MIND MY HARPSICHORD!
In affectionate memory of Igor Kipnis,
close friend and musical collaborator,
by BILL NEWMAN
It was one of those early, sunny, Sunday mornings in Central London.
I had gone to the Mandeville Hotel to meet Igor Kipnis. I knew the face,
the receding hairline and the cranium that came to a point which denotes
a musician to his fingertips, from all those Epic LP covers whose release
schedule I controlled during my final months at EMI Records in the late
1960s. Epic, by the way, was a mid-price subsidary label of CBS in the States.
It was contracted to EMI, London for a short period before CBS, who had
set up their own label in the UK, took it over at expiry of contract.
He espied me before I saw him. Behind those swing doors, he had been
waiting to pounce like a redskin on an intended prey. Like a bolt from the
blue, he barged through, down the off-white steps, catching me in the middle
of the street before I was half way across. Somehow we stayed right there!
None of the early morning taxis were yet within honking distance, so I was
quite safe. Suddenly realizing our potential danger, he invited me in for
Here was one of those guys -- a giant man, both in size and intellect,
who immediately made you feel welcome. 'You're the person with the gigantic
record collection. I must see it!' Close colleague Quita Chavez had passed
the message on. 'Do you know I have been collecting almost since I first
left the cradle, and haven't stopped since!' My obvious joy in meeting yet
another 'nutter' must have been obvious, straightaway, but I had also learnt
on the grapevine that the massive harpsichord built for him by Rutkowski
& Robinette, New York in 1961, went with him on all his travels.
Copyright © 15 March 2002
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK
JENNIFER PAULL'S KIPNIS TRIBUTE
THE IGOR KIPNIS WEBSITE
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