The signed one of your Dad and me has an interesting story behind it that demonstrates a completely different side of him from the ‘bad boy’ side that we hear too much of.
When I was a teenager, I had a good friend who was a press photographer. He had an assignment to take some pictures at a JATP concert in London. When I heard that, and I knew Stan Getz was on the bill, I pleaded with my friend to take me with him as his assistant or something (Stan was then, as now, my idol). He finally agreed and off we went to the theatre.
After a while, after many pictures had been taken backstage, I saw the great man walking down the corridor. My friend than approached him and, before I knew what was happening, said to Stan “My young colleague here is a great fan and would like to have his picture taken with you. Is that all right?” “Of course, said Stan and indicated that I should come and stand next to him. I was so nervous and awe-struck in his presence that I literally couldn’t say a word. Stan put his arm round me and the picture was taken.
I did think that the whole episode was going to pass with my being speechless and not saying a word to him, but I managed to pluck up courage to ask him a favour. When the picture was printed, would he sign it for me if I brought it to his next London gig in a week or two’s time. He said certainly and asked my name.
A week or so later, I turned up at the stage door of the next London theatre (I can’t remember the name now) and asked if I could come in and see Mr. Getz. The Stage Door Keeper (like all SDKs) said that no-one comes in without an official pass. I pointed out that Mr. Getz had said that he would sign my photo. The SDK then asked my name and, when I told him, he said ‘Oh yes, Mr. Getz is expecting you – second dressing room on the right’!
I was amazed and impressed that, after one brief meeting, Stan had remembered my name and had also remember to take the trouble to inform the Stage Door Keeper of my possible visit. I can think of very people indeed that would do that! I found him in his dressing room (with Dizzy Gillespie) and he was extremely kind and charming.
I met him on a number of occasions after that and always personally found him very easy to talk to. (I did witness one or two occasions when he was a bit short with promoters, for instance, but that was only ever because, being a perfectionist, he wanted things to be right.).
I hope this is of interest to you Bev, and that I haven’t gone on for too long!