A horrible throat infection and fever had Dave feeling so ill that he gave up his much anticipated seat for this gig and said I’d have to find someone else to accompany me! After a bit of casting around I invited my lovely friend Marie to come along and we met in Calstock well in time (we thought) to get a good seat. However the gig was completely sold out and so everyone else had had the same idea, so by the time we’d grabbed a drink from the bar upstairs, and got downstairs again, we were down to just about the last two seats right at the back! Tony however had a large screen set up and we could see plenty well enough (for two shorties!).
Tony came on just a couple of minutes past the start time and launched straight into a piece about the fact that he has almost the same name as a well-known American skateboarder and how he gets his emails and letters asking him all sorts of skateboard related questions. He used to ignore these but has now started answering them without actually explaining the mix-up, which makes it really hilarious…you have to be there!
Second up we had the “menu” for the evening…bullet points on the aforementioned big screen. When Tony breaks into surreal mode, bullet pointing the interruptions that he is doing to himself, as he is doing them.
The rest of the first half is taken up by the story of his first book, Round Ireland with a Fridge, and the subsequent making of the film of the same name and how it all came about. Making films (or more importantly) raising the finance for making films, is fraught with problems and anyone who puts up money wants it done their way, nevermind if that means changing the story lines, premises behind ideas and putting in unsuitable actors. Eventually though, RIwaF got made, and in a way that kept to the original idea behind the book. Wrapped up in the Fridge story were a couple of observation type quizzes which both Marie and I put our hands up to try and answer, without much success in the end. Rounding up the first half Tony sang us a song and played his guitar – a surprise to me as I didn’t know he had a musical side!
In the second half, we were treated to the further story behind Tony’s second book, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis. This time the film of the same name was made without quite so much stress as the first time and Tony told us that some of the profits are ploughed into a children’s therapy centre in Moldova, a project that he is still raising cash for, illustrated for us by Tony with the story of his recent bike ride from North to South Devon with a pig! We were told that both films plus a soundtrack would be on sale at the end of the evening with continuing profits going back to Moldova where they are building a new centre as the old unit, a converted flat, was now too small.
Tony rounded off the evening with another song/guitar piece and then was out right away to sign DVDs (Marie and I both treated ourselves!) and encourage the audience to put some change in a bucket for his charity. He’s a lovely guy with a heart of gold and Marie and I had a lovely time. Our next visit to Calstock will be for Jo Caulfield in February – Dave hopefully back to full fighting fitness!
(Anagram by Dave: Tony Hawks – Wonky Hats)