I celebrated my birthday last week with some wonderful new friends in India. As is tradition, they swooshed chocolate birthday cake across my face and took turns feeding me. They also threw me into the air as many times as I am year’s old. I felt like a baby being burped by ARod.
That same night, I also got to take a brief trip to the Hyatt in Delhi to record Musical Legend Herbie Hancock being interviewed by my old boss Tavis Smiley. I really miss Tavis and the radio gang. It was such a nice treat to say hello to them down the tin-phone line-- sitting next to an icon.
I was there to conduct a tape sync--which means I record Herbie's voice while Tavis spoke with him on the telephone. I then send the audio to Los Angeles for the show to use.
Right when the interview with Tavis starts, Herbie's stomach starts growling repeatedly. It came in surround-sound through my headphones. And..you know what? Even his stomach growls are musical!
Herbie Hancock was part of a delegation celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s first visit to India to trade notes on the non-violent tradition with the late Gandhi. Martin Luther King III lead this delegation of America’s top civil rights leaders, congressional representatives and musicians, all here to retrace the steps of his father.
I briefly interviewed MLK III standing before Rajhat Ganj (Gandhi's final resting place) last weekend about what he hoped the take-away would be from this great journey. He had just thrown rose petals in honor of the anniversary of the meeting of two great visionaries. Here was our impromptu conversation:
I am still looking for evidence in India of this awakening MLK III says the world is experiencing. Tangible evidence beyond the election of a Black President in the states, of course and the symbolic success of Slumdog Millionaire.
With our financial systems practically narcoleptic, there will most certainly be a renewed search for spirituality and meaning to fill in the gangrene gap. Question is, how will this resonate in India--a historic hot-spot for this type of soul searching amongst foreigners?