Wednesday, March 31, 2004

An unexpected fan 

I heard this on the car radio on my way back from my (much belated) coffee run and nearly spit up the liquid I'd just imbibed. But it seems that Alexander McCall Smith, author of the #1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY and subsequent novels and considered by yours truly to be an absolute genius, attracted a throng of well-wishersduring a recent visit to the Regency Club in LA: Madame Rumsfeld, Lynne Cheney, and....Flea? Why, yes indeed. The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist (real name Michael Balzary) is a huge fan of Precious Ramotswe, to the point of recommending the series in his online book club. McCall Smith's reaction to the unexpected guest was, to say the least, one of some bemusement (if, in fact, those are his words. Methinks they are a bit too over-the-top to be authentic):

McCall Smith whose fans include the wives of US vice-president Dick Cheney and defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said: 'The event was attended by a lot of very grand society ladies.

'Then in came a man who was dressed rather differently and my attention was caught by him.

'I didn't know who he was until he introduced himself and I realised it was Mr Flea.

...He added: 'I had not met him before though I was aware of the fact he was a fan.

'But he said some very nice things about the books. I find it very satisfactory that he is a fan.

'He's a very nice man, very polite and pleasant.

'I noticed Mr Flea had the word 'love' tattooed across his right hand.

Many of my readers do not and it's nice to have a variation of fans.'

Flea has extended an invitation to McCall Smith to attend the Chili Peppers' gig at Murrayfield Stadium in June, although the author hasn't decided if he'll attend or not. Is it the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship? Perhaps--or at the very least, Sandy might get some bassoon lessons as part of the bargain...

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