Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Fools rush in…

Herbert Khaury arrived for rehearsal looking normal. His alter ego, Tiny Tim was well dressed, tall, normal build and spoke in a normal voice. The rehearsal was perfunctory, just the songs. No gags, no problems!

TT rarely closed the door unless he was actually dressing so it was that just before the show I saw him in his dressing room, stuffing wads of newspaper into the pockets of his suit. As I watched, he transformed himself from neat and trim to crumpled and pear shaped. That should have told me something but as you know, I can be a bit thick

I liked his one liners, like: ‘Never hit your grandma with a shovel. It makes a bad impression on her mind!’ But his signature song, ‘Tip Toe Through the Tulips’, was a bit infra dig for an aspiring jazz guitarist like myself, backing up pop stars while waiting for the big jazz gig that visited but never moved in.

During his first show, as he falsettoed through the repertoire, tossing his curls and casting his one-liners, I noticed his ukulele was out of tune. Not a lot, mind you, just enough to offend my precious jazz trained ears. So, during intermission I tuned it.

In the second show, his in-tune ukulele melded into the sound of Billy Burton's orchestra. He did cast me a glance so I smiled my acceptance of imagined gratitude.
After the show we were having a drink with the cast when his manager drew me aside. Expecting a thank you for tuning the ukulele, I was floored by what he said.

“Did you tune TT’s uke?”
He wasn’t smiling, so I put my face back into neutral and admitted I had.
“I know you meant well, but don’t do it again. He likes it out of tune!”


  1. Ah Ha! Stafford Ray! Now I can see who you are - well a little bit of who you are - and there you are with so much in common, not JUST the love a good cosy (I hope you kept that old loved one for posterity). Musician (though I admit to jazz not being my first preference). Sunshine Coast (though at the other end). Writer (some of my best friends are writers!) Lovely to meet you.

  2. Great story Stafford (I'm waiting for the book - can I preorder). I remember seeing Tiny Tim at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown when I was really young - vague memory and thought he was weird - he was singing 'Tip toe through the tulips'. I'd love to hear you play jazz guitar - what about a vlog!

  3. GPB, I swear your avatar is my new cosy, bobbles and colour and all! However, she (and she is a she) is a bit delecate for a ship's galley, so, when old faithful comes out of the wash after eight years of stains are erased... maybe, he will do the hard yards again.

    Actually as the days become colder, I may wear her as a head warmer... That'll make the old sailors wonder. :-)

    Gabrielle, thanks for the encouragement. Today I received a request fromn a small publisher for some samples! Howzat?

    Err... what's a vlog?

  4. That's fantastic - yayayayay! A vlog is a video blog (like mine with Michael reading). Yeah, I know, sounds a bit silly.

  5. Wonderful to hear 'bout the publisher's request for samples. (Assumed from your writing works.)

    'Zats great



    AND A BIG GLASS OF ' RED ' ...


  7. Never has been ..Anything .. tiny about Tiny Tim.. Especially his ..Bank Balance .. ho! ho!
    ..Up There .. with the very best of ..Quirky Entertainers .. was our .. Not So Tiny Tim ..


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