The Four Tops, Menorca, Spain, summer 1997
The summer season of 1997 I worked on the lovely Balearic island of Menorca. From April to November I was a holiday rep on an island where the average tourist has seen Abraham or Sarah many moons ago. One of my colleagues soon was rumoured to be seeing one of the artists that came to the island, a singer of the Four Tops. So the very next airport day several of us stood lined up as soon as she got of her bus and gave tribute to her singing `I’ll be there´ including the typical seventies movement of moving your hand slowly from left to right in front of you. She laughed and told us the story.
The band that played on the island were not the original Four Tops, but they rightfully owned the name and rumour had it that one of them was still original. The one she was seeing was the youngest one. And once you’ve gone black, you never go back. The band was on a on and off schedule of one week Menorca, then one week Mallorca and then back to us again.
So a month later a few of us had to see them, when they played in a bar in Mahon, the capital of the island. They sang all the classic hits, added some other classic Motown hits and easily filled two sets of 45 minutes, not one song unknown to us. They weren’t bad at all, but it did lack spirit. Performing for tourists is different than playing for your own fans. The movements were so predictable that by the end of the evening all of us were as good as the band themselves, making tourists look at us in the back with a look ´No wonder, you must have seen them dozens of times by now`. We didn’t, though I did go once more later in the season. Not my type of music, yet a good evening out.
Our management had found out by now as well. So on the one day we had a team treasure hunt, our team was called Four Tops in honour of my colleague, the driver of our cabrio. The girls had the brilliant idea to make me My Girl. So while they drove around the island painted black with a huge afro on their heads, I sat in the back, getting an awkward sun tan line from the strapless dress they made me wear. We did get plenty of strange looks that day.