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Cat Power Signing At Amoeba, Tuesday September 4th 2012

This Cat Power signing at Amoeba turned out to be an unexpected epic adventure. I first thought she was late but I don't know, as I am not sure when the event exactly started. Usually signing are done in plain view, Amoeba employees set up a table on the side of the stage and people line up to meet the artist, but not for Chan Marshall aka Cat Power, the girl never does anything like others, right?

I saw her years ago, playing the whole show her back turned to the audience, sadly and regularly sipping the two small alcoholic drinks she had kept on hand on her piano, everybody knows there was a time when Cat Power wasn't feeling good and fans got worried. Then I saw her shine on the stage of John Anson  Ford  Amphitheatre, her hair no more in her face but pulled back in a proud and lively pony tail, and with a giant smile, she had changed the lyrics of one of her songs from ‘I said I hate myself and I want to die’ to ‘I said I don’t hate myself and I don’t want to die’, she was feeling very good.

She was at Amoeba for signing her new album ‘Sun’, and the table wasn’t at its regular place but in front of a door which had opened at some point when I was waiting on line. But what was taking so long? Is everyone having a private conversation with Chan? Are they having a tea party? I wasn’t far from reality.

I was thinking about what I was going to say to her, this wait was intimidating, and the thing was beginning to eat all my evening. There wasn't even a ton of people, I arrived at the store early to be in the front of the line and I did count only 28 people before me!!!! However, two hours later, I was still at the same place, behind rows and rows of CDs. Usually it's a few-second-affair with the star and the next person on line is called.

Nobody seemed to move or wonder about anything, and I seemed to be the only one fuming on line, I had to ask an employee, who told me with embarrassment, ‘She is chatty with everyone and taking a break’, … what??? She started at 6 and took a break at 7? Two hours have passed already and I haven't moved an inch, the guy was apologizing and I was close to leave when suddenly we moved three feet ahead, Cat Power was back from her break.

When I finally met her, I got the picture, Chan is charming, chatty and warm with everybody, she shakes hands, hugs people and gives high-five in series. The two guards are now pressing her, and I surely didn’t get as much time with her as the first people!

‘You look familiar, have we ever met?’ she asked me,… sure Chan, I spent hours and hours listening to you, but no we've never met!  She knows how to spell my (real) name and pronounces it correctly, even says a few words in French.

‘So you are very chatty with people I’ve heard’, I ask her, ‘Me? No!’ she answers then she wants to know where I am originally from and it becomes rapidly very personal in a few seconds, there is no barrier between her and her public,… I have known her all my life, she holds my hand again, I tell her I will see her show in November at the Palladium, and the guard is already pushing the next person on line… ‘Enchantée, Salut!' She says when I am leaving.

It took me 3 hours to meet her! An Amoeba employee told me that Chan had suddenly realized she had to leave soon and so had speed up to meet these 100 or so people still patiently (or insanely) waiting.

I love you Chan, but you are crazy and you probably know this already! But yes I love you,.. Of course there was a strict no-picture policy, and that’s too bad because her new short blonde hairdo was quite a surprise.


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