A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Pablo De Sarasate's Violin Does Not Dine
Monday, September 15, 2008

My grandmother used to tell me stories about her life in Spain and in the Philippines in the 19th century. One I will never forget is about the virstuoso Spanish violinist and composer Pablo de Sarasate and of his grand snub to a Paris salon lady who invited him to dine 'avec votre violon'. 'Chère Madame,' he replied, 'je viendrai avec plaisir, mais mon violon ne dîne pas.' (I'll come with pleasure but my violin does not dine.)

Most of my life as a photographer (I have never told anybody I used to play the alto saxophone) I have been invited to functions and such and I have been asked to bring my camera. In just about every case I have managed to leave my camera home. I hate taking pictures at functions. Some photographers call these "grin and grip". But when paid I have done a few. Most were for Canadian Pacific Limited and I photographed retirements (at the Terminal City Club) of their executives. I hated doing this especially as I found them glorified roasts where the underlings took advantage of making fun of the retiree. I would look at my wife Rosemary with sad eyes, before one of these evenings. She would look back at me and I knew exactly what she was thinking, "We need the money. You go." And I did.

There is one function that I did attend. I suspect that the writer who told me to go, Les Wiseman who at the time (1988) was working for Vancouver Magazine, wanted to look at the pictures I was going to take. Even though there was no chance that the magazine was ever going to run them. It was a fashion show in which the models were all strippers and it was held in Systems which was the hottest night club in town at the time. It was on Richards Street. It is still there under another name. I was given the exclusivity of being able to take pictures in the dressing room. There are quite a few of the best of the exotic dancers of the time here. I have self-censored the pictures so as not to offend any young readers.


Previous Posts
Gracias A La Vida

Shelley Berman's Buttermilk & Tom Fox's Wagner

James Parkinson's Paralysis Agitans

Mr. Rampage, Mr. Pinhead And A Backseat Bombshell

The Portuguese Bombshell In Red

Rebecca, Che Guevara & My Pyrolytic Carbon Pipe

The Women - My Women - A Stray Man

My Privileged View

Suspended Over A Forest

Ms. Hernandez, Cordelia & Jan Morris

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010