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In the mid- to late 70s, Norman Fisher, art and people collector, threw the most diverse soirées in the whole of New York. People from every sector of the so and not so avant-garde would flock to his tiny downtown apartment just because Norman was a magnet. Charismatic, huge fun, and brilliant at introducing all the right people to the wrong people. His musical taste was as frothy as he himself. Two of his recommendations have stayed with me over the years. One was Manhattan Tower, the first radio musical by Gordon Jenkins (no relation to Florence), and the other The Glory (????) of the Human Voice. Madame Jenkins was rich, social, and devoted to opera. She had, and was blissfully unaware of, the worst set of pipes in the world of music. She would grace the New York set with this monstrous voice once or twice a year with private recitals at the Ritz-Carlton for the lucky few. So popular were these affairs that the tickets were scalped for outrageous prices. To meet the demand, Madame eventually hired Carnegie Hall. This was the hot ticket of that year, 1944. Everyone and Noël Coward were there, falling into the aisles in barely suppressed hysterics. While performing the song “Clavelitos,” Madame, who would change costume as many as three times during the course of a recital, became so carried away punctuating the cadences of the song by tossing tiny red flowers from a basket that the basket itself, in her enthusiasm, followed the flowers into the lap of a delighted fan. Be afraid, be very afraid.
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David.Bowie.Library | Jan 29, 2016 |