By Eric Turnbow, the "Fifth Beatle" appearing in ‘SiCKO’
SEATTLE, WA -- Everyone is full of congrats and affection about this lucky break I caught and the "15 minutes of fame" I will receive by actually making it into the Michael Moore movie 'SiCKO.' I am very excited and quite passionate about this subject. My part is just a small segue that moves the story from Canada and its health care system, over to England and its universal care which I was able to use in a great way while vacationing there in London some 10 years ago.
So here is a journal of my proud day at the movie premier on Thursday, June 14th in Seattle, when I got a rare chance to meet Michael Moore and see his innovative and eye-opening documentary, 'SiCKO.'
First off, they called from Hollywood and invited me to go just one day before the event. I was asked to RSVP, so I cleared my schedule ASAP, hired someone to fill in for me at The Viking, and chose a "guest" to come along and share this cool moment with me. My sister Katherine had emailed me offering to go if it came up. In fact she was the only one with the exception of her son that showed any interest in driving so far just to see a movie. It also helps that she lives in Seattle! Duh! So I asked her and she said yes. Very cool.
We were to meet at the venue by the Paramount just off Pine Street called "AMC Pacific Cinemas," which was on the fourth floor of a shopping mall. My sis wanted to buy me lunch, so we were to meet at 5 p.m., giving us over an hour before we needed to check in with Michael Moore's crew. I left Olympia around 3:42 p.m., and with a little traffic hassle here and there I actually arrived at the theater by 5:07 p.m. I did not make even one wrong turn and landed in the parking garage in the same building as the theater! Katherine was stuck in traffic, but arrived within a half-hour. We had delicious Margaritas and chicken quesadillas at a little Mexican bar just a small walk away from the venue. Yummy.
So we checked in as VIPs, and were escorted to a roped-off section of the screening room and sat with the press. Michael Moore arrived with his sister, Anne Moore, who greeted me and said, "You are the one that provided some much needed comic relief in the middle of our little picture, thank you." And that was coming from one of the producers! Michael greeted the crowd and announced he would have a question and answer session after the film. Then he took his seat about three feet from us, directly in front of me, down two rows.
So we watched the flick. I loved it! I say, just go and see it. I do not want to spoil it for you. I will say that my part arrives about halfway through the film. Michael plowed through four hours of my vacation videos and carefully edited them down for this transitional time in the movie. They included:
∙The plane ride to England.
∙Singing an a capella original song "Oh England" at the London hotel with my friend Ken.
∙Sitting on the steps of the legendary "Abbey Road Studios" where the Beatles recorded the bulk of their work. I was shooting the cover art for my debut album "I'm Alive," which was released in 1998.
∙My famous fall on Abbey Road where I was walking on my hands for the unique photo opportunity.
∙Waking up in the hospital after having my shoulder pushed back into place by English medics.
∙Enjoying my "less than $10" medication that came along with me FREE MEDICAL SERVICE!
Michael makes the comment that I had to enjoy London, "My own way." He then proceeds to go to England to see if what I say is true about the meds and the FREE health care. If you watch the entire credits, my name appears in alphabetical order, just above Eddie Vedder, of Pearl Jam fame!
So after the movie, Michael addressed the crowd for about a half hour. The first thing he did was point me out by name, and I got a loud cheer of recognition. This was the highlight for me. I stood up and put my hands in the air in acknowledgment, and the he said something like, "Eric gives hope to all those musicians in the world out there." So that was awesome.
On the way out of the complex I was actually recognized by several people. This was cool, since in the film I was sporting a beard, a mustache, and much longer hair. All in all it was a great night, quite a highlight for a young kid like me from Olympia, Washington! Thanks, Mike!
My sister Katherine seemed to enjoy herself, so I dropped her at her car and headed back to Olympia with a big smile on my face. And there you have it. Thanks, everyone, for your support and interest. By all means go and see this movie! It opened on June 29th, and I simply cannot wait to see it again!