AN OFFER YOU CAN’T REFUSE

 

I know that sounds like name dropping but when a name is worth dropping, you gotta drop it like its hot.

Being in the music business for what its worth I meet a lot of stars. So when you get to my age

you stop getting star struck. But as I entered the stage door at the London Palladium, itself a doorway

that many an iconic star has stepped through, I started to get excited.

My friend Rocco had much to do before Pacino was to arrive. Sophia Theo & Christopher my children

and trusted promotion team were at hand to set everything up for the day.


What then followed was like an episode of the apprentice. Sophia & Theo rushing through Marks & Spencers

to find the long list or requirements on Mr Pacino's rider.  Peeled almonds and blue berries being a small part of the list. They ran around with clipboard in hand walkie talkies and bags of fruit and bouquets of flowers. 



Meanwhile Christopher who later had become Al's new

best mate, was prepping the room and assisting Rocco.

A debriefing then took place with Al's personal security

and Palladium security. Even they could not contain their

excitement as I could see a slight chuffed smirk on their

faces every time "Pacino" was mentioned. 


                                                                                                          

                                                                                                             Christopher & Al Pacino


                                                                                                      

                                                                             


                                                                         Rocco & I went to a nearby restaurant called the

                                                                         manager and chef to our table and asked them if they        

                                                                         would like to prepare Mr Pacino's meal. They of

                                                                         course jumped to the idea. The meal consisted of two

                                                                         dishes so Al can choose what he fancies as they are            

                                                                         presented to him.




            Chaz DaBat & Rocco





















Signs go up



The Palladium all seemed quite calm as we went outside to the front to organise the banners and posters.

However, as Rocco and I were gathering ticket information at the box office, a voice came over the walkie talkies, "Pacino is in the building"  Funny now how the Palladium felt different. The rooms were buzzing and everyone was still walking around going about their duties but with a different urgency and spring in their step. The man definitely has an effect of people.



                                                                                He came on stage for a sound check and a walk        

                                                                                around and was very normal. He then went to his

                                                                                room and sat down to chill. Christopher presented Al 

                                                                                with his two dishes of food and Al said, "no no I don't

                                                                                want that really, all I need is a Tuna sandwich." He

                                                                                really wasn't fussed, about anything. Christopher

                                                                                went to the news agents around the corner and

                                                                                bought a tuna sandwich from the cooler display. Al

                                                                                was not nearly half as fussy as "his people" make him

                                                                                out to be. He does not drink so we were told hide the

                                                                                alcohol etc. Relax guys, the guy was cool as

                                                                                cucumber.



As guests started arriving and paps were at the

door my phone was ablaze with calls from friends

"get me a ticket", "get me back stage" Luckily my

friend and fellow musician the Duke Pav was there,

also Zee Asha but most tickets sold out in the

first day.











                                                                           Crowds Gather























The man himself.



I'm sure you can find plenty of write ups on the performance and it was amazing to have a little insight into the man that has made so many iconic movies and created iconic characters. But after the show I had a chance to speak to him one to one in his room. His beautiful girlfriend who was now my son's bestie were laughing and joking on one side of the room, while Al and I were shooting the breeze.  He told me how he so loves being in the West End Theatre land. His love of the English audience, (even the hecklers).

He was charged and full of beans from the performance. He really enjoy the process. I guess many actors don't get to do. You are never yourself on stage as an actor, the only moment that happens is when you're taking a bow. As a musician I have played on countless stages in front of millions and can understand the euphoria one can feel. But for Pacino this was something very close to him. He had hand picked the clips, the music, the poems. He wanted to show people himself.



Although chilling in his room and talking was

fun he had to then go and meet and greet the

sponsors and VIPs that had come to see him.  

I always find it surreal when I see a room full of

well dressed groomed stars and wealthy VIPs

standing around quietly chatting then suddenly

in a split second turn into crazy little girl

groupies with their iPhones taking pictures

running around the room chasing a man.

I felt quite sad in a way as I totally understood

what they were feeling but still I on looked with

amazement. The thing is, if everyone stood still

and stayed in their place, Al would of happily

gone around the room taking pictures and

talking to everyone. But no one is prepared to

wait. incase he is rushed off by security.

Well he was rushed off, and as I followed him                             Go on, go up there I double dare ya.

into the theatre, he sat on his own in the back row

of the auditorium and help his head and rubbing his eyes because in the rush to take a pic with Al someone elbowed him in the face.  Not really a nice end to the evening. His girlfriend and chief bodyguard were planning the next move. Christopher decided to take luggage out to a decoy car at the back while Al slipped out the front in another cab. (nice one son)  Theo was upstairs consoling Eastender's cast as they were in tears as Al left.


On the whole, it was a day that I wont forget. And I got to share it with family and friends. Through my association with Al Pacino's friend and Film producer Barry My dear friend Rocco & I had been toying with the idea of bringing Al to Europe for a live show now for 2 years. Finally hats off to Rocco, he pulled it off.   There is more in the pipeline, and although I am looking forward to them, this was by far the best its gonna get.