I was flown to Sydney, Australia for the Vivid Festival one year. A real treat – got to see some cool talks and shows, and I have friends in Sydney so I got to hang with them. I was put up in a hotel, I met some other music-peeps in Australia and was generally treated well.
But I have never been invited back. I gave the festival a heap of coverage, reviewed the shows and events – the talks as well as the music gigs – but I forgot to write nice things. You see Bobby Womack was fucking ghastly. So I had to say that. That’s what I do. Write the truth of how I see – and hear – it. I love Bobby Womack, sure. Of course. I was excited to see him. But he was a shadow of a man, looking silly, actually, in his red jumpsuit. Like Eddie Murphy’s Delirious character crossed with Richard Pryor’s Mudbone character crossed with Dave Chappelle’s Tyrone character. And his voice was gone.
But you can never tell the fans that. When he died, a year or so later, it was no surprise, it felt like the right thing had happened. Relief at last. The guy was being flogged around the track for a victory lap that could never exist.
It was cruel. Ghastly, actually. And yet people will still tell you that it was like going to church, that it was great to see a living legend. It wasn’t.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.