icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

The Weekly Blague

The Martín & Bobby Show


Before I arrived in Sevilla, Spain, for my presentation of Nowhere Man: Los últimos días de John Lennon at La Tregua, I did a lot of rehearsing. My plan was to read in Spanish a brief introduction and then the opening paragraphs of the Siendo Rico chapter, enough to give people a sense of what the book is like. So I read both parts out loud over and over until the Spanish words started to feel comfortable coming out of my mouth.


The problem is I don't speak anything resembling fluent Spanish, and though I can make myself understood when necessary, I cannot understand what people are saying, especially when they talk fast. For the Q&A part of the presentation, I was going to need somebody to translate. Martín León Soto and Aida Vílchez made that possible. Martín and Aida had invited me and my wife, singer-songwriter Mary Lyn Maiscott, to come to Sevilla and stay at their house. They organized the event, arranged for publicity, and arranged for the Nowhere Band to join them and Mary Lyn in playing Beatles songs and original music for the second part of the show.


Aida was my language coach, Henry Higgins to my Eliza Doolittle—The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain until I got it. A typical session would go like this: "The word is reclusión, not seclusión... You do not pronounce the 'u' in seguir... It's él, not el." And so on. But she was a good teacher, and by the time I took to the stage at La Tregua, though nobody would ever think Spanish was my mother tongue, I felt confident that the audience would understand everything I said.


Martín and I had never worked together, but he proved to be an excellent translator for both the audience questions and my answers. I did my best to keep my answers short, and we'd discussed beforehand what to do if I went on too long. "Oh, just slap me across the face," I said. But violence was unnecessary. A comical hand signal drew a laugh from the audience and got me to shut up so he could translate. Click here to see a video of the Martín & Bobby Show. It begins at 6:55.


All my books are available on Amazon, all other online bookstores, and at your local brick-and-mortar bookstore.


I invite you to join me on Facebook or follow me on X or my eternally embryonic Instagram or my recently launched Threads.

Be the first to comment