i was lucky enough to hear mel tormé in concert twenty-some years ago, at the riverside theater in milwaukee, with my friend tracy. after the concert tracy and i followed mel's black limo to the pfister hotel and watched him go inside.
we fantasized about going in and having a drink with him at the bar. we'd talk about jazz and life and "the christmas song" and judy garland and...well...stuff. we'd be mel's milwaukee buds.
soon, our mothers would be saying things like, "where are you going tonight?" and we'd say "ohh, mel is meeting us for a fish fry at the m&m club," or "mel's taking us polka dancing down to the blue canary," and our mother's would say "you're hanging around this mel guy an awful lot lately," and we'd think "yeah...mel."
we'd celebrate mel's birthday at angelo's piano bar, where he'd come in full disguise -- dark sunglasses and a fake mustache -- and then get up and sing "a foggy day in london town" and blow the place away.
instead, tracy and i watched mel tormé walk into the pfister hotel that night and we sat in the car and giggled and laughed. then we ate crepe's at the magic pan. probably. yes, i was a total geek. ("was?" you might be thinking.)
here's a great example of why i love mel tormé: it's free, it's easy, and man it swings. he was the the best.