Why My Friends Are Awesome pt. 29

Today I discovered that OMD performed Enola Gay with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. I’ve already been painfully Last Month this week, so I have no doubt that most of you probably already knew this – especially given that the performance was back in June. In case you hadn’t, here’s the only clip YouTube has to offer:


The thing about Enola Gay is that it always makes me think of my friend Jef. In particular, it reminds me of Jef! The Musical, a particularly amazing rock opera that a group of my friends composed for his 25th birthday over the course of little more than a week. If I could share the magic with you, believe me I would, but somehow I think everyone involved (bar me) would prefer it if I didn’t. Maybe I’ll let you listen through one of my headphones one day, how about that?

2004 was the year that we made extremely involved presents for each other, with other highlights including Oli’s 5.1 surround sound song à la Flaming Lips, the too-rude-for-family-viewing I Nineteen Eighty-Mike and the rather splendid The Passion of Alien vs. Predator, a cinematic triumph conflating the story of Jesus’ last days and Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, with a dash of Charlie Brown and Snoopy thrown in for good measure. Plus, I got to fondle a puppet and get a bucket of water thrown over me. For someone who always wanted to get gunged that was a pretty special moment, let me tell you.

Things started relatively small with a robot built out of scrap for Steve (later known as Stevebot, who went on to star in The Passion of Alien vs. Predator) but quickly took on a life of their own. When it came to Jef and his bemused reaction to Jef! The Musical, he had no one to blame but himself. “What are you going to do for me?” he’d said, “write me a rock opera?!”

Being involved in making these presents were some of the most fun times I’ve ever had. I’ve no doubt it was more fun making most of them than the recipients had when they were subjected to given them. What I feel sorry for is that not everyone involved in each of the projects got something of their own – which is why mine has become an especially treasured possession, the one thing I’d most likely save if my house was on fire.

So, then, this post is in part testament to how much my awesome friends mean to me – I hope this shows them, even if I don’t see half of them as much I’d like.

Edited Highlights from The Jennifer Newman Guide to Housekeeping and Etiquette (Dawson Press, 2004)

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