Friday, March 21, 2008

James in Paris

A decade or so ago, I was an elementary-school teacher. One of the highlights for me, believe it or not, was sit-down lunch each day, like Miss Clavel, at the head of a table of twelve 7-to-14-year old girls who sported prim navy-blue private-school uniforms. You can imagine the conversations, the table manners, the food rejection.

One day, to get the lunchtime discussion in gear with my young charges, I offered an ice-breaker. "Did anyone watch some of the Patriots' football game last night?'"

A number of girls nodded and mumbled; but the sweet second-grade pixie next to me bounced in her seat and piped up proudly. "My brother James was at the Patriots game," she cooed.

"Oh, that's nice. How lucky for him," I replied in my matronly best, secretly wondering what on earth a young boy was doing at a late-night football game on a school night. "How old is James?" I ventured.

"Umm, " she paused, glanced at the ceiling, wrinkled her brow briefly, then replied earnestly, "Fif-ty-twoooo."

Oh. That James! I understood immediately (via the faculty grapevine) who she was. Her famous brother hadn't merely attended the game, he had sung at half time: James Taylor was her half-brother.

At that point I had already been a James Taylor devotee for over two decades. Fortunately I mustered the cool discretion not to ask her prying questions at the lunch table. She had already given me his age (which may have been off by a few years); I didn't need to probe for more info.

Several years later, my then-16-year-old daughter convinced me to take her and a few teen friends to a James Taylor concert in a huge stadium outside Boston. A mammoth event, far different from the intimate JT campus concerts of my college days. This one was not an experience that I would want to repeat, spending two fuming hours just to exit the parking lot after the concert. Nevertheless, I was pleased that James Taylor's music appeal spanned at least two generations.

So, I was surprised and delighted the other day to pass by the poster at the Cafe/Tabac across the street announcing a James Taylor concert on Sunday, April 6 at the famed music hall l'Olympia in Paris. If tickets are still available, you know where to find me that night.


lady jicky said...

Oh, I hope you get a ticket at Olympia!
I remember buying the Harvest Album and thinking i was it and a bit!
Hell, this has aged me! LOL

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Well, damn, it looks as though the whole thing is sold out. Lotsa JT fans in France who knew about this and kept it a secret from me! I guess I should have anticipated as much.

Helas. If anyone has any ideas... or tickets... gee, don't I get some credit for being so sweet to his sweet little sister?

Laura Frankstone said...

Check out Tift Merritt's new cd 'Another Country' ( or similar title.) She's from Raleigh, has a celestial voice, got fed up with the world of commercial music in the US, moved to Paris and this cd is the result of it all. If, that is, you're interested in the general subject of Carolina music, rather than just JT. Sorry you're going to miss his concert there.

The Duchess said...

Oh no, what a bummer! How cool that would have been to see him in Paris. He has such a timeless quality, it's nice to know he is still so popular. I wonder what the average age will be at that concert.....

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