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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Day We Held Lee MacDougall Captive

So, before you go telling me that kidnapping people and holding them hostage is frowned upon or whatever… I would like to say in our defense that Lee MacDougall willingly got into a car with and accepted candy from strangers, so we should not be held 100% responsible for our actions.
And I suppose I should further set the record straight by telling you that my friends and I were picking him up to sing at a private party that we were hosting and, therefore, it was not a true hostage situation. After all, I wouldn’t want you to get the mistaken impression that I routinely troll airports in search of handsome, guitar-carrying guys with British accents to abduct (an intriguing idea, nonetheless). Coincidentally, though, I did once find Donny Osmond in an airport and then spent the afternoon riding around with him in his car, so maybe this airport idea does have some merit. But I digress…
I’ll admit, the seven of us were quite the odd welcoming committee, but Lee proved to be extremely adaptable and took it all in stride. His quick, dry sense of humor fit right in with the gang and we had a very fun couple of days being his SoCal hosts. Looking back, I still can’t believe how much we laughed with (and at) him, but he handled it all so well that I have no doubt he could easily beat all of us in a battle of wits with one wit tied behind his back.
Lee and The BookClub: Twifixx, me (TwiloveSue), Twi-Daughter Nicole,
ZAnyMouse, Twi-Daughter Taylor (hiding), Twi-Daughter Megan, Twi-Boyfriend Sean
I think this picture of Lee with his Ralphs card is so funny and endearing because he brought it all the way back from England to save 20 cents on a cup of hot tea at a US grocery store. And, by the way, even though he thinks that the word “hot” should be implied when you’re ordering tea, everyone else knows it is not.
Because my house is a small, cluttery mess, we held the party at my neighborhood association clubhouse. Lee did actually go into my small, cluttery, messy house, so I will, of course, soon be installing a plaque above the front door to boast about that fact.

 We had a group of 20-ish people there for the party, and, believe me, everyone was impressed by Lee’s beautiful sound and charming personality. He sang a wonderful acoustic set of original songs from his two CDs, a few great covers, and even took requests from the audience. It was also so sweet of him to open with one of my favorite songs, “Ships,” and dedicate it to me.
 Many of my friends were hearing him sing for the first time and I know he won them over as fans that night. The room ended up being a perfect place for him to perform because it was an intimate setting, but not too small to be overwhelmed by his powerful voice. We also had plenty of food and drinks. The rum was especially popular.

 Afterwards, party guests posed for pictures with Lee in just about every
conceivable combination. He really humored us on this and was so patient. 
Lee and me (TwiloveSue)
Lee and ZAnyMouse 

 Lee and Twifixx
Lee and Twi-Daughter Nicole
I did record his performance, and at some point will share some of the songs here and on youtube. I have to tell you, though, that I’ve had my video camera a few years now and still don’t know how to transfer footage, so poor Lee may be trapped in there for a long, long time. I also interviewed him for the blog and promise to post a transcript sometime in the next decade.
 The girls picked up a Vons card to add to his grocery store club card collection

I’ll bet you’re wondering who won this arm wrestling match

 Lee’s visit to San Diego was also memorable because I feel like we got to know him as a person. When Twi-daughter Nicole and I go on long drives, we like to pass the time by asking each other random, odd questions, so naturally we subjected Lee to the random, odd question game for many an hour in the car (in other words, we interrogated him like a suspect).

I hope it doesn’t lessen your good impression of him when I tell you that he doesn’t like cheese, is a muggle, and doesn't watch Doctor Who. I think at this point I now know enough interesting stories and strange facts about Lee to write a book, but I’ll probably just hang onto those gems for future blackmailing purposes ;)

I’m happy to tell you that we’ll be hosting Lee for another private show when he returns to the US in April (seriously, I always want to snicker inappropriately when I say “private show”, but that’s what he calls them). His last visit was one of the highlights of my year because any day that I get to laugh with my best friends and be serenaded by one of my favorite singers is an epic win in my book. And since he’s returning after all the abuse we gave him last time, maybe that means he had a little fun too.

TwiloveSue XOXO

P.S. If you’re still not familiar with Lee’s music, please go visit his website at or check out his youtube channel. You know I would not steer you wrong.