Sunday, 23 January 2011
Thanks for the memory........
It's official, it's over, the game is up....... I'm going to have to carry an official disclaimer, a government health warning....... I can no longer remember. Anything. I'd give in and call it a day if I could remember what day it is. Over the last year there's been a few double booked moments, a bit of lost and not found and the name section of the brain is definitely showing up 'error' . But now the hard drive appears to be full and there's no room left on the memory stick. And I don't like it. I have an ex who's made a career out of losing things, now the son is turning the forgotten into an art form, a cousin who loses phones, keys, clothes, buggies.....fortunately the child wasn't in it at the time...... on a regular basis. But for me this is new territory, a foreign land.
This time it was the Patti Smith tickets. I couldn't remember what I'd done with them. I'd been delighted to discover she was doing a talk at the Royal Geographical Society so called a friend and arranged to go. We'd discussed it, made plans so I knew I'd got them. I racked my brains, searched through the emails. Nothing. And then the awful realisation began to dawn: I'd booked the friend to come with but had I actually booked the tickets to go see? I rang the booking office and tried to explain to the lovely Laura that I couldn't remember if I'd booked or not but I didn't know which card I'd booked with if I had.... or hadn't...... or any other vital information. She was concerned, patient and helpful. Perhaps the Patti Smith fan club demographic is full of the old and insane. Perhaps she's been inundated with calls from the bewildered, unable to remember where they're going......or why. Eventually I discovered I hadn't booked the tickets. I'd asked my friend to as I'd been working. I had in fact been really efficient. I just hadn't remember how efficient.
And Patti? Well I have to declare I'm a fan so my views may not be everyone's but frankly they she should be because she was brilliant. As she rocks through her 65th year she just seems to get younger. She exuded energy and inspiration as she corrected and contradicted her host, Geoff Dyer, who was, at best, disappointing. Professing to be a huge fan, he'd apparently failed to do his homework as he rambled through supposed anecdotes that turned out to be wrong, untrue or misquoted. Not that any of that put Patti off her stride as she regaled us with tales of Robert, Bob and Alan. And then there was the song. An unexpected and delightful coda to an event billed as a conversation, Patti Smith unzipped her guitar and with a voice that just gets better as we all grow older, she sang My Blakean Year. Spellbinding.
'So throw off your stupid cloak embrace all that you fear
For joy shall conquer all despair in my blakean year'
Top tip: I said it before but it's worth saying again now it's out in paperback, treat yourself to Patti Smith's Just Kids.