This morning I got a call from Geri Fallo at city hall, the nice lady who books all the gigs for the town. She said Telemundo was taping a show down at Sinatra Park and I should go down there and sing on hispanic TV. “Can’t be that simple,” I thought to myself, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to put on my Fuzzy Lemons t-shirt and check it out.
Well, in the end it happened pretty much like Geri said! None of the other leading Lemons were available, but I wasn’t going to miss a chance to be on TV. Around 3:00 I went down to Sinatra Park, site of those gorgeous waterfront Gordys shows. Sure enough, they had a bunch of cameras set up and a bunch of Telemundo TV personalities taking turns performing and interviewing local artists and musicians. I asked a production assistant if it was true I could sing some songs and she said “sure,” so I frantically texted Kipley and Dana to see if there was any chance they could come down. None at all, as it turned out.
But because the universe is a cool place and Hoboken is an awesome little town, Justin and his wife had wandered by, and I corralled them into being my moral and technical support. They sat with me for over an hour as I waited my turn and tried to figure out what to perform.
I figured I could give them a Fuzzy Lemons CD and lip-synch to it, as a lot of the other artists were doing. But the problem was, the songs on the CD are in English and this was clearly a Spanish-based program. So I shifted gears and remembered that Music Together has taught me several songs in Spanish. I asked Justin to use his blackberry to help me e-mail some folks and drum up some kids to help me sing, and ran through the words and chords to the two easiest, most fun Music Together spanish tunes I know.
The director (the person with the headset who snapped her fingers and pointed at people the most) called me over at one point and asked what I was going to perform. I’d been given to understand that lip-synching was preferred, because overall the sound of a CD was better than open microphones on a breezy riverside promenade. I said I could lip-synch in English, or sing live in Spanish.
“Ok, you sing in Spanish,” she said, and went off to snap her fingers and point at some other people.
So that settled it, I was going to do Music Together stuff, and for that I wanted some kids (I work better with a crowd). No families showed up that I knew, but there were some kids around, some of them the offspring of the Telemundo crew or of the performers. I gathered a couple of them and taught them “Don Alfredo Baila” and prepped them to come help me on stage. They were enthusiastic (read: hyper).
Finally, around 5:15, I the director snapped her fingers and sent me to the stage, in front of the camera. I brought my little flock of kids with me, we plugged my guitar in, and on cue I launched into “Don Alfredo.” It was a hoot. The production assistant and Justin were both standing beside the camera, pantomiming along with the song, giving the kids silent direction to dance and smile and follow the motions of the song.
Then the interviewer came up and did a little bit where she waved our CD in front of the camera and spoke rapid-fire spanish. She asked me some questions (in English, thank goodness) and I think I gave coherent answers. I did a second song, “Maria Isabel,” with the kids dancing around me and Justin and the PA pantomiming moves for them from offstage. Then I finished, and we were done.
Justin gave the director a Fuzzy Lemons CD and she said something to the effect of “You’ll come back with your band and be on the show again next Saturday in Prospect Park.” I have no idea if she meant it or what; she said she’d call the Fuzzy Lemon line on Monday. But I’m going to devote a little free time tomorrow to translating a Fuzzy Lemons song into Spanish. Who knows?
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