Thanks to this tiny object full of many beautiful images, one for each of the many beautiful movies directed by the Master of Horror, for one day I felt like a real VIP and I got to know Him: I met the old and adorable John Carpenter!!!
Let me explain. Months ago I bought the ticket to see him in concert at the Sitges Festival on Saturday, October 14th 2018. For months I prepared myself by re-watching his movies and listening to his beautiful soundtracks, including those of the movies of your mind, that is the beautiful Lost themes recently released in two different albums. It was Carpenter himself who referred to those tracks as the “soundtrack of the films of your mind” when he introduced the three songs taken from the Lost Themes that he played during the concert.
And finally the big day arrived! The meeting was at 2.30 pm at the Auditorium, so to make sure that everything was going smoothly I got to Sitges at 11.00 am armed with my best t-shirt. I wandered for the streets of the pretty seaside town for a while, then I explored the festival booths (where I bought, among other things, Vampires and Ghost of Mars in Bluray – yes, the latter proves that I’m a real fan)… and then I waited for the meeting with John to take place! Together with about fifty others maniacs… that is, cinema lovers, we finally got into a tidy queue where we all stood in religious silence. And finally, one at a time, we went to sit next to John to take a picture (which I won’t share with you because I’m too shy), to have him sign a couple of objects, to touch him (I shook his hand. Twice.), and to chat a bit.
I thought for a long time about what to tell him. And when I was there I asked him: “How does it feel to be a rockstar?” And the (too) modest John simply replied “No, no, I’m not.” So I told him: “Of course you are, you’re the best director ever and a great rockstar!” And at that point he only said that I was very kind and then we shook hands for the last time. I was super excited! Like a baby meeting Santa Claus! And then…
Then I enjoyed every second of the concert comfortably seated in the second row of the Auditorium! What an amazing gig! John Carpenter played the synthesizer that you see in the picture in the middle of the stage, his son Cody played the lead synthesizer, plus add a couple of guitarists, a bass player and drummer. They started at top speed with the theme from Escape from New York, then the one from Assault on Precinct 13… and then they continued rockin’ with the rest of the wonderful themes composed by Carpenter! And it was spectacular to look both at the images of the movies projected on the giant screen behind the band, and at John Carpenter playing, dancing, smiling (yes! He smiles!), interacting with the public (especially women!), joking with his son and with the audience (amazing when he made the victory sign of the good faction in Big Trouble in Little China)… And then it was chilling when all the musicians put their sunglasses on at the same time after the first notes of the theme from They Live before messages like OBEY, MARRY AND REPRODUCE, and DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY appeared on screen! There were so many exciting moments that it’s impossible to write them all!!!
As I’m writing I get goosebumps… the encore was also fantastic, with John telling us to be careful when returning home because Christine is out there, just before closing the concert with the wonderful theme from Christine! It surely was a fantastic experience. John Carpenter himself turned out to be nicer and more relaxed than I imagined, and you could tell that he was having a good time playing live. And besides the many memories, I went back home with some personalized items:
The big Michael Myers poster is already showing off in my office, and today, needless to say, I’m wearing the beautiful Escape from New York t-shirt. The smaller poster, on the other hand, will soon find its place in my house.
Ah, it was great when they played the theme of the new Halloween, whose soundtrack is once again composed by Carpenter, and merged it with the 1978 theme! And it was also great when John made the sign of the horns to encourage us to clap together with the kick drum! And also when…
… Yes, John Carpenter is pictured here doing the clenched fist salute. Isn’t he adorable? And that’s it, I’m here humming the Halloween theme as I’m writing, and if I had the chance I would immediately attend another concert of his. Yes, right now. But even the best things come to an end, including John Carpenter’s Anthology tour and this (not) worthy review. And so I leave you, ciao!