One of the blessings of my business is sometimes I witness greatness. Two summers ago we performed a wedding on a mountain top in Aspen, Colorado. The act on the bill with us was none other than Burt Bacharach! The image of our keyboard player, Earl Fleming, and I standing in awe next to the stage during Burt’s sound check will be a memory I will always remember.
At 85 years of age, Burt Bacharach is one of the true masters in pop music. He’s written some of the greatest songs in history. “What The World Needs Now,” Say A Little Prayer For You” and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.” The list of hits went on for his 90-minute set that night. He knew exactly what he was looking for from his band and production crew. He handled everyone with class and grace. He told me he was flying to New York the next day to record his next record. “It’s all about the music man,” he said. To meet him was one of the highlights of my career.
While Burt Bacharach has had his share of ups and downs including four marriages and a daughter who committed suicide in 2007, he — like many great artists — has managed to create wonderful music in spite of his life circumstances.
This week one of our National Party Bands had a request to perform one of his songs as a first dance. As the band worked out the song in rehearsal, it reminded me of that magical night in Aspen when I stood in the presence of greatness.
To be in the presence of greatness helps to ground and give me perspective and show me just how high the bar has been raised by the true masters.
The next time you find yourself in the presence of a master, give thanks for me, and treasure that special moment.