Toots Thielemans Quotes
It happened way back in Belgium, in 1946. We had a little amateur band, called Le Jazz Hot, and I was the up-and-coming fellow playing the guitar in Belgium. You know, I was playing like Django Rheinhardt, Charlie Christian—a combination of whatever was played then; it was just before the advent of bebop, I would say. But my name, Jean Thielemans—that doesn’t swing at all. Names on the scene at that time were Toots Mondello, who was with Benny Goodman, and the arranger Toots Camarata; so they said: “That’s it—Toots.” I said: “Okay, why not?“— it started like that, and it stuck. It’s been a lucky label, I guess, through the years.
My parents had a sidewalk cafe: every Sunday there was an accordion player and apparently I went through the motions, squeezing a shoebox. One of the regulars in ‘the cafe said to my father: “I think you should get your son an accordion—that’s what he’s trying to do, with that shoebox.” So they got me a little cardboard diatonic accordion—I still have it. I started to play the National Anthem, and things like that. It seems I was musically gifted—but my parents just never pushed in that direction.
Category: Music Quotes