Monday, December 05, 2011

Herb Alpert

At a birthday party last week I was chatting to Steve Beresford about my trumpet. He suggested that I should take lessons and he is right. I will, as a New Year's rez.
I am also going to learn Spanish and /or Japanese as they are offering lessons free at one of the places that I work. Spanish would be most sensible but I love the idea of learning the meaning of different symbols to the Western cultural ones- Arabic, Greek, Chinese, Japanese. I flew an email into the ether to let fate decide!
Where was I...
Oh yes! here was  DJ there called Toby Woby who was playing Someone Left the Cake out in the Rain by Richard Harris (vinyl album signed by the songwriter Jimmy Webb). He had lots of old LPs including one by Herb Alpert, which reminded me of McDads small collection of pop LPs at home, really just consisting of Melanie's album (can't remember what it was called but it had candles on it) and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Sour and sweet, you could probably say.
McDad loved Herb's tootlings and would do silly dances round the table in his slippers, tidying up as he went, and (I confess with embarrassment) my love of trumpets and all things brass may well hark back to this time. In fact I could probably transcribe some of those arrangements from memory!
I also loved his extra-slushy song This Guy's In Love With You, which I imagined (at the tender age of ten) to hold all the secrets of grown-up love and romance in its crackly grooves.
Imagine how disappointed I was when my manager Claudine tried to sign Helen and the Horns to Herb's label, A&M, in the 1980s!
What did they say?
'We've got a female artist already'.
(Joan Armatrading)


Val Phoenix, scribe said...

Wasn't that Webb song called MacArthur Park? I well remember being baffled by the version I heard, by Donna Summer.

Helen McCookerybook said...

You are right!
Donna Summer was weird but I loved her and her minor melodies. And I actually thought Giorgio Moroder was playing those repetitive lines on a bass guitar, which is where the idea for the bass live of 24 Hours came from!