Last Friday I cooked dinner for two friends of mine and it was a success. (I say it was a success because I believe both people are still alive!) In actual fact it was nerve wracking as both of these people are amazing cooks and I have been their dinner guest on more occasions than I can count. It was high time the favour was repaid and so I took their lives in my hands and made chilli for us all. I think our enjoyment of the night was much enhanced by the extraordinary quantities of wine we managed to consume; a dinner party rule I always adhere to!
I bought my first recipe book the other day and hope that some day in the future I will be a much better cook. However I think for my Fantasy Dinner Party series, I would probably hire a caterer. It takes the pressure off and that would be so helpful when dealing with divas! Part One of this series focussed on literary characters I’d like to have dinner with and Part Two is about musicians.
1. Edith Piaf
I have blogged before about my love for Edith Piaf – what a heroine! Piaf is the definition of the little woman with a big voice but she had an even bigger heart. She believed in love more than anything in the world, was an idealist and a romantic and a hedonist to boot. She had a huge appetite for love, for music, for booze and for life. Between her pidgin English and my not so fluent French we’d muddle along fine and I bet have more than a few laughs in the process.
2. Lester Young
Lester Young, or Prez as he was known in the jazz world, was a soft-spoken, kind, intelligent, wisp of a man and his style of playing with Count Basie’s orchestra influenced generations of saxophone players. Prez was Billie Holiday’s best friend and like Holiday and many of his peers, Prez became addicted to alcohol and drugs to his detriment. Before his addictions took hold he made some incredibly beautiful recordings and was renowned for his relaxed and easy style. And how could you not invite a man who is said to have popularised the word “cool” as slang!
3. Dave Grohl
Frequently described as the nicest man in rock, Dave Grohl is one of my drumming heroes. I have been to many Foo Fighters‘ gigs and Dave’s onstage banter is always funny and frequently sarcastic (such as the time the Foos were playing in the Point and Dave started playing the first few bars of “Jeremy“, then said “no man I’m just joking” and cracked up!). In interviews he comes across as an intelligent, warm and very witty guy and he reminds me of my mates, someone I could easily hang out with.
4. Keith Richards.
I think, if we’re talking about a music related dinner party, Keef would be on everybody’s list. He’d drink the house dry and regale us all with shocking tales of rock and roll life. He’d crack up at other people’s stories and then trump them with one of his own. He’d be generous and kind and we’d all marvel at his infinite capacity and Kevlar-coated liver. I’d definitely want to try on his awesome skull ring. OK so he might get boisterous and maybe he’d still be camped out on the sofa two days later, but it would so be worth it!
5. Debbie Harry
I have the biggest girl-crush on Debbie Harry. She’s smart, independent, stylish and I have it on good authority that she’s lovely in person too. I love the fact that Blondie was signed when Debbie was in her early thirties; she had to work hard, it didn’t happen overnight and I respect her for that. I love that she’s not defined by a relationship, that she’s still friends with her ex, that she never had children, and that she lives in New York and is still a face on the downtown scene.