Friday, 11 September 2009


Went with Bévinda to see Lucien Zerrad, her long time collaborator and composer, playing with his trio on stage at La Bellevilloise. The location wasn’t the best one - one has to earn the privilege to see it by cycling up a cruelly steep hill before reaching the venue. Paris is no mountain city, but that hill is certainly a good work out for leg muscles.
Poor Lucien had to play in the midst of a brouhaha of people talking, eating, laughing and drinking. Behind us, a man was sitting with his girlfriend and went on with the dullest conversation - or shall I say monologue, commenting on everything and everyone. Two beautiful blond little girls were playing and dancing right in front of the stage. One of them was particularly striking looking. More than beautiful, she had an adult expression in her eyes as if she had to grow older too quickly, something that reminded me of a young Jodie Foster. 
"When a child looks like an adult, it means that there’s something wrong at home" Bévinda remarked. 
I don’t know what it is to have a perfect childhood. There’s always something wrong. A little three-year old boy would join them occasionally and disturb the musicians by touching all the buttons, which caused Lucien to plead the parents to keep an eye on ’these beautiful children’.
"I touched the buttons!!!!" said the little boy proudly with a broad smile on his face as he walked past us.
I could barely hear anything. But I liked the music that managed to find its way to my ears. 
It was Lucien's first concert months after a nearly lethal traffic accident that left him motionless in bed with many fractured bones and legs. A reminder that I should be grateful to be in good health and able to use all my senses.
One thing leading to another, I realized that Lucien would be the perfect man for my song Butterfly Rider. There’s a whole section where I need an oriental guitar, to create this vision of a very broad deserted land.
I will call him tomorrow to ask him whether he’d accept to play for me. 

Lucien Zerrad

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