19 January 2001
I proved my old maxim about singers, if they were major stars in whatever field and they’re playing near you, go and see them even if they aren’t your sort of thing. Andy Williams was the first guy I ever saw on a colour TV back in 1967, and I thought all America’s race relations problems were solved, because both he and his guests, The Supremes, were the same sickly shade of green. Andy Williams? Really? Yes, and Can’t Get Used To Losing You is an all-time great.
Anyway, he floated effortlessly over a full 100 minutes tonight and started on the dot. There were some bizarre experiences. MacArthur Park with live violin and electric guitar supported by synth orchestra with vibes sounded so uncannily like the Mothers of Invention that I didn’t even notice the vocal. There were four women in his 11-piece band, including the Mexican drummer. Desperado caused me to say “What the …?” but he fitted it to his style. Not so How Sweet It Is.
At 71 his control is remarkable, although I’m convinced it was digitally enhanced (or replaced) on the long high notes at the end of most songs, but so I am told, this is standard practice for the majority (though not on the bar circuit!). And he told a timely joke. He explained how he’d learned to lie to his mother, then added that as a result he could have been a politician.
Music To Watch Girls By was great to see, because in the year it was a hit, I was working on a summer show where it was the opening and closing dance number. Twice a night for twelve weeks. Nostalgia, BUT the version I know and love is far closer to the Bob Crewe instrumental original.