Friday, June 27, 2008

Nelson at 90

It's Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday and I've been watching the concert in Hyde Park. The adulation that Mandela receives is almost sickening at times, but I have to say that he deserves all the praise that is heaped on him. He is certainly one of my heroes - along with Sam Cooke and Martin Luther King - and (unlike them) he has lived long enough to see his life's work come to fruition . A true living legend and an inspiration. I visited his prison cell on Robbin Island near Cape Town last year and it was a moving experience. And I will always remember seeing him at the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago, He was in a box with Prince Charles and got up and danced to the music with a natural rhythm. Charles had no option but to join him and looked stiff and uneasy. But at least he tried.
Like many others, my main interest in watching the concert was in seeing how Amy Winehouse looked and sounded. I was relieved that she looked well, and sounded good as well. The media is willing her to sink lower and lower and she doesn't seem able to help herself most of the time. But she is really is a fantastic talent and I hope she gets through her problems and proves herself a survivor. As for the other acts, they weren't bad, but the true star was undoubtedly the great man himself. Long live Nelson Mandela.


At 4:26 pm , Blogger Sam's Neph said...

Nelson, Martin, and Sam? You have a great set of heroes, Nick.

Erik Greene
Author, “Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective”

At 5:39 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Thanks for your comment. I was lucky enough to meet Sam backstage when he toured England in 1962, when I was 16. His autograph remains one of my most treasured possessions.
I've ordered a copy of the book and look forward to reading it.

At 5:40 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Incidentally I was in Memphis at the end of April. Wish I'd known about the Sam Cooke convention. I will try to get along to a future one.

At 3:06 pm , Blogger Sam's Neph said...

Backstage at 16? That must have been fantastic! I was never so lucky...

Thanks for the order; it's been mailed out already. Please let me know how you enjoyed the book.


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