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First Impressions - MR04, pt. 2

Common Rotation proved a difficult act to follow for JM and his Ghost of the Robot, although you wouldn't have known it from the obvious adulation they received from the screeching teenage girls and their equally vociferous mums surging towards the stage as soon as they came on. And what an entrance they made! JM was jumping around like a dervish on crack, knocking over the microphone stand and planting a kiss on an unsuspecting woman in the audience, whipping the girls up front into an envious frenzy with his tartish behaviour. It soon became apparent that he was quite inebriated, having consumed gallons of Red Bull and the best part of a bottle of JD prior to the show. It didn't bother me, but I found out the next day that a lot of people felt quite let down by it: after all, he has gone on record often enough as saying he doesn't drink.

Musically though, I remained unimpressed, and amused my friends by nodding off in the middle of the concert. In my defense, I had gone with very little sleep in the previous 72 hours, and there was no way those decibels on their own could have kept me awake!
Still, I was hugely entertained by what I did see of JM's antics, though the next day in the autograph session, I couldn't stop myself from saying to him that I thought they'd played a better gig in Amsterdam -- a judgment he fully agreed with. By then, he seemed pretty embarrassed about the whole thing, and I later learned he had gotten a bollocking over it from various people in his entourage, poor thing.
Not that the obvious embarrassment had made him any more inclined to engage his brain before speaking, and he ended up alienating more of his fans during his Q&A, by his comment on what he'd like to do to George W. Bush over the Iraq situation (chop off his hands and drop him in the desert somewhere, far from help and succour) -- a terribly unkind and not at all clever thing to say.
There were a few more politically motivated speeches that day, e.g. in the Trio's Q&A, where Danny Strong told us of the work he would soon be doing (or had already been doing) for the Kerry campaign.

A recurring topic on all the Q&A-s was the impact of reality TV on the careers of our esteemed actors, and it all sounded quite worrying. Hopefully, people will tire of the phenomenon soon enough, but even if they do, there's no guarantees the networks will go back to funding quality drama, and most of the actors are already branching out into other fields of creativity, as with Danny Strong, who has gotten into writing.

For once, Cass and I managed to entice Jules away from her gruelling volunteer's schedule and take her for a relaxing round of midget golf with us. Ah! the liberating powers of the giggles! Then she had to go to the volunteer party and Cass and I watched Chance (Jules had auctioned off her copy of Winding Roads, which means some other poor mug is lumbered with it now) before we all met up again to go to the VIP Dance.
En route, we stopped in at the karaoke party, which was a sad affair consisting of a glaringly bright hall, about 800 chairs and an attendance rate of about 5. I'd never done karaoke in my life, but with Jules and a girl introducing herself as 'Demongrrrl' who, for some strange no-reason, kept addressing me in German, launched into a spirited rendition of Don McLean's classic 'American Pie'. (Earlier, in the comfort of our suite, Cass and I had treated Jules to 'The Lumberjack Song', so neither of them allowed me to bow out of this one on the grounds that I can't sing for toffee. I apologise wholeheartedly to those 3 or 4 people in the audience who stuck it out all the way through).
The VIP Dance started off equally dismal with most of the attendees hanging around waiting for something to happen or a celeb to walk in, but the Lushette's bar was still open and Fearless Leader Lush and I went back and forth between the two plying the members and James C. Leary with cocktails and Coronas. After a while, the DJs started playing that 80-s music we all love, and in the end a good time was had by all -- all who remained, that is.
Robots Kevin and Charlie did an impromptu breakdance session, which I took as my cue for calling it a night and going up to watch the last two Angel-episodes with Cass and Jules in our suite.

The next day, we set out on the road to Connecticut, playing our Common Rotation-CDs all the way.



( 8 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Jun. 14th, 2004 02:52 am (UTC)
Crickey! Your brain must have survived the jet lag better than mine! I'd forgotten half of this (but not the Lumberjack Song. I consider that the artistic hightlight of the weekend - after ComRo naturally)

Jun. 14th, 2004 04:45 am (UTC)
The Lumberjack Song was right up there as a highlight, along with Copacabana! I have to get a copy of Monty Python doing it - I am so deprived that I missed that before MR weekend ;-)
Jun. 14th, 2004 05:30 am (UTC)
Well, the Monty Python version was OK, but not a patch on G and I :-)

Nice icon BTW! Who's getting clever then!
Jun. 14th, 2004 09:25 am (UTC)
planting a kiss on an unsuspecting woman in the audience, whipping the girls up front into an envious frenzy with his tartish behaviour.

Yeah, that wasn't some unsuspecting woman. That was, for all intents and purposes, his stalker. I think he shouldn't encourage her, but whatever. He's a big boy, and I'm sure he knows what a restraining order is...
Jun. 14th, 2004 09:44 am (UTC)
Seriously? He kissed someone he knew was obsessive? That'll help her put things in perspective - not.

He really should watch out. As you say, he's a big boy, but he shows remarkable lack of judgment sometimes for someone of his years. Whatever. I guess he's only human.
Jun. 15th, 2004 12:42 am (UTC)
That was his stalker? Omigod. I'd heard rumours of her existence, and of him being an idiot for enabling her behaviour at every con or public appearance he does, but this is way beyond stupid. Also, the next day, during his Q&A, he addressed her as "Hey, Beautiful" when she got up to ask her question, and thanked her for having been so good about the kissing thing. That's got to give her more than enough reason to keep following him around for a while longer...

I don't know. Can the man really be that naive? It seems entirely genuine, but smart it's not. Anyway, during the course of the weekend it struck me that the man might be feeling a little vulnerable. There he was, until recently part of a hit show that they simply just pulled the plug on (and for what?)...now he's got audition again and from whatv they all were saying in their Q&A-s, there aren't that many parts around -well, less than there were a few years ago- because of reality TV, and although he's a fine actor, he's really just a scrawny fellow who isn't getting any younger...it can't be an easy time for him. At least, he's got the funding for his Macbeth-project sorted - he envisaged that that would keep him busy for the next 3 years or so.

Jun. 15th, 2004 12:11 am (UTC)
MR and GotR
Thanks for the writeup, G! I was just commenting to calove what a shame it was that James and his band got drunk for what turned out to be their last performance. Ah, well. It still sounds like the three of you had the most amazing time and that's really the main thing :-)
Jun. 15th, 2004 01:06 am (UTC)
Re: MR and GotR
I just heard that GotR folded...can't say I'm surprised. Both times I saw the play, they struck me as a group of individuals who just happened to play together, they lacked the cohesion and/or synergy that characterises a band with staying power.

I think they've made the right decision to go their seperate ways. The younger members behaved like brats at MR04, with Charlie the biggest brat of all; and it seemed to me that they were spoiled teenagers who couldn't get a handle on their popularity. James wasn't helping Charlie either, by going 'I'm not worthy' and calling him 'a fucking genius' all the time. IMO, he's a passable guitarist, but nowhere near the standard for genius. Taking time out will do them all the world of good, I'm sure. It'll give JM the chance to work on his songwriting abilities some more, which he was pleased to describe as progressing beyond the 'She's so beautiful' and 'She's left me'-stage.
( 8 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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