I know. A Monday bonus! Other words may apply but, as I used to sign off in the olden days, ‘Nobody forced you to read it!’.
As my reader is aware, I am endeavouring to limit my posts to one per week, transferring my focus to my future best seller; however, sometimes one just isn’t enough! I was rushing on Saturday to post something before driving through to Edinburgh for a date at the theatre: The Osmonds’ Musical. Yes, laugh if you wish but it was, actually, superb! Written by Jay – the drummer and second best-looking after Donny – it is his story of their rise to fame and those crazy years in the Seventies when they sold millions of records and made £80million … and lost £80million! That’s what comes with leaving the finances – management of – to somebody else. I should know. Well, admittedly, not on that scale but … Anyway, the story is one I know well but this was personal to Jay. Devoid of any malice or recrimination, it was merely a glimpse through the window at the hard work and discipline imposed on he and his brothers – and sister – virtually, from the cradle, by an authoritarian father who saw a means to monetise their talent. No denying that – their talent. A good-looking family, they could all sing and play multiple instruments and the Andy Williams Show, in the Sixties, would catapult them to a level of fame which entrapped each and every one of them.
A familiar tale. Ironically, they shared the world stage with The Jacksons – and a similar story. Elvis Presley was their friend. They worked with legends and travelled the world, adored by teenage girls in their millions, they earned a fortune but at what price? A childhood. Friends. Normality. Freewill … Family came first. The individual was lost. Unheard. As I said, Jay’s story – this musical – is not one of blame but, as a parent, it is hard to excuse. Sadly, the man, himself, did not make an appearance on Saturday but I have met Donny and there could be no nicer guy. Yes, it should have been me but hindsight is a great thing! Seriously, though, their parents definitely did something right. Good guys are a dying breed, these days, and they can be credited with nine! As for the music … Well, Saturday night showcased it all. Two and a half hours of hit after hit. Songs which stand the test of time, proving they were so much more than just teen idols; good songs. I have the original albums. I remember every word, every note, every nuance. American pronunciation was my speciality. The only thing I didn’t do was join the Mormon Church! How Pop would have dined out on that. Now, almost fifty years on, his grandson has even confessed to playing The Proud One in his car … Proof that good music never dies and this ol’ world keeps right on turnin’!
So, after that little aside – my reason for rushing on Saturday – back to Holly and Phil and Queuegate. What a disastrous PR mess! An accident waiting to happen. Firstly, though, credit where credit is due, step forward David Beckham! In the kitchen, the lunchtime news was on in the background and I heard a familiar voice talking about his grandparents and how he was doing it for them. Aw, who was this lovely guy? David Beckham?! Queueing since 2am, with everybody else, he was smartly dressed and eloquent, to boot. Put me in my place. Never a fan for many obvious reasons – most notably, the leaked emails bemoaning his lack of knighthood in the most colourful of terms – this couldn’t be the same guy? It was and, right then, he soared in my estimations. Respect. If only he had let Holly and Phil know in advance, though, for that same day, the entitled presenters arrogantly milked their position, displaying a deplorable lack of respect for the Queen – and country! There was David Beckham, famous the world over, queueing, on his own, alongside Joe Bloggs for thirteen hours and who should pitch up but Phillip Schofield and his sidekick – in a mask, for goodness sake – sneaking, furtively, past the plebs straight into Wesminster Hall with their lanyards round their necks. Sadly, I would expect nothing more from them. Two presenters whose ludicrous earnings are only matched by their ludicrous egos. Succumbing to the guile of fame, it seems they believed they were infallible. There’s a lesson for them! In the absence of any hands-up or apology, their deceit has only served to exacerbate the situation. What to do? At the feet of the likes of David Beckham, Susanna Reid and James Blunt – to name but a few – who shunned any fast-track offered, there is no sympathy forthcoming … Hang on! Piers Morgan! He, of barbed tongue. He, of moral compass? He, who is in possession of my work without acknowledgement. ‘I’m a good friend of Holly’s … she’s absolutely distraught.’ Well, shoot me down! That makes all the difference. Your friends are exempt? Big mistake, Meghan. Huge!
Finally, I have to mention an irony which leapt out at me recently; one which I found so interesting … Watching ITV News at Ten the night before Her Majesty’s funeral, there was a piece filmed in Naro Moru, central Kenya – St Philip’s Anglican Church, to be precise, where the, then, Princess Elizabeth attended her last Sunday service before becoming Queen. It was the 2nd February, 1952. The lady being interviewed by the black, British journalist was white as were most of the congregation in the film. Today’s congregation. Kenya, Africa. I suppose I noticed because I found that surprising. True? Cut back to the studio in London, meanwhile, and the newsreader that night was Somali-born British journalist, Rageh Omaar … Much has been made of the Queen’s longevity and the changing world she witnessed over the course of her reign. Now, seventy years on, here was the living proof – and a quirky irony of sorts which I couldn’t fail to notice. Just me?
‘Good memories are our second chance at happiness.’
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
Ain’t that the truth!
This is Trish, signing off.
P.S. Should that be lower case? Never sure … Anyway, just wanted to add that, of course, the ‘Monday Bonus’ went down the pan! Rushing, once more, I completely forgot to post it before dashing back to Edinburgh to see Don McLean at the Usher Hall. Disaster number one. Disaster number two? Don McLean! When one can no longer sing the top notes of ‘Vincent’, it’s time to call it a day. I’m sure the memory will fade in time …