Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Happy birthday Julian Bream
Mutual friend Johnnie Warrack went with Julian Bream to the Royal Academy one year and they went into one room dominated by a large nude. Julian exclaims in loud astonishment, 'Christ, I know 'er!' Silence in that room and the bystanders wait for more. 'What a smashing pair of plonkers!'
Julian once lent his flat to the South American singer Ana Raquel while he was out of the country. She said she found eighteen pairs of evening shoes under the bed, all worn right down at the heels, likewise a cupboard containing forty-seven dirty evening shirts and a whole room full of unopened letters and telegrams.
His Dartington masterclasses were instructive and fun. On the first day one year he tried to correct one lad, playing the same passage on his own guitar and saying, 'Go on, more like that. See wot I mean?' At which the lad replied, ''S all very well for you. You've got a good box to play on. Mine's a soap box.' Julian conceded he had a point. He hadn't thought of that, so he went round the whole circle of students, playing on every instrument, and, incidentally, making almost as lovely sound on the first lad's box as he had on his own custom-built job.
Julian Bream celebrates his 75th birthday today, and those stories about him come from John Amis' autobiographical Amiscellany which also supplied the header photo for the full tribute I posted yesterday.
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