Led Zeppelin

All posts tagged Led Zeppelin

Part of the appeal and fun of being an Alfie Boe fan is the friends I’ve made along the way…and there a lot of you out there that I would never have known had it not been for Alfie. Chatting to one of my closest friends recently, we were struck by how much the music we listen to now has been influenced by Alfie and his musical choices.  Some of you will be amazed to hear that I do actually listen to other artists (oh alright, it’s not often!) but a lot of the music I’ve discovered in the last couple of years has been driven by Alfie’s musical train.  So the next logical step was to write about it!

Looking through my iPod I now have music from Led Zeppelin, Bonnie Raitt, The Clint Boon Experience, The D’Oyly Carte, Emilia Mitiku, Laura Wright, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, John Owen-Jones, Ramin Karimloo, Al Vosper.  For me, this diverse group of artists has only one thing in common: Alfie Boe introduced me to them.

Obviously some are a lot more well known than others (I can just imagine the gasp of horror from Linda W at my only really listening to Led Zeppelin in the last year or so) and although I was aware of them I never considered listening to them until Alfie sang their songs or worked with them.  This is certainly the case with The Who and Quadrophenia which I listened to for the first time two weeks ago in preparation for Alfie Boe and Quadrophenia – I can honestly say that I really liked it and have listened to some of it again…and I didn’t have to!  It goes without saying that I prefer Alfie’s take on I’m One and Love Reigns O’er Me.

Alfie’s well known saying “there’s only two types of music, good and bad” has obviously rubbed off on me or maybe I’m just more willing to embrace new music as I find myself not only listening to but buying music I had previously discarded as being “not my thing”.  This is definitely the case with Clint Boon; I was not a fan of the Inspiral Carpets and wasn’t particularly keen to listen to the Clint Boon Experience albums even though Alfie was featured.  Of course, when I did listen, I liked it (and not just for Alfie!).  As I write this, the thought occurs that super fans can sometimes be categorised by their willingness to go and do whatever their favourite artist asks or mentions…I leave that with you for later discussion.

One of the joys of my musical education with Alfie has been finding out about extremely talented musicians who I would almost certainly never have heard of otherwise.  These include Laura Wright and John Owen-Jones who I have had the pleasure of interviewing and the awesome Al Vosper, Emilia Mitiku and Michael Boe.  They all produce the sort of music I have always listened to but I am absolutely sure their work would have passed me by without Alfie.

As always, I would love to hear about your musical education with Alfie – what do you now listen to that you didn’t before, or perhaps you have been drawn back to something you haven’t listened to for years?  Leave me a comment in the box!

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs from the Storyteller tour, Jimi Hendrix’s Angel (thanks to Linda W for sharing):

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I am often asked what it is about Alfie that I love – if this often happens to you as well, this post is for you to share with everyone that hasn’t yet been Boe’d so go ahead and click on the share buttons at the bottom of the post xx

So here goes – I’d love to know what you would add to this list!

1. This is his most famous song – do you need another reason to love Alfie?

2. Alfie hails from Fleetwood, Lancashire (although he was born in Blackpool in 1973).

3. Alfie is the youngest of nine siblings (4 boys and 5 girls) born to Alfred and Pat.

4. Alfie loves cooking and once considered becoming a chef (although he did once cut his finger on live TV!)

5. Other career changes considered include a personal trainer for the Salt Lake City police force.

6. Alfie is a Lyric Tenor which means his vocal range (excluding falsetto) is approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5) with the ability to extend a little to either side.

7. Alfie played Jean ValJean in the 25th Anniversary Les Miserables concert and at the Queens Theatre for 5 months in 2011 – but you all knew that one right?

8. When playing JVJ as The Mayor in Les Mis, Alfie used to wear the socks belonging to the convict JVJ costume in order to better inhabit the role.

9. Alfie is married to an American actress, Sarah Boe.  They met in San Francisco.

10. Alfie was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary in 2013.

11. Alfie once supported the Fron Male Voice Choir on tour.

12. David Miller of Il Divo was in La Boheme on Broadway with Alfie (they played alternate nights as Rodolfo).

13. Alfie recorded some demo Queen tracks at Abbey Road studios whilst a student – he listened back with obvious embarrassment on a recent documentary!

14. Alfie used to work at the Blackpool Opera House in a backstage / security role.

15. Alfie has recorded Empty Chairs, Empty Tables with two of the singers who played Marius: Michael Ball (original Marius and 10th anniversary concert) and Nick Jonas (25th anniversary concert).

16. Alfie was a body mechanic at the TVR factory in Bispham – if you know nothing else about Alfie, you know that!!

17. After graduating from the Royal College of Music, Alfie went on to train at the National Opera Studio.

18. Won the Christie prize at Glyndebourne for Albert Herring.

19. Appeared on several Clint Boon Experience albums as “opera dude”.

20. Spent a few nights sleeping on a park bench in Hyde Park “in between digs” so to speak.

21. Played drums in a local rock band, Whisky Train as a teenager.

22. Alfie is an ambassador for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and The Arts.

23. Alfie sang at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips. (Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus).

24. Alfie famously prefers to perform in opera, rather than listen to them – this is usually quoted incorrectly as “Alfie hates opera”.

25. Alfie often takes fans cameras and phones and takes photos of himself and the band on stage – perks of being front row!

26. Alfie auditioned (and was called back) for Raoul in Phantom of the Opera – the RCM beckoned though and we shall have to imagine his Raoul.

27. Won a Tony Award as part of the cast of La Boheme on Broadway.

28. First professional audition was for the D’oyly Carte Opera company – he sang You Are My Hearts Delight.

29. Moonwalked across the stage during final performance of Romeo et Juliette at the Royal Opera House.

30. Appeared on Vanessa Feltz’s BBC Radio 2 programme as part of the Wednesday Words of Warmth – his tip to get through a Wednesday was to make a big bowl of meat pasta sauce.

31. West London Karaoke Champion 1994 singing Suspicious Minds.

32. First recording Alfie appears on is Die Fledermaus, with the D’oyly Carte company (in the chorus).

33. Suffered from chlorine poisoning whilst filming a projection for The Pearl Fishers at the ENO.

34. Brother Michael is also a talented singer, recent album is called A La Voix.

35. Alfie and Sarah’s first dance at the their wedding was Led Zeppelin’s Rain Song.

36. First, and so far only,performer, with Renee Fleming to sing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations).

37. Alfie was first introduced to La Boheme by his brother Michael – thank you Michael!

38. Alfie is great at comedy falls – as witnessed by viewers of Jonathan Ross show in October 2013!

39. Twitter often mentions how much Alfie looks like Declan Donnelly – maybe, but only without his beard – judge for yourself:

dec

40. A photo of Alfie; together with his amazing voice, what other reason to you need to love Alfie Boe? (thanks to Carole Hunt who took this gorgeous photo and generously allowed me to use it on my blog – what a star xx)

alfie-carfest.jpg

 

 

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Interview with the Daily Mail.

Apparently, Alfie would like Led Zeppelin’s Rock & Roll to be played at his funeral; entirely fitting, given his history with the band (click here to see Alfie Boe’s duet with Robert Plant).

And if you want to organise a ghost hunt, who you gonna call?  Alfie Boe of course, seeing as he likes the TV shows so much!