Vancouver has always been a frigid place even during those rare days of stifling heat in August. Water from the tap is always very cold (cold in spite of its purity) and Vancouverites are just as cold, too. After many years of living in Mexico City where people hug you or in Buenos Aires where those who you hardly know kiss you, Vancouver is a downer into the cold.
In my 35 years in Vancouver I have rarely experienced out-and-out passion from those who live here. I remember the few times I talked to Alderman Harry Rankin that here was a man with a loud purpose who had passion for what he did. Most of the rest remind me of a Miles Davis muted trumpet.
It is that same kind of Harry Rankin passion that I have always felt present at the many live Art Bergmann concerts that through the years I have been so fortunate to attended. Unlike Johnny Thunders, Bergmann was a bit kinder with himself. Some of us went to to Johnny Thunders gigs to see if in that particular night he would make his final exit by that chemical high road. Not so with Art. Bergmann may have been loaded at some concerts but he always delivered all he could. All he could was always much more than just about anybody else could deliver stone sober. And then there were those nights when Bergmann would have broken guitar strings. I always knew they would be the best.
I have received several e-mails advising me that Art Bergmann (who has terrible bouts of rheumatoid arthritis) will be in town from his new home in Alberta. He will be playing on Richards on Richards, Thursday, March 26. Do I want to wait until late in the evening to listen to this man play?
On another Thursday, this coming one, I will be attending a sophisticated performance of Ballet BC's Carmen choreogrpahed by Jean Grand-Maitre and James Kudelka's The Goldberg Variations - Side 2: Adam & Eve & Steve. I am sure that I will we wowed by the cool passion of Simone Orlando and the brilliance of Kudelka's choreography. It will be a pleasant evening at the ballet that will lead towards a fireworks finale just a few blocks away a month later. I have a suspicion that if I show up at Richards on Richards and I stare at Art Bergmann enough he just might play and extra fast (and very loud) Data Redux.
And that would be sizzling passion, passion from the heart, at its best.
"video of Goldberg Variations rehearsal Courtesy of Vancouver Sun
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