Sandie Shaw meets Da Kween
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 23 12:50:31 CST 2005
Sixties star Sandie Shaw went to the same recent music
event at Buckingham Palace that Roger attended. Here's
her report from The New Statesman:
Diary - Sandie Shaw
Monday 28th March 2005
"Keep still and stop fidgeting," muttered Grace
through a mouthful of pins. Perched precariously on a
chair, I stood as still as I could while my daughter
sewed the hem on my pink Armani suit. Outside, Eric
Nicoli, the chairman of EMI, stood in the rain with
his chauffeur, George, waiting for me to emerge.
In the car we checked our ID - passports, driving
licences, birth certificates, bank statements and
personal invitations from the Queen to visit her at
Buckingham Palace. We were on our way to a royal
knees-up - a "do" to celebrate "the contribution of
the music industry to the culture and economy of the
United Kingdom". Like everyone else, I was invited to
come alone, which filled me with great panic. I have
never gone to public occasions on my own. I felt like
a child on her first day at school. In desperation I
rang Eric, who luckily also had an invite and offered
to be my escort/minder for the evening. Eric has the
dubious notoriety of being called "Big Boy" by Davina
McCall on TV at a Brit Awards ceremony, so I felt I
was in good hands.
Outside on the palace steps were a few straggly
old-guard paparazzi, struggling to focus their
cameras. Inside, I suddenly felt like Cinderella at
the ball and had the wild urge to kick my shoes off
and dance barefoot in the light of the sparkly
chandeliers. Ushered through the echoing halls, we
passed lines of waiters polishing glasses and pouring
wine. I quickly went over to grab one (a drink, that
is) for Dutch courage, and committed my first faux pas
of the evening. "We'll bring the drinks to you in
reception," advised the head waiter, bowing so deeply
I thought he would split his trousers. I took an
orange juice and mingled. I then committed my second
faux pas. While being introduced to the Duke of
Gloucester, I suddenly broke into a coughing fit.
Hordes of equerries ran amok trying to furnish me with
a serviette to mop up. Actually it wasn't such a bad
mistake. Apparently most people had tried not to fall
asleep while talking to him - or, having previously
met him, completely avoided being reintroduced. He
seemed a perfectly nice chap but somewhat lacking in
the charisma department.
The three questions I knew my friends would ask the
next day were: "Who was there?" "Did you meet the
Queen?" and "What did she say?" Here goes . . .
The guests included the leader of the band of the
Coldstream Guards, the head of music collections at
the British Library, the conductor of the Windsor and
Eton Choral Society, the director of the Specialist
Schools Trust and (of course) the Master of the
Queen's Music. Add to this a smattering of jazz
musicians, sopranos, triple harpists, a large pinch of
indie record company founders, a slice of fat-cat rock
managers, movers and shakers, all mixed with a twist
of current and former pop icons, and you had a rather
heady royal cocktail.
I particularly enjoyed meeting up again with some of
the old guard: Cilla Black, Roger Daltrey of the Who,
Robin Gibb (still stayin' alive) and Ray Davies of the
Kinks (accompanied by a rather attractive Swedish
nurse, no doubt to take care of his recent mugging
injuries - not). I really enjoyed meeting some of my
Eighties musical heroes for the first time, like Peter
Gabriel, Joan Armatrading and Kate Bush. Peter
admitted to having me as a bedroom pin-up as a boy;
Joan informed me she was now chair of Women in Music;
and Kate took us on a grand tour of the Queen's art
collection, which adorned the walls. She was ecstatic.
"Can you believe it? That's a real Rubens up there.
Fancy having that in your front room," Kate bubbled. I
felt a light tap on my shoulder. I turned around and
there was Da Kween in a bright turquoise suit smiling
at me, holding out her hand to be shaken (no gloves).
She chatted away amiably and even managed to look
interested as I explained my latest foray into
European copyright law. All the while, Kate was
rummaging in her handbag. Suddenly, she produced a pen
and some paper. "Would you mind awfully signing this
for my son?" she asked sweetly. The Queen looked lost
for words. "I think that's a pop-star thing, Kate," I
mumbled. The Queen seemed pleased to be let off the
hook. "Quite right," she answered as an equerry
quickly hustled her away.
Sandie Shaw's greatest hits album, The Very Best of
Sandie Shaw, is available now on EMI Records
-Brian in Atlanta
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