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Friday, July 29, 2011

Every joke has its day

Back in 1978 we were on holiday in Los Angeles. We stayed at the Sunset Marquis. This was the rock and roll hotel at the time. Bruce Springsteen had recently checked out. Santana were there, as were Hall & Oates.

It was summer and there was a small hot tub in the grounds which had room for about half a dozen people. We were lounging in there one day when we were joined by a hippyish chap and an elderly French gentleman. Listening to their conversation it dawned on me that the latter was St├ęphane Grappelli, the violinist who played with Django Reinhardt in the Quintette du Hot Club de France. The former was the American mandolinist David Grisman. This is impressive but not as impressive as a member of the Hot Club.

This week I happened to relate this story to Mark Ellen. He cracked the joke that has been waiting to be cracked for almost 35 years.

"Ah yes," he said. "The Hot Tub de France."