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."


  1. My recollection of LA in 1978 was that THE rock'n'roll hotel was the Hyatt House on Sunset. I stayed there in May '78. It was popularly known as 'The Riot House' as it had been used and abused by the usual suspects. It was renamed the Andaz West Hollywood in 2009, which I think is a shame, given its history. Check out the Andaz on Wikipedia to get the full picture.

  2. When John Peel was doing "Home Truths" on Radio Four he read out a letter from someone who had recently been on holiday. When they got to their exotic destination they opened their suitcase and a frog leapt out of one of their shoes.

    I hastily scrawled my joke that had been waiting for its moment in the sun for years.

    "They weren't shoes. They must have been open toad sandals".

    The Peelster ignored me. Sob.

  3. I'm reminded of the joke about the name of Yehudi Menuhin's wife.

    I'm sure you know the punchline

  4. Or the great one about what does Yossur N'Dour call his wife?
    Her N'Dours!


  5. I be waiting years to use my "sick man of Europe" jolly about a member Swedens "Final Countdown" hit makers being caught with a sheep in his hotel room....