Last night I had a dream about Nina Simone.
I was at her concert, walking the aisles of a huge arena-type venue.
There were many blocks of seats facing different directions and at least four grand pianos, each a different colour, on separate stages, so you couldn’t tell where she'd perform. This was distressing.
I wandered into a labyrinthine backstage area, blundered into a small room. Standing in it was Nina, waiting to go on stage.
Shocked, I apologised for intruding, told her I was lost. She said 'Think nothing of it'.
She said she’d be performing just out here, and pointed beyond the curtain.
I thanked her, kissed her hand and walked out to a block of seats sunk into a posh restaurant area, waiters in white tuxedos serving tables.
They said this was an exclusive viewing area carrying a $50 supplement. Feeling shabby, and not having $50, I shuffled away. Maybe I’d walk up to the back. A long way away, but at least I’d be facing the stage.
Suddenly Nina appeared. She gave the waiter a note. She said a young (sic) Englishman had come by, lost, and could they seat him in the restaurant area?
Realising it was me, the head waiter beckoned me to a table near the front. Would I like a drink? I ordered a gin and tonic.
The lights dimmed.
Nina’s performance began.
Nina Simone – ‘I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl (live)’ (1974)
[I have just ordered this album on vinyl, using vouchers kindly gifted for my birthday. It's coming from France. I hope it arrives not-too battered].