Stuff

How Was It For You (Darling)?

A couple of posts ago a certain smart-arse, I’ll give him the code name of ‘maiL Man’ to save his blushes, had the cheek to suggest that I needed to get out more often! As I told him at the time, I had too much ironing to get through; I wasn’t joking!

Tony Bennett singing just to you

Actually, it was whilst dashing away with the smoothing iron and listening to some nostalgia from the 60s that the idea for this post came about. Dear old Tony Bennett came on singing one of his standards; now, I won’t pretend to be a great fan, but I do admire his ability, shared with Sinatra, to make everyone in a packed audience feel that he is singing just for them.

As the old crooner warbled on my mind flashed back around 30 years; there was to be a televised performance of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music at St Paul’s Cathedral and Tony Bennett was doing his thing there. Also on the bill was a member of our family who is probably the most accomplished baritone sax player on the planet. The main performance was for an invited audience only, so our man had managed to get us in for the full dress rehearsal the day before.

J and I had parked ourselves in a very nice spot and were enjoying the free show, albeit with the odd interruption as the director moved cameras and gear. In due course, Mr Bennett’s teeth made their trade mark entrance as he crooned a few words before pausing to bathe in the expected applause (a bit thin with just us and the techies there). Then, there was a bit of shuffling and huffling around before the great man launched into a well know spiritual type number, accompanied by . . . a bloke crouching down by the camera with the lyrics on ‘idiot boards’!

I recall being a bit uncharitable back then, about Mr B being a few synapse’s short of a connection – recently I’ve had to re-evaluate that attitude in light of the fact that I need the equivalent of idiot boards to carry out even the simplest task with any chance of a successful conclusion. The fact that I can’t recall the name of that standard, let alone any of the lyrics, is a good example!

Anyway, there you have a connection between ironing, Tony Bennett and a smartarse in Bodrum. ‘But’ I hear you say, ‘what’s the point of the story, and the connection with the title?’ Well, here goes!

Rod Steiger

The narrator cum anchor for this extravaganza was none other than Rod Steiger, star of such classics as ‘On the Waterfront’; ‘In the Heat of the Night’; ‘The Pawnbroker’ and others. He had the demeanour and awesome reputation of a serious ‘heavy’ (the reality was very different), and it came as something of a shock when, in the middle of a eulogy he paused, walked over, looked me in the eye, smiled and asked ‘How was that for you?’ I remember feeling like a fluttering ex-virgin as my stomach knotted, my mouth dried up and I managed to croak ‘Good! Really good!’ As the butterflies faded I remember being a bit gutted that they didn’t allow any post-climactic dog-ends in the pews at St Paul’s!

post-climactic dog-end 'How was it for you?'

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

8 thoughts on “How Was It For You (Darling)?

  1. Love it. In his heyday, Mr Bennett had quite an amazing voice and terrific breath control; as a young listener I found it difficult to decide between him, the nice-looking one from The Monkeys and Doris Day (coincidentally referenced in today’s BackToBodrum blog). In the end, I plumped for Judy Garland, but that’s another story altogether.

    In my thirties, I abandoned Tony. I discovered that his father was a grocer and the Thatcher connection was too difficult to bear. I fell back in love with the old sot when he made an amazing comeback in the 90’s, still crooning away and perfecting the kind of swagger that made women of a certain age melt into nothing. What a little stud muffin.

    I have nothing to say about your post-coital conversation with Rod Steiger other than I’m kind of impressed. Strangely.

  2. Hi really enjoyed reading your post.
    Then the picture at the bottom with the dog really made me smile. Tony Bennett just keeps going and going. Just a shame he is about the last of that great band of performers left. Shame that was really a golden era of entertain,ant

    Thanks again
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