Autism Think Tank is AWESOME!

Blogpost Monday March 2nd

Greetings from a damp and soggy Los Angeles. Despite the rain we’ve had an exciting and heart warming time since Bob and I arrived mid afternoon on Wednesday Feb 25th, after a trouble-free long haul flight from London Heathrow. The British Airway’s double decker (Airbus 380?) morning flight was less than half full, so there were plenty of seats to spread ourselves across. Being able to get horizontal makes all the difference you know.

We slept the sleep of the innocent that night and woke up early Thursday morning ready for the first of two rehearsals for the Wild Honey/Beatle’s White Album sell-out show for Autism Think Tank on Saturday night. I was given the delightful task of singing one of the songs with Iain Matthews. He was staying close by so I picked him up and drove us both across town to Swing House rehearsal studios in Atwater Village. We decided that it must be 25 years since we last saw one another – gulp! My driving was a little erratic due to the GPS being set on most “direct” route as opposed to “Fastest” … which meant we were directed through a complicated set of some of the skinniest and twisty roads round the back of north Hollywood hills. What should have taken no more than 15 minutes became a fairly long winded and circuitous journey! Iain’s nervous laughter is still ringing in my ears!

The place was already rocking by the time we arrived and it was great to see so many familiar faces. Someone asked Iain what we were singing together and I heard him say “Cry Baby Cry” to which I blurted: “But I’ve learned Sexy Sadie! Isn’t that what we’re doing?” the sheer panic in my eyes made Iain blanch even further. Turns out I didn’t get the email with that bit of information – oops! So I grabbed my iPad and headphones then found a quiet room to quickly learn a completely new song! Iain brought his guitar through and very patiently played and sang through the tune half a dozen times before we were called to go through it (in front of people!) with the band – EEK! It was thankfully not half bad given the circumstances (Iain was fabulous of course!) and I knew I’d get my head around it the following day. A little later on I got the chance to go through Hey Jude with the band which was a blast. Iain opted for a lift back with a friend … can’t say as I blame him. I just caught the tail end of Skylar Gudasz‘s beautiful take on George Harrison’s “Long, Long, Long” before I left … it was one of the many highlights on the night! Simply gorgeous.

Friday was a day of remembering words and feeling much happier about everything. Rehearsals that night were full of bubbling excitement. I was invited alongside a bevy of beautiful and talented singers to form an Angelic choir for Ringo’s gorgeous lullaby “Goodnight” and somehow – I still can’t figure out how it happened – ended up being volunteered to sing the highest note in my life during the string section intro. A note only dogs can hear! The song itself was sung with haunting beauty by Anna Waronker and Rachel Haden.

Saturday came round so quickly. Having gotten over his white knuckle ride on Thursday night, Iain actually asked for a lift to the show! I promised him that Bob would do the driving this time … another nervous laugh bubbled up in response. The three of us arrived at the Alex theatre in Glendale safe and sound at 3pm. The sun was shining and we were cheerful, light hearted and ready for a night of great music.

A bevy of beautiful boysRehearsing the Balloon!Gorgeous girlsThe brilliant Rob LauferHappy sound checking!On stage!Happy shiny musos

I managed to snap a couple of photos (above) during the sound check and even got a few GoPro snippets of some great performances:

1: Blackbird – Rob Laufer sings this so poignantly HERE

2: Happiness Is A Warm Gun – brilliantly performed by Django Haskins HERE

3: Sound check for the end of Cry Baby Cry into Revolution 9 HERE

The first half of the night went by so fast with one great performance after another. Here’s the running order with info on who sang what:

First set

There was a quick 15 minute interval and onto the second half of the show which included a live performance of Number Nine Dream … very psychedelic! No one knew what the white balloon from “The Prisoner” was doing there but I thought it looked great!

Second Set List

If you take a look at the Facebook page for the event you’ll  find some candid video of various songs. The whole show was recorded for posterity and should provide further entertainment though it won’t be available to buy, I believe there will be postings for each song … patience may be required before everything’s edited into separate performances. Fingers crossed we all you get the chance to take a peek soon.

So now after the dust has settled I’m supposed to be getting into my rewrite. I say supposed to because here I am writing a Blogpost instead. Hey-ho. All will be revealed. I’m feeling my way into the marathon that will be the major overhaul of a book that took several years to come into being. I just have to breathe new and vibrant life into it! No biggie! I’ve found a new way into the story that gives much more edge and driving purpose but … I have yet to write these new ideas down. In my mind they make perfect sense … wish me luck I’ll need it!

This week’s song is the performance of “Cry Baby Cry” with Iain Matthews at the Wild Honey event last weekend for Autism Think Tank… it would be rude not to! You’ll find the VIDEO HERE.

Thanks as always for dropping by. See you next week!

Love, light, peace and joy!

Christine xxx

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