Saturday, 27 August 2011

the k.d.lang debacle of the mid noughties.

In the 1990's before I'd heard of k.d.lang, I saw her on television.  She was wearing a black dress and singing the Roy Orbison classic, "Crying".  I came into the room halfway through and didn't hear the introduction.  I thought her voice was incredible.  Who was she?  As a singing student myself, I could hear her power, range, control and lyricism and just knew I had to find out more.

About five years passed before I actually worked out who she was.  This was before the internet had really made it big, and I'm sure we - or at least I - had not yet learnt to consult the modern oracle, Google, whenever there was something we needed to know.

Fast forward to the mid noughties where I've put in a pre-order at my local music store for her latest album "Hymns of the 49th Parallel".  The store, Discurio, was doing a promotion - my pre-order put me in a draw to win the opportunity to meet k.d.lang at a private cocktail party.

I forgot all about that bit until one day I got a call from Max at the store who asked me if I'd like to meet k.d.lang on Thursday night.  And I could bring a friend.  It was Wednesday at this point, so I had to act really fast.  It was really difficult to find anyone available at short notice on a school night, but I got there in the end.

The party was in a very funky bar.  There were record company people, some music store people and me and my friend.  Oh, and the waiters.  I had had the worst wardrobe dilemmas I had ever had.  It was winter, so a wool turtleneck and leather jacket and jeans did the trick.  kathy dawn arrived in a less than hip outfit and had Birkenstocks on her feet.  This was a woman in sensible shoes.  And very tall.

The time of my meeting arrived.  She was my musical idol.  In studying singing and learning various techniques, listening to her was where I heard them mastered.  Now, I'm an outgoing person and have no trouble starting a conversation with someone I haven't met before.  In this case I had a great deal of trouble stopping.  I opened my mouth to say hello and the words just tumbled out, one after the other.  And then more came out.  And some more.  I had so much to say to her.  It was an important moment in my life.  Not sure if it was such a big deal in her life.

I remember her getting a look in her eye.  At this point she started to lean back.  My friend grabbed my arm and shook me back to reality, then she physically removed me from the scene.  She then explained that I needed to be reset - I had just started gushing.  It may have started with "I always wanted to sing" and 20 minutes later I was still talking.  I have a photo of me and k.d. somewhere.  I'll post it when I find it.  I really hope I'm wearing a turtleneck and leather jacket or you'll never trust me again.

I was very glad to have had this experience when I went to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer convention and had a conversation with James Marsters who played the vampire Spike.  I was able to keep my enthusiasm in check.  I've come a long way since the day I forced my mother to queue with me to meet Humphrey B Bear. We had queued for hours and finally got to the front (I must have been about 3 years old).  When I discovered how big Humphrey was I ran away crying!  He looked much bigger than he did on TV - I had envisaged a bear I could put in my pocket.

Since technology has advanced as far as it has, I'm very pleased to provide you with the link where you can view the performance that made me a k.d. lang fan  Here you go.  I love her spoken introduction too.  Extraordinary.


  1. Wow! That k.d Lang performance of 'Crying' is utterly spectacular. Thanks for putting it up here <3