I won the big prize! I get to fly to LA and interview Jon Stone!
It wasn’t easy, convincing my boss that it had to be me. I couldn’t storm into her office and tell her that I was dying to meet him, right? There had to be some more…professional reason.
But here I am, fresh from a longish flight across the Atlantic and the American continent, with this one assignment, interview Jon Stone. Get the photographer to take some nice pics of the wonder boy, ones that will make the women at home in Europe drool and faint.
I can do that. I’m one of them myself.
Jon Stone: budding rock superstar, the handsome young man who has shot to fame with his first album called “The River,” named after his top-of-the-chart single, centerfold of many teen magazines, Rolling Stone cover, has asked me to meet him at his record company’s offices for our chat.
I have to wait a few minutes for him in the well-appointed room where a lovely blond girl serves me coffee and Italian cookies. From the studio across the corridor I can hear music, and that famous voice, repeating the same stanza over and over again, until laughter takes over.
A minute later the door flies open, and there he is, Jon Stone, in person. And yes, he’s everything promised: tall, handsome, well built, tan, and he’s smiling at me as if I’m the only thing in the world that matters.
The blond girl brings him a mug of coffee. Jon takes it with a smirk.
“They pamper me,” he says, and I’m ready to drop at his feet, hearing the lovely baritone directed at me. Maybe it’s not so good to send a fan to do an interview after all.
“You haven’t come straight from the airport, have you?” His brows go up, and he purses his lips. “We could have done this later.”
I tell him that I’m fine, thanks, I got some sleep on the plane. No worries. He nods, and relaxes.
“I was out surfing this morning,” Jon says, “The weather was beautiful, and the surf was up. There were dolphins playing in the waves, so graceful, so…” Searching for the right word, “Full of abandon. Without a worry.”
I can see that he’s not entirely satisfied, but he lets it go for now.
“So, Europe?” I begin, and he smiles.
“Oh yes, Europe! I can hardly wait to see all those places! Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt…”
“And Geneva,” I add, and again he smiles.
“Oh yes, definitely Geneva. I’m looking forward to Geneva.” Jon looks around as if he’s searching for something. “I hear they have excellent chocolate in Switzerland.”
“They do.” I offer him my plate of cookies, but he shakes his head. “Where do you compose? How do you come up with your songs?”
“Everywhere.” His hand moves through the air. “Songs are all around us, in everything. In the rustle of the leaves, the tides of the ocean, in a beautiful girl walking by, turning her head just so…” Again he lingers, as if he’s waiting for something, maybe waiting for a song to appear out of nowhere. “All I have to do is tune in to them, and I can hear the melodies.” A grin rushes across his face. “But the words. The words are beasts. I have to wrestle with them.” A shrug. “Maybe I should forget the songwriting and go entirely into composing. Who knows, maybe I’ll come up with movie scores. Or musicals.”
“Do you like it better here or in New York?”
I can see that he didn’t expect this question.
“That’s really hard to say,” Jon Stone replies, “LA and New York City can’t be compared. In LA I feel… free. I’m myself. I’m in tune with the ocean and the wind. And I love the light. I have a house with a big yard…” he shakes his head, “It’s really an estate. A wild park. I don’t know. It’s not a garden. The roses and jasmine have won the battle. I love wandering among the trees and the bushes, following the trails down to the beach. Sometimes it feels as if there are fairies in that place. I can almost hear them whisper and sing. It’s an enchanted place, full of inspiration.”
“Do you like being on the stage? Performing?” This was one of the questions my editor put on my list. I’d rather have asked him what kind of car he drives, and what foods he loves to eat. And most important, does he have a girlfriend?
“Yeah.” His dark eyes light up. “Heck, yeah. It’s the best feeling. It’s like bathing in love, like floating on the music. It’s…” he waves toward the closed door, “It’s being one with my band, with the song, with the ether. Beautiful. Really, really magical.” And adds, as if someone had reminded him to say it, “And I’m really looking forward to performing in Europe!”
I wonder if I’m taking up more of his time than he’s willing to give, but when I ask, Jon sits up.
“Oh, no! We’re working so hard on the new album, I’m glad for the break. Only they’re all here, waiting for me to return and go on…”
“Just one more question. Your old friends. Your old life, back in New York City. Has it changed?”
And all of a sudden, Jon Stone is no more than a slightly exhausted, slightly wistful young man. All the glamour, all the sparkle has drained out of him.
“I don’t go there often,” he says, “to see my family, of course, but… yeah, I do still have friends in New York. Sure. Of course, I’m very busy now, and they have lives to lead, too. Guess it’s normal to drift apart when you move away.”
The blond girl sticks her head through the door, and Jon nods. Almost out of the room, he turns back to me and says, “Hey, why don’t we go for dinner later? I’d love to show you my favorite beach.”
Thank you so much for hosting me, Susan!
This was the eighth stop in Mariam’s Book Launch Blog Hop & Giveaway to celebrate the release of Waiting for a Song, Naomi’s Story. Don’t miss the next stop on June 18th on Cindy Zelman‘s blog where Mariam will talk about the happiness of being a writer, and the mystery of success.
GIVEAWAY: ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive a red leather journal with cream pages and a ribbon marker—like the one Naomi used when she wrote the lyrics that won Jon’s heart. To enter, just leave a comment via the Rafflecopter giveaway link below (US and Canada residents only please). Prize courtesy of Buddhapuss Ink LLC.