So, here’s the scoop. We’ve had a huge eyesore of abandoned buildings sitting smack in the middle of Boulder for years now. It used to be the mall (not the Pearl Street pedestrian mall for those of you familiar with the town). A very lame indoor mall with anchor stores and what not. And then a swanky mall about 15 minutes SW of here opened and that, for Boulder, was the tipping point into mall doomdom. People argued over what to do with what was left of the space. And finally a new mall was developed. It’s grand opening is tonight. God knows why Thomas Dolby, the king that he is, would agree to play for the occasion but I’m going to choose to believe that it is because they are running it as a fundraiser for science education. (There are a lot of big science organizations in the area–NIST, NCAR, NREL–and the new mall is decorated with planets and little science stations and what not, like a hands-on science museum on the sidewalk but only not that cool.)
Anyway, I read Mr. Dolby’s blog and I knew he was coming to town for the wing ding, and dammit if I don’t have a class tonight that I can NOT skip. (That, and the fundraiser tix are $50 a pop to stand out in the cold but I could swing that if I really wanted to.) But it was sunny out at lunch time and I needed a walk and that whole area has been fenced off for a long time, so I thought I’d go see how the new mall (now a swanky, outdoor pedestrian one) turned out. (Verdict: Not bad for a mall but still a mall.) And I’ll be damned if Mr. Dolby himself wasn’t there watching his crew set up for the concert. (I love that Boulder is so hometownish that you can wander in and out of places like you belong there and no one seems to mind.) So, I walked right up to him and said something like, “Thanks for coming. I read your blog and saw that you were coming. I’m sad that I have a conflict tonight.” And he said in his ever so British accent, “My pleasure. Oh, you aren’t coming?” And I said that I’d try to sneak by on the later end. And then he ended the conversation ever so politely in that way that nice celebrities do when they don’t want to be rude but don’t really want to make chit chat with ever googly eyed fan that besets them. And not wanting to be a pest but really being kind of star struck by this guy–this guy whose music I used to listen to for HOURS on end and caused me to spend HOURS trying to reproduce his sound and techniques on my own brand spankin’ new synthesizer, whose use of sound resonated with me and challenged me in a such way that it contributed generously to my standards of quality for music today, and whose music I still have as a regular feature in my iPod repertoire–THAT starry struck teenager blurted out another, obsequious, “Thank you,” and then I tried to act real casual as I walked off. (In truth, I went over to Whole Foods and bought about 5 things for lunch because I was so excited that I couldn’t pick one.)
Mr. Dolby has been out of the music biz for a while while he went off and created the ring tone technology that is in just about ever cell phone around. And now he is starting to play out again and will be recording new stuff next year. Anyone who wants to read his blog can friend him here. He really appreciates his fans.