So long, George
Through my gig as valet to Chandler Travis, King of the World, I had the honor and pleasure to meet George Carlin. Chandler was kind enough to invite me along when he & Dinty opened for George several times over the last 4 or 5 years.
The first time I got to meet George, we were doing two shows in one night at the Cape Cod Melody Tent – we were introduced before we went on for the first show. I was heading out after our opening set for the second show and before he went on stage, George shook my hand, said “nice to meet you, Fred”. Damn – he remembered my name. Also at that first gig, when we were eating a quick dinner between shows, George said something alliterative and then repeated it to himself, mulling over the way the words ran together – I imagine that if he liked the way it sounded, he would write it in his notebook or something, saving it for a later day. It was cool to see that his mind was always working, always looking for potential new material.
The last time we opened for George, at the end of the night, he hugged Chandler goodbye, hugged Dinty goodbye, then shook my hand and said something along the lines of “you’re still kind of new – but next time, you get a hug”
Here’s a video clip of George talking about death – this is fairly recent, and I remember seeing him do this stretch of material at some of the gigs where we opened for him.
update: Chandler wrote a piece about George for local Cape Cod weekly newspaper The Cape Codder. It’s a remembrance of George unlike most others you’re going to find on the good ol’ world wide interweb. We have it up on the SonicTrout site in the Kelp on Kape section. Here’s a direct link to the piece.
update zwei: Bill O’Neill, Lifestyles Editor and Music Reviewer for the Cape Cod Times, has a little online remembrance of George which includes a great quote from Chandler, circa 1999: “Here’s a simplification of what I appreciate about George C: how much he produces, how little he panders, and what a fine friend he has been.”