Meet Jamie Cullum.
|Or as I know him, You Handsome Devil. (Source)|
This man is the musical love of my life. For those of you who don’t know, he’s a British jazz/pop/all-kinds-of-awesome musician who just oozes talent and puts on a hell of a show. Since the first time I saw him on Bravo’s Live At The Rehearsal Hall almost 10 years ago, I have just been captivated by this man and his music and his energy and his adorable face and his ability to turn me into a rambling 15-year-old. To give you just a teensy idea, here is his first single from his most recent album, The Pursuit; I’m All Over It.
In 2009, I got my chance to see him in concert. He played a fairly small show at the Toronto Jazz Festival that year; it was in a tent with only 1000 seats. My Nonno generously bought tickets for my cousin and I. And so we arrived at the tent about an hour before the concert, finding seats just behind Jamie’s Yamaha piano, leaving me shaking in anticipation.
|It was literally right in front of me.|
When Jamie took the stage after the opening act, I was beside myself. I laughed, I cried, I sang, I danced, I embarrassed the hell out of my cousin. (Though he was a perfect gentleman about it and didn’t openly judge me.) Jamie was singing, dancing, jumping off his piano, beatboxing, using his piano as a percussion instrument; the man was a force of nature, and I was mesmerized. For two hours, I watched my dream come true right in front of my eyes. I got to experience Jamie Cullum first hand.
|The songs, the wit, the sweat.|
Anyone who knows about Jamie Cullum (or particularly, his shows) knows that at the end of every performance, he makes an effort to meet fans. So after the amazing show, my cousin and I found where a little “green room” trailer had been set up for Jamie and the band. As was customary, he went straight to the trailer first for a post-show beer before mingling. Armed with my camera; a notebook; and a cd of my hometown’s local music for him, I waited.
For me, the waiting wasn’t the problem. I would’ve stood there for days. However, my Aunt and Uncle – both of whom were to work at 6 am – were less eager to wait for Jamie to finish his beer. They texted and called constantly as my cousin did his best to stall. He could see how incredibly important this was to me and he tried his hardest to buy me time.
But we just couldn’t do it. It was well past 12, we had a lengthy trek home, and the Aunt and Uncle put their foot down. Reluctantly, my cousin and I walked away. As we got near the car we heard a cheer and looked back, knowing that Jamie had finally left the trailer. We couldn’t look at each other, and we couldn’t turn back because we were in view of his parents.
And so I walked away from the person I most admire in the world. I felt so dejected and heartbroken. I felt like I had a hole in my stomach. I was in a daze for four days. I could not believe that I was that close and missed out. It’s haunted me for years.
But this summer, I will get a chance to make that stain on my past disappear. As I’ve mentioned previously this summer I’m going on a Mediterranean cruise, and my family’s plan is to make our way to London after the cruise is finished.
A while back, I came across an article (I believe it was posted on Jamie’s twitter) in which he talks about his perfect weekend. In it he talks about where he lives, where he takes his daughter for walks, and the pubs that he lives between and likes to frequent. Interested to see where he hangs out, I perused through google streetview. Incidentally, I realized that he had pinpointed the block where I am most likely to find him and that I had unintentionally become a stalker.
So when I go to London this summer, I have the opportunity to remedy the terrible heartbreak that I suffered three years ago.
My best friend insists that I’ll end up in jail, but it’s not illegal to say hi, right?