Howard Jones ready to give concert on your couch
Talk about putting a dream into action: '80s electronica/synth god Howard Jones is offering to perform a concert on your couch. Presumably you're the one on the couch as Howard rolls through hits like No One Is To Blame, New Song and What Is Love.
It's all part of a special eBay auction to benefit children's charities. The winning bid gets a private show by Howard in your own living room. Right now, the leading bid -- the auction goes through Aug. 25 -- is for £1,550.00 (or about $2,500 in U.S. dollars.) And that brings up an important point: While those outside the U.K. are encouraged to bid, the actual performance will be inside the U.K. So, if someone from Tampa Bay, Fla., scrapes together $3 grand, you better factor a plane ticket in there too, because you'll have to pay your own way over the pond. Small potatoes to see Howard up close, I say.
According to the official eBay page, "this auction is not for profit and has kindly been donated by Howard Jones in conjunction with Roland UK and it's fundraising for Three Men on a Bike and will help raise money for Children in Need and Music for All."
Kudos to Mr. Jones for dreaming up this amazing opportunity. And one tip to the winner: Ask Howard to play Soon You'll Go. Amazing. And if you haven't listened to our podcast interview with Howard yet, click here to listen. Here are some highlights:
What's the strangest gig you've ever played?
"I played in Gorky Park once, in Russia, the weekend of the Gorbachev-Reagan summit. That was really amazing because the audience actually knew my songs, and the band that had been on before me had been hunted by the KGB. That was pretty amazing."
Come on. Not more amazing than playing Live Aid!
"I was very, very happy to be a part of that. I know I only played one song — Hide and Seek — but that song is me. I wasn't one of the ones pushing to get hold of the microphone. I was just happy to be there and share the stage with those amazing artists."
I have a poster of the final moments of Live Aid on my wall at home, and there you are, front and center. You have a look of total contentment and glee on your face.
"Oh, that's great! It was a euphoric day. I don't think you could ever surpass that day in the sense of occasion."
Your songs are generally very positive. Is that intentional?
"Yes, very much so. When I started out, I'd been working in a factory a year before I got signed. I'd been working on the shop floor. Obviously, my dream was to be pursuing my music. I said to the guys there, 'One day, I'm going to leave here, because I got to pursue what I really love.' And they kind of shrugged their shoulders. But one day I did walk out. And I think a lot of the momentum of my career was about wanting to encourage people to realize their own dreams as well. I wanted to put that in the music — the idea that you could influence your destiny by deciding you wanted something different."
For my Stuck in the '80s blog, I once ranked the 80 happiest songs of the '80s …
… And your tune New Song ended up No. 1.
"[Laughing] I'm thrilled! I'm actually thrilled about that!"
Did I pick the right song?
"Yes, I think so. It was me, first time in the studio. I was so excited about getting to do what I wanted to do. Don't crack up / Bend your brain / See both sides / Throw off your mental chains. It is my manifesto."