the bombing.
I’m looking around my apartment for a conversational starting point. My apartment is a mess right now, so there’s a lot to see:
A full hamper of clean clothes that I haven’t yet folded and tucked away.
The (amazing and important) Paul Robeson DVD box set that Criterion released. On top of that is the Nina Simone “Four Women” anthology that Charles loaned me.
My stereo, upon which some Marianne Faithfull recordings of Kurt Weill is playing.
Books everywhere, the closest of which, to me, is “Scum Manifesto” by that blithe and sparkling literary pixie, Valerie Solanas.
A drop-leaf table from Ikea that’s nearly completed construction (since February).
A computer upon which I’m writing an, as yet, trite and aimless blog.
I really should clean this place up.
You know, speaking of Marianne Faithfull, she came into Amoeba Hollywood not that long ago. Normally, when celebrities shop our store (every hour, it seems) I turn a blind eye. I don’t want to be “that guy” that demands some stranger’s time because I “feel” like I “know them” because they played some teen star’s mom on some trite and aimless sitcom.
However, when Kim and Logan came racing back to the soundtrack section to tell me they spotted the glorious Ms. Faithfull inside, I dropped everything and gave chase. I knew, from friends’ stories, that Ms. Faithfull was gracious; besides, I admire her so much that it would be an honor just to have her snub me, so I couldn’t lose, either way.
Cathy was often seen on TV stand-up shows; I remember, Mtv showcased her frequently. I also had the LP she shared with Paula Poundstone. She was one of my favorites and I was always excited when she showed up on billing.
Working in Hollywood, one is always running into celebrities. It's a relief when those you like end up being cool in person, as Ms. Ladman was.
I tried to find some of her stand-up on YouTube to share with y'all (I'm always looking out for you, sugar), but the few things that featured her also included many others, so I leave it to you to discover her yourself. But only, y'know, if you like laughing and stuff.
The immensely satisfying Kathy Ladman.
Well, well – Look who’s come sauntering in like everything’s normal. If it isn’t little ol’ me. I think I can just waltz back in here after having been missing for days and expect you to just read my blog as though nothing’s happened? Is that it?
Well, I have another thing coming. You’re not some screensaver I can leave on, perpetually cycling a kaleidoscope of flying toasters while I go out and have a life! This is unacceptable! I mean, am I a blogger or not?
You want the truth? Is that it? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.
Actually, you can, but I love that line. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. It’s so over-the-top. I’m totally going to say it to my future kids whenever possible.