For too many years I’ve lived with names of great musical artists ingrained in my head, bootleg sleeves, best of’s and original 12’s, artwork from the seventies and songs that have helped my broken heart mend. You may have gathered I’m in love with Soul music and that it has effected my choice of shoes and hat, so getting the chance to meet a woman who worked with the Staple Sisters or Aretha Franklin and herself has a fine catalogue of solid work, was just one of those days I had to get out of bed for.
She was tiny, like in a filmstar tiny kind of way, a lovely little jacket and and a spanking pair of Gucci trainers which we established fairly quickly, were not Louis Vuittons and most definitely real, with that classic Alambama drawl she sped through the interview recounting the Chitlin circuit, hard days and nights in and out of love, wondering would Beyonce do five dollars shows and not be bothered, but we seen in her eyes a steely need to go on and make good her name as a legend singer.
At times in conversation a little angry at the world of blandness but mostly charming.
Photographs were easy, I can crack jokes with the best of them and well able for anything that comes my way ( I once told Naomi Campbell “You can Fuck Off” ) so talking to a lovely Soul Queen who seems to love being in Ireland was a glorious way to pass the time. “When are you moving here” I say and we laugh about it thinking it would be nice to have a place by the sea. After a thorough interview Handsome Paddy from the force that is the ChoiceCuts crew has turned up with a guitar and they do a run through on ‘You got the love’ for the radio next morning, her voice lifts like magic over a simple 6 string. I keep shooting and thanking, the contact sheet is like a conversation, it’s all smiles and professional poses, she’s done this too many times before and just like that she’s out the door back to the hotel and it’s over too soon.
That’s rubbish whoever said you shouldn’t meet your heroes, sadly writing from London we missed the show which by all accounts was yet another classsic.
Hoping in time she thinks about it strongly and she gets that two bedroom coastal haven which means I’ll get to meet her again and share another laugh.