All two of them.
I like my famous people un-spot lighted, un-made-up, un-scripted, un-programmed, un-scheduled. In other words, just real and down to earth.
We’ve had two opportunities for that during our lives. One was with George Gallup, of Gallup Poll fame. See Thoughts on Listening , if you’re interested.
The other was with James Taylor.
James had occasion to visit Dayton, Ohio, many years ago, for a reason other than a performance. Hence, he was all of those un-things when I met him. He was also sick and scared.
Jim Henson of the Muppets had just died a sudden death, seemingly from complications of a flu-like illness. Performing artists all over the country were in a collective panic that they might be similarly attacked. Without warning and in a strange place.
As it happened, I was the only person in the small group joining James who actually lived in Dayton and had access to a doctor. And did we ever need a doctor.
Come ASAP, the office said, when I called. We hopped in the car, he saw the doc, tolerated the swooning nurses and were quickly on our way, assured that he had the sniffles, a slight sore throat and would be just fine. Not to worry.
Later that evening, he sang for our little gathering. Un-made-up, un-lit, un-scripted and un-programmed. Just a few wonderful James Taylor songs for a small group of people, including one who had enjoyed the pleasure of his company, if only for a short while.
Me and “Sweet Baby James”. Just the two of us.
And the doctor, of course.