I just played a recording of David Golub - a charming pianist playing Rachmaninoff. The cover of the disc, Humoresque, has him in a b&w photo lighting a cigarette ala the old movie.
I met David when he came to play with the Wichita Symphony. I interviewed him on a Friday night for KMUW-FM and afterwards mentioned having a cigar. He had said something about doing taxes and lots of forms...he'd also recently just recorded a Handel opera, and felt tired.
The riverfront had a new hotel and in it, a grand smoking room where I would often go and enjoy a cigar with a tasty tidbit and drink. So I invited him, heck I even had cigars on me, proudly showing off the Padron Anniversarios in my leather case.
David said he would meet me there, but the cigars would be on him.
Well, was I in for a treat. I called another friend, who's family was visiting from Seattle - his Dad smoked cigars too, and joined us.
David Golub brought Cuban cigars, ones he got in Italy, where he lived. We talked and laughed, had a great time, me not worrying about whatever girl I was chasing or job at the time; David relaxing from the aforementioned taxes, performance with the WSO and life. Craig and his dad could say they hung out with the symphony soloist the night before (I think we all went the next night, to tell the truth I can't remember what he played!)
But I was sadden a few years later when David died (perhaps not surprisingly of Lung Cancer.) He was such a joy to talk with and what a musician.
I often think about that night and the fun it was. Especially when I see or hear one of David's recordings.
It's bittersweet, but a good memory.