Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stackridge's American Journal

8a. California Dreaming - Part 2

Monday 25th Oct ( D-Day ?!)

Up earlier for another attempt at consuming an American breakfast @ I-
( I failed to finish all of my pancakes ! ) . Granny arrived at the
Inn @ 11.00am & we all gathered to check out & load our bags in the
van. A
short drive to CBS TV - aptly named "Television City" - a huge complex
buildings with a number of vast car parks surrounding. After identity
checks at the security gate we were allowed to drive in and following
instructions drove to a designated area. We were all feeling slightly
overwhelmed by
it all , but when we found 8 parking spaces roped off with a sign
Stackridge on each we stepped up a notch & began to feel like real
stars. (
The other spaces were for our special guests ). Waiting for us was
lovely Brittany Perlin , with whom many E mails & phone calls had
taken place
over the previous weeks. She ushered us to a reception area where we
for security to let us through more doors, then we had a long walk
corridors bustling with busy people popping in & out of offices . We
passed several studios with signs saying "On Air" etc. , some open
sets being constructed for shows , did not see anybody "famous".
Finally we reached the Craig Ferguson "area". Clare & Sarah had their
dressing room , the boys had another. Across the corridor was "The
Room " , staffed by some lovely young ladies, endless coffee, big
fridge of
beer, and a bit later massive piles of food arrived - buffet style for
us to
help ourselves to whenever we liked. I think all of us had now reached
stage of " Hey I could get used to this".
The backline gear arrived from the studios where the band rehearsed
day before - on time - Jerry arrived . Technicians swarmed around as
we had a
look at the studio where Craig's show is recorded. Everything went
clockwork - at exactly the time on our schedule we got the call for
up & soundchecks. All went well. I sat in the audience section
watching ,
the camera crew were already trying out angles and shots . Then it was
for a run through of the actual song , several times while the sound
adjusted & tweeked & the producer decided on the camera plot.
All done it was then time for .....make up !!!! Sarah & Clare really
enjoyed this ( there was a strict embargo on us taking any photos
anywhere but
I did manage to get a few of the girls getting their hair & faces
before I was told off & I had to agree to pack the camera away ) .
James &
then Crun were stunned to find they were sat next to Condoleeza Rice
as she
got her make up done- she congratulated them on "the music" she had
apparantly been watching & listening during the run through !!!!
Sad bit coming up ( well for me & Clare). She had joined me on the
roof of
the building where there was a smoking area & an amazing panoramic
view of
LA/Hollywood with the famous sign in the distance. While we were up
Craig himself popped into the Green Room & shook hands with the rest
of the
band , told them how his older brother had turned him on to "Bowler
back in the 70,s & that he had just done 2 sell out gigs @ Carnegie
where , once again he used Last Plimsoll as his intro music. Later he
sent a
hand written note down from his (secret) office with the words " Fuck
- Yes
". when he heard the music.
Now the audience were ushered in to their seats, David & I had to
stand at
the back ( imagine raked seating for about 100 , a bit like The Rondo
Bath ). The warm up man came on to do his bit, get the audience
clapping, laughing in all the right places then ............SHOW
TIME !!!!
He announced "Please everybody -give it up for STACK RIDGE ! " & on
strode , looking great, full of confidence , as if they did this every
& the audience went wild.
Continuity man stands in front of them counts down from 10 , on 1
his hand down & bang - there is Glenn with the piano intro & the
camera is
on him with Jerry & drums in the near background & the girls
( looking
gorgeous in their new black sparkly dresses ) in the far background.
changes to one at the front focusing on James and .....oh dear , there
suddenly some feed back . Floor manager does the classic finger across
"cut" sign & the band grind to a halt. While the technos sort out the
suddenly Jerry yells " They are English , I am American". Audience
cheers & laughes . Then Clare shouts " I,m A Scot " and somebody in
audience stands up & yells "So Am I ". More applause & laughter.
Warm up chappie does his intro again , the countdown - and they storm
the song & this time it all goes perfectly . 3.45 mins later -
have done it , nailed it , sailed through it. They get a genuinely
response from the studio audience as they troop off .
Back in the green room ( while the gear is quickly moved off & the
is set for Craig & the warm up man keeps the audience amused we are
all able
to watch a playback of the Stackridge performance on a big screen TV -
I have to tell you they looked & sounded incredible.
We all stayed around in the Green Room to watch while Craig recorded
part for that night's show - and jolly good he is too. C. Rice was one
his guests & she was great & funny .
Several of the floor staff came by to congratulate us , saying "one of
best band's we have ever worked with" . I made sure that they, the
make up
girls & the servers in the Green Room all got CD,s as souvenirs .
Saying farewell & thanks to Jerry M . we were ushered back to our
by Brittany who had hovered around all afternoon to make sure
was OK for us.
I suppose it must have been about 7.00pm by the time we hit the road
of L.A for the journey to our next port of call.