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May 7, 2017:

THIS GUY I KNOW

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, first things first, which, to my mind, is better than first things second: Yesterday’s stumble-through was a mighty fun affair – just a few lyric baubles but no catastrophes. The show structure worked perfectly, and there are any number of highlights. I must say, as far as I’m concerned, it is not easy to sing at eleven-thirty in the morning. I got through it, barely, but I would have been better at our usual time of three in the afternoon. After we finished, I had little notes for everyone – we did those and I think the cast all had a blast hearing each other, which is what we love about the stumble-throughs.

Second things second, but not third: Last night’s event. I drove to friend Barry and Cindy Pearl’s home and then followed them to Thousand Oaks and the Hyatt Hotel. The event was celebrating 50 years of a Jewish reform temple, but more importantly Cantor David Shukiar’s ten years there. He is clearly adored by one and all. We arrived at six-thirty. The room where the event was going to happen wasn’t open – no, there was a cocktail hour and silent auction, but too many people made it uncomfortably crowded and excruciatingly loud. Worse than that was the coldness – about forty degrees. That I did not need, so send your most excellent vibes and xylophones that my voice and health will all be fine by the time I wake up. The fact is, had anyone told me the room wasn’t opening until seven-thirty, that’s when I would have arrived. Once in the room it was much warmer, thankfully. We were brought our salads, and whilst eating them there was much speechifying – the mayor of Thousand Oaks and others. Then they took the salads and brought the main course – fish or beef – I had the latter, about a six-ounce filet and it was pretty okay. There was some weird rice thing that was also okay, and some asparagus. While we were eating, they showed about a ten-minute video of David doing his thing, then several people spoke and gave him things. Finally at nine, he was told that his family wanted to say a few things to him. Leasa, Carly, and Hayley got mics and went on a little stage while David watched. He had NO idea what was coming, which was fun. Leasa said that he was always writing music for others, but that no one had ever written HIM a song. She said that they’d come to me to do so and I had, a song called “This Guy I Know.”

Then the track began to play, with Richard Allen’s superb orchestration. Little Hayley was first up. For whatever reason, the tune I came up with is one of the catchiest I’ve ever written – just one of those lucky gifts – instantly hummable and very perky. Hayley sang:

 

THERE IS THIS GUY I KNOW

SO LET ME CROW

BECAUSE HE’S REALLY SPECIAL, YOU SEE

WHO MAKES MY SKY SO BLUE

I’LL TELL YOU WHO

WHO MAKES THE SUN COME OUT JUST FOR ME

ALWAYS HUMBLE

RARELY HEAR HIM GRUMBLE

IF I TAKE A TUMBLE

GETS ME BACK ON MY FEET

WHO IS GENTLE

EVEN WHEN I’M MENTAL

GLAD HE’S NOT A RENTAL

HE’S SO SWEET

HE’S MY DAD

 

She got a big laugh on the “gentle, mental, rental” lines. The huge crowd applauded as she passed the mic to sister Carly. From the first line, dad was in tears. Then Carly sang:

 

THERE IS THIS GUY I KNOW

WHO’S WATCHED ME GROW

AND BEEN THERE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

AND IF I COME UP SHORT

HE’S MY SUPPORT

A SHOULDER I CAN LEAN ON ALL DAY

GETS ME THROUGH THINGS

TELLS ME I CAN DO THINGS

AND THOUGH I MAY SCREW THINGS

UP – HE’S ALWAYS THERE

THERE TO GUIDE ME

ALWAYS THERE BESIDE ME

HELP THE TERRIFIED ME

NONE COMPARE

TO MY DAD

 

That, too, got an applause, then Hayley and Carly sang together:

 

AND YOU KNOW THAT

THOUGH THESE WORDS MAY SEEM TRITE

HE MAKES EVERYTHING RIGHT

HE IS PATIENT AND CALM

HE’S THE BEST DAD THERE IS

WE’RE SO GLAD THAT WE’RE HIS

LET’S TURN IT OVER TO MOM

 

They then looked over to mom, who sang:

 

THERE IS THIS GUY I KNOW

HE’S MY HIT SHOW

HE MAKES MY WORLD A BEAUTIFUL THING

HE ALWAYS FITS THE BILL

HE ALWAYS WILL

I LOOK AT HIM, I JUST WANT TO SING

HE’S SURPRISING

ALWAYS ENERGIZING

ALWAYS MESMERIZING

HE MAKES ME WANT TO SOAR

WHEN I MET HIM

I COULD NOT FORGET HIM

AND I WOULDN’T LET HIM

GET AWAY – CLOSED THAT DOOR

THERE IS JUST ONE OF HIM

AND YOU KNOW I LOVE HIM

MORE AND MORE

 

As the three of them sang the second bridge, the temple choir came up onstage behind them.

 

AND YOU KNOW THAT

THOUGH IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL

IT’S THE WAY THAT WE FEEL

HE IS REALLY A GEM

ALL THE PEOPLE HE’S MET

SING HIS PRAISES, YOU BET

LET’S TURN IT OVER TO THEM

 

And then the entire choir and family sang:

 

THERE IS THIS GUY WE KNOW

HE MAKES US GLOW

YOU KNOW THE GUY WE’RE TALKIN’ ABOUT

THERE IS NO NEED TO WAIT

LET’S CELEBRATE

IT’S REALLY SOMETHING WE’VE GOT TO SHOUT

SO WE’LL SHOUT IT

CARRY ON ABOUT IT

NEVER EVER DOUBT IT

YOU’RE THE GUY WE ADORE

YEAH, WE’RE BRAGGING

YOU’RE THE GUY WE’RE TAGGING

THERE’S NO WAY WE’RE LAGGING

NOW THAT WE’VE GOT THE FLOOR

THERE IS JUST ONE OF YOU

AND YOU KNOW WE LOVE YOU

MORE AND MORE!

 

I wrote a really strong and tuneful rideout, too – rideouts are out of fashion, but not where I live. And the entire crowd stood up, cheering. Dad was really emotional, but he came right over to me and hugged me and said, “What a gift.” It was pretty fantastic, I must say. Barry and Cindy were both in tears. Many sweet people came up to me afterwards. I will do this at one of the Kritzerland shows, perhaps the anniversary show, but I was told someone had shot video, so as soon as I get it I’ll share it, so you can finally hear the tune. Well, you know what – I have my little down and dirty demo of me singing and playing it, so I’ll share that, just so you get an idea.

And just for grins, here’s the track they sang to – courtesy of Richard Allen. And just listen to that rideout at the end – if this were in a musical today, the idiots would end it with a button directly after the final “more” – but when you build like that, you have to let the “more” sing out, Louise because it’s emotionally correct – and then when you put the tune in the rideout it’s like the whipped cream and cherry on a hot fudge sundae. Hope you enjoy.

Prior to all that, I got about seven-and-a-half hours of sleep, then got up. I had to get my voice in shape to sing, so I took all my preventatives, then shaved, then took a hot shower and I got most of the guck out. Then everyone arrived and we did our stumble-through. After that, Sami, mom, Doug, and I went to Casa Vega. I just had one beef taco to tide me over to the event and I’m glad I did since it was so late by the time we finally ate.

Once home, I just relaxed, had some Airborne and Sambucol, took two Advil for the headache, and that was that.

Today, I’ll hopefully arise after a good night’s beauty sleep. I may do a jog, but not if it’s as cold as it was yesterday. Otherwise, I’m just relaxing, resting my voice, and then I’ll get ready and mosey on over to The Federal for sound check and then show. I’m sure some of us will go out after.

The week ahead is all meetings and meals, more auditions, prepping the musical I’m directing, and other things that need attention.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, maybe jog, rest, relax, have a sound check, do a show, and then sup. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that This Guy I Know had such a wonderful little birth in front of some very nice folks.

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