GOOD MORNING AMERICA
(ABC TV in New York: televised live on Nov. 24, 1997)
Hosts: Lisa MacCree and Charles Gibson
Translated by: Annie Gomez
(Facing one of the cameras in the studio) If you think the violin
is an old-fashioned instrument, you havent heard Vanessa-Mae,
the 19-year-old British superstar who wants to be the Jimi
Hendrix of the violin. At the age of 13, the former
child prodigy, had recorded 3 classical albums, then came a
pop album of which she called techno-acoustic
fusion. Now, shes playing on Janet Jacksons latest
recording as well releasing a new CD of her own, its called
China Girl: The Classical Album 2. In a few moment,
shell perform for us but first lets meet Vanessa-Mae.
(Turning left and facing Vanessa-Mae, who is sitting confortably in a
couch.) I know youve been here before but I didnt know
this so tell me...where are you from?
VM: Yes, you joined in September, right?
(Note: Vanessa is wearing a yellow Chinese-styled, long-sleeved blouse
and a pair of tight black leather pants and black high-heeled
LM: Yes, right, right! So where are you from?
VM: Well...by blood, Im half Thai, half Chinese. But I live in
London since I was 3 years old so thats my base really.
LM: And when did you start playing the violin and why?
VM: When I was 5 years old. It was just at school, like all my friends
as a hobby. I think my parents wanted to enroll me just to
keep me busy after school hours. That was all really.
LM: But when is it that you took the violin and started doing things
your teachers werent telling you to do with your violin?
VM: Well, I think teachers started getting more excited, I think. They
started telephoning my parents and saying "shes got a bit
of potential, maybe shed like to develop it further". So it
all rolled on from there. I think it was their encouragement that pushed
me into the direction of making music my life really. But I think when
I was 8, thats when I really decided that I want to make the violin my profession
when I grew older.
LM: And when was it that you made that turn though from playing the violin
like the masters would tell you to play the violin and doing
this thing you do now?
VM: Oh pop as well! I think that...the thing is that Ive
grown up as a child of the 90s like all the teenagers out there.
So even though I was trained as a classical violinist, I love to listen
to pop, rock, acid jazz, rock n roll, all those different kinds of things. So when I first came on this show,
I was 16 with The Violin Player album, my first pop
album and next year, I have a new pop album coming out in
America. But right here, Im in a classical mood in America because Ive got China Girl,
my new classical album out. So l like having a parallel career.
LM: And what makes you wanna do China Girl with a classical
VM: Well...I think sort of like how Bertolucci was inspired by China
for The Last Emperor Of China and Puccini was
inspired by China to do the opportune on. I have a sort of fascination
growing up as a Western Chinese girl, if you know what I mean, and
pursuing my Chinese roots. I think since my grandfather died when I was
15, I felt that my one link, real link to the Chinese past had gone missing and I wanted to pursue that further on this
LM: Aaahhh...(in amazement)
VM: ...so its deeply romantic album., almost filmic and epic, in
LM: And your shows are well attended and well reviewed.
VM: Yesterday, we just did a show in New York...Shanghai Tang. They
were opening a new boutique in Madison Avenue and that was an
outdoor venue. Fantastic audience.
LM: And we have some videos over here.
VM: You have videos! Excellent!
(A clip of her performance of Toccata & Fugue in front
of the Shanghai Tang boutique is shown on one of the televisions
in the studio.)
LM: And your costumes are also fabulous! Now, you have a good luck ritual
before you get up on stage to perform. Tell me what your good luck ritual
VM: What I do, and I did it just before this show actually coz
Im peforming live on this one, is to pour freshly
spilt water on stage before I go on.
LM: To pour freshly...
VM: Between the dressing room and the stage, I get some water -- Evian
or Perrier or tap water -- and I pour it in front of me and
that brings me a lot of good luck.
LM: Thats not the only thing that spilled on our floor. I mean
I dont know if you could find your good luck charm anymore
VM: Yes, some people actually make the mistake of mopping it up! They
think its a mistake but its meant to be there.
LM: Were gonna be back with you in just a moment. Vanessa-Mae
will perform for us right after this...
(Goes out to commercials with 10 seconds of Violin Fantasy on
(Comes back from commercials with 10 seconds of Butterflly Lovers
Violin Concerto. Vanessa is standing by her band -- her mother on
piano, a flutist, an acoustic guitarist and a drummer -- and the hosts
of the show.)
LM: And now Vanessa-Mae performs her adaptation of the Scottish folk
song and it is called...
VM: Im A-Doun For Lack OJohnnie
LM: Im A-Doun For Lack OJohnnie. Well
(Note: This is an actual live performance, including a
short vocal intro by Vanessa.)
(Performance ends, audience claps, commercials begin, commercials end.)
LM: I have to ask you. What is the blue finger nail?
(Note: Vanessa and everyone in her band painted their right-hand pinkie
VM: It means youre part of a gang because were a whole group
on tour for 3 or 4 weeks. But well give you, guys, one later.
VM: Where you belong!
CG: Thats the way to get in! Its like they check the blue
fingernail and youre in!
(Both hosts are announcing tomorrows guests.)
CG: Were gonna go out with a little more of Im Dying
LM: No! Im Doun!
VM: (laughing) Im For Dying...Its Im A-Doun For
CG: Im A-Doun For Lack OJohnnie!
CG: I love it when great musicians, like this, get douned!
CG: (to the viewers) See you tomorrow!
(The show ends with 20 seconds of Vanessa and her band playing Im
A-Doun again, minus the singing this time.)