I first met Valérie Jodoin Keaton back in 2004 – I was 99 years old. Le Clown was a tad nervous… Although I was meeting Valérie for the first time, I knew who she was, and I was not going to let her know that being The Dears‘ keyboardist and backing vocalist made Le Clown gush like a fanboy. [Note to my readers: Le Clown doesn't giggle like a school girl when in the presence of celebrities. No, Le Clown gushes like a real man, by grabbing his crotch, and spitting on the floor]. She stayed for a few hours, we talked about kids,
The Dear’s bassist, Malajube‘s producer, For Those About to Love‘s band member, her boyfriend Martin, and left. I cried I asked for an autograph I got her name tattooed on my forehead. The next couple of years were busy for Valérie and Le Clown: she toured around the world while Le Clown moved to the ‘burbs; she photographed Beck, Jack White and The Flaming Lips for her book Backstage, while Le Clown changed diapers; she was invited by Paul McCartney to photograph him on stage – not once, but twice – while Le Clown became a goddamn blogging superstar. We kept in touch, but life being life [deep thoughts from Le Clown], it took 8 years to meet again.
My friends were looking for a photographer, someone who understands the audio industry… you know where I’m going with this, right? I introduce everyone, everyone gets along, we’re one big happy family. On with the photo shoot! Le Clown, says Valérie, I need you to be my personal-assistant, my roadie for the day. Can you let go of your ego, and carry my tripod? Le Clown a P.A.? Le Clown NOT the centre of attention? Le Clown walking in someone else’s shadow? Le Clown is a proud man, his ego is envied by the likes of Kanye West, and that Bono dude. I mentally rehearsed my answer a few times, searching for the perfect words, and tone. Once I was pleased with myself – yet again – I looked at Valérie, straight in the eyes, and eloquently [of course] I said: Oh hells yes, Valérie! Can I fetch you some water? Valet your car? Touch-up your make-up? Offer you my next born child? Le Clown is at your service.
*All pictures have some sort of legal document protecting them from being used and copied all over the internet, unless it is to boost Le Clown’s magnificence on all four corners of the interwebs.