FPIHM: Allen Toussaint

Author’s note: as a journalist, musician and a resident of New Orleans (where the famous run carefree, treating the city as a sort of celebrity refuge), I have interacted with more known names than a freakin’ Hollywood agent. A lot of these experiences were funny or otherwise noteworthy, so I decided to start a blog to list them all. They will appear not in chronological order, but in the order I happen to remember them.

Allen Toussaint:

I met this legendary New Orleans producer, piano man and all around music god of mythical purportions very breifly because of my then one-year-old daughter, Cleopatra, who we would take to the Big Top art gallery uptown because this is a place where she too can partake of live music, and we can drink and pretend we still hang out at bars. We’d brought Cleo there one night to an art opening at which Mr. Toussaint happened to be in attendence. He seemed reserved but on the way out the door he stopped in passing and studied Cleo. “Beautiful child!” he smiled and walked on. We felt extremely proud. At the end of that same month we took Cleo back to the closing of this same art show. It was very sparsely attended, and there were no hors d’overes this time, still Mr. Toussant was back. At some point in the evening he walked past Cleo…but then stopped and stepped back. “Ha! I really thought that was one of the art pieces!” he said to Cleo’s mother and me, not seeming to realize we’d done this before.

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