November 9th 2020
It is Monday, November the 9th and it is around twenty minutes to three in the afternoon.
Stevie Wonder is blaring from my Sonos speaker, track fifty on the Hitsville: The Making Of Motown soundtrack, I am at my computer typing away having finally found the starting point for today’s diary entry, I have spent time reading in my recently acquired chair and I am surrounded by your books. I know some people are hating this lockdown but I am loving every second of it. Aside from performing this isn’t really that different from my unlocked down days. Coffee, read, listen to music, maybe even write a new joke before some more coffee, reading a few extra chapters and enjoy another coffee, ok, fine two more coffees then I would read, see, there’s a pattern forming and being locked down, or not makes little difference to me, and besides, I was getting fed up with the performing side of my job anyway.
Temptations, Cloud 9, track fifty-one is now playing and that is exactly how I feel right now. Years of being lazy, procrastinating and dragging my heels appear to be behind me as I am again sitting at your desk writing away hoping that you were right, if I keep writing the funny will just show up.
I’ll Try Something New by Smokey Robinson, track fifty-two and a theme is becoming to develop here. For a good few years at the start of my career I was the opening act of choice for those big enough to command one and for a decade it was even the domain name for my website. theopeningact.co.uk. I loved those days, turn up in the afternoon at a theatre in a random city around the UK watch the band do their soundcheck, maybe visit a cinema or just sit in my dressing room reading. Little pressure as no one had come to see me, it was the headliner they were interested in, that was who they had paid good money to come and see. To a lot of the audience I was just some guy they thought was called Plus Support. Damn, now that would have been the best name for my website.
It would cost me £7,514.00 for the domain name www.plussupport.com however, the .co.uk version is available for only a pound. Neither really matters anymore as I somehow find myself in the lofty, unwanted position of ‘headliner’ these days.
While I searched for this website information we have heard from The Elgins, The Jackson 5 and now Marvin Gaye with Tammi Terell.
I looked up PaulAdams.com while I was online and it still isn’t available, there was a time when an Englebert Humperdink tribute act owned it. I tried to get in touch with him, I sent him many an email but he never replied and would even take my calls. Why he would need to use Paul Adams dot com to promote a show that was essentially someone else’s was beyond me.
I am not even sure if he is alive anymore but the website is now owned by a real life Paul Adams who is ‘Big Island Real Estate’ and based in Hawaii. I am happy with PaulAdamsComedy.com It is perfect for me and covers everything I do and indeed maybe just know.
Now I find myself thinking about how I haven’t seen Englebert around for years and wonder what happens to a tribute act when their subject retires from the business. I don’t know this for a fact but maybe the opportunity to tour the big theatres isn’t an option for Mr. Humperdink anymore. That doesn’t mean he should quit, maybe he should just go out as an Englebert tribute act himself, he’d be the best, clearly. Not being able to command tens of thousands of pounds a night from a theatre filled with your fans doesn’t mean you have to make nothing, go out, as yourself, a tribute to you and make five hundred quid, maybe even sell a CD or two.
I digress but that matters not. It’s a lockdown, there is nowhere to go and no rush to do anything other than to get this post up!
The album continues, Temptations, again, Smokey, again, Stevie, again and currently The Spinners, although this sentence took me so long to type that the Spinners have now been replaced by the Jackson 5, AGAIN.
It is a great album and a better movie. All about Berry Gordy and how he came up with the idea for his Motown label. He stole it after a brief period on the assembly line at the Ford Motor Company. I don’t need to tell you any more, you must be familiar with Motown. I love the music but the way he conducted his business, how he created hit after hit, discovered & looked after new talent was something I became fascinated with. That is really what I would actually much prefer to be doing. Get off the stage, get behind it. Uncover and nurture the next generation of comedians. Write more comedy, no, just write more! Pass on my experience to comedians, old and new. Selling them would be something I would find immeasurably easier than selling, say, myself. Removing me from the spotlight and thrusting another comic into it. Yes, there’s your happy Paul Adams.
Springsteen nailed how I feel about performing in a quote from his recent autobiography Born To Run. He says,
‘I am happy in the spotlight when I am working but decidedly unhappy in it when I am not.’
Who does sound like?
Yes, that’s it I decided after watching Hitsville back in January 2020 that that was what I dreamed of becoming. A manager. Then Covid 19, lockdown and the business shut down!
Talk about timing!
Shots of Coffee: 6
Reading: Diaries Of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythall, Born To Run & Rugby World
Listened to: Radio X, TalkSport & Hitsville: The Making of Motown
YouTube Tip: Lee Mack and his keys on Would I Lie To You
Word Count: 1,022