|Japan July '06 Tour - DeBeers Event July 26 (Wednesday) |
|8/14/2018 10:27:05 AM - July 26, 2006 (Wednesday) -- The last day in Japan, and we were booked for a private party by the diamond company, De Beers, to perform for a mere 20 minutes. The event took place at an exclusive French restaurant in Aoyama (the name escapes me) tucked away in the side streets, and remembered going there over a decade back treated by a friend who paid for the dinner for the 3 of us -- he said the tab was more than his monthly salary. It was an old house probably resided by a diplomat or doctor from overseas, I'm guessing from early to mid 20th century, that had a certain quirky but charming design to it, western in style but with an Asian flavor, dark, lacquered wood trimmings, small hideaway rooms on the 2nd floor, etc. When we came for the sound check, staff were everywhere preparing for the event, mostly people from a flower shop, putting red roses everywhere (the event was called "Secrets of the Rose," including the make shift stage, where they had a black velvet backdrop and had strung red rose petals through hundreds of nylon strings making it look like the petals were floating behind us. The smell was intoxicating.|
A DeBeers representative showed up before we started with a beautiful pendant necklace for me to wear, the pendant itself a round silve? platinum? encrusted with a combination of rough diamonds as well as polished diamonds. Very understated chic. The entire event was painless enough, but a little weird. We did a duet, Henry and I, of 4-5 of my songs, amidst a full blown party for press, VIP buyers, and industry people. As we weren't introduced before going out, we started playing and few noticed that we were even there. It wasn't until some people politely clapped after the first tune that we started to draw some attention, and by the last tune we had a respectable amount of people standing around. I felt like a hotel lounge singer.
Later, Henry told me that I could make a fortune doing this circuit of events as they usually have a healthy budget, and as long as I had someone on my behalf demanding a huge fee -- this, he told me, he learned from working for many years with Rod Stewart who also does these type of private events. But I responded that first of all I don't believe that I'm that type of a huge star that can command such large fees, especially as I'm coming from New York (the air ticket alone is at times more than my fee!), and also that's not what I want to do -- I'm not ready to whore myself. Maybe in 20 years I can think about it, but I'd rather perform to an audience that's there to hear my music rather than us being a side attraction no more interesting than a club band hired for a wedding.
With that said, I ran into some friends (radio DJ Chris Peppler, Gen Nagashima, some magazine people, etc.), plus the make-up artist was someone who I had worked with for my "Maiden Japan" album, over 10 years ago, so that was fun. We were treated to a nice dinner and rose scented champagne (surprisingly good!) before getting up on stage, then had chocolates (of course shaped like roses) with a great glass of cognac. No complaints. Got back to the hotel and played tag with Sasha, where he left to go with Henry and Yuki for their last night of Tokyo sushi and drinks. We left the following morning at 6:40 a.m., got great seats upstairs on our flight. I binged on daifuku on the airplane (little Japanese sweet sticky rice cakes with sweet beans in the center -- yum!).
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