Way back in 1988,  got call from a composer asking if I could play some chromatic harmonica on a kooky little film by an unknown director in Germany- “probably would not go anywhere at all”.

The Composer was Bob Telson and the movie was “Bagdad Cafe”. The film didn’t go too far in the United States, but world-wide it became one of the biggest hits of the decade. The soundtrack was nominated for an Oscar and became beloved by hundreds of millions of people on every other continent. The title song “Calling You” is arguably one of the most unique and exquisite pop songs ever written. The word I have heard hundreds of times to describe it is “haunting”.  

This wold wide hit consisted of a simple arpeggio on a Korg M1 synth, the most minimal drum machine track, the soul- searing voice of Jveeta Steele and my little harmonica solo.

Since 1988 I have recorded the song many times, including versions by Barbra Streisand and Natalie Cole with the London Symphony. It also lead to a lifelong friendship and collaboration with Bob Telson.

In 2004, Bagdad Cafe was made into a musical play, with which I toured Europe for nine months over the following three years- one of the best gigs of my life.

Another interesting note: my solo on “Calling You” became was reproduced on the sheet music, and played by countless other soloists behind singers covering the song. George Michaels played my solo note for note on the tenor sax!

Director Percy Adlon              Composer- Bob Telson