As most of you fellow Jacky fans probably know, my idol was in Taiwan last month for his concert tour (he held 4 shows at the Coliseum in Taipei). Of course, Taiwan is like a second home to Jacky because he has tons of friends (and fans) there -- one of those friends is his best friend of 20+ years, singer / host Harlem Yu. Over the years, whenever Jacky goes to Taiwan, he of course meets up with Harlem (if Harlem happens to be in town, that is), just like whenever Harlem goes to HK, Jacky makes sure to get together with him if possible. So of course, this time, it was no different.
Before I go on, let me backtrack a little. I started becoming a 'fan' of Harlem's back in the 90s, during my 'Taiwan entertainment' phase when I was pretty much following all things Taiwan (needless to say, I'm past that phase already, so I only know the older Taiwan artists and don't care for any of the newer 'idol' artists). One of my favorite Taiwan variety shows was "Super Sunday", which was hosted by none other than Harlem (as well as Taiwan's "Big Sister of Entertainment" Zhang Xiao Yan) -- I loved that show and I really enjoyed Harlem's sense of humor and liveliness as host, so I started paying attention to him starting at that point. It wasn't until after I started 'following' the show Super Sunday that I found out Harlem was actually a singer -- and a mighty good one too (he's considered one of the 'godfathers' of music in Taiwan).....so I guess you could say that I knew Harlem as a host before I knew him as a singer.
Not long after that, l found out that Harlem was one of Jacky's best friends (no wonder Jacky was such a frequent guest on Super Sunday!) and that's when I started becoming his 'fan' as well. These 2 friends truly have alot in common -- from their shared passion for music and dedication to family to their almost similar birthdays (both were born in the same month and year, but on different days) and everything in between -- it's really no wonder that they became such good friends. For me though, one of the things that I truly love about their friendship is their awesome, magical chemistry -- as Zhang Ziao Yan once said, when these 2 'boys' get together, they go wild (and yes, I call them 'boys' because they get so crazy when they get together, it's almost like they become 2 little boys in grade school, calling each other names and bickering with each other, sometimes even pushing each other around, but all in good fun). It's so cute to watch these 2 poke fun at each other on purpose, not to mention that it's absolutely hilarious listening to their 'brotherly' bantering back and forth (hey, who else can tell Jacky to his face "what are you, a pig?" and get away with it? LOL!). The most recent 'fun' I can remember off the top of my head was during Harlem's concert last year when Jacky attended as musical guest (no surprise there, since they do the musical guest thing for each other's concerts all the time) -- that segment of the concert was so good and I got such a good laugh out of it, I just didn't want it to end -- one of the 'highlights' was when Harlem and Jacky tried to perform a duet and Harlem kept screwing up the song (probably on purpose...LOL!), which threw Jacky off and caused him to forget some of the lyrics (which rarely ever happens) -- then they started jokingly blaming each other and calling each other names, which was absolutely hilarious (if I remember correctly, in the end, Harlem blamed 'lack of familiarity' with the song and Jacky blamed 'old age' for the screw ups....hahaha!)
Ok, so back to my original post....
During Jacky's most recent concert in Taiwan (Aug 18th to 21st), I was really really hoping that, in keeping with tradition, Harlem would be musical guest for at least one of the shows, but that didn't happen -- which, quite honestly, I didn't understand why at first, but then realized the reason: the format of Jacky's concert this time around (with the mini-movie being played out on stage and the various specially choreographed segments) wasn't really conducive to incorporating guest performances, since it would probably mess up the overall routine and format of the show. Nevertheless, the true friend that Harlem is, that didn't stop him from showing Jacky how much he supports him -- in addition to attending Jacky's opening performance on the 18th, he also attended Jacky's closing performance on the 21st, staying the entire time (and grooving to some of the songs from his seat in the audience section). And that's not all -- Harlem also hung out with his buddy backstage (I'm sure he had a VIP pass..LOL!) as well as afterwards, taking him out to eat and such -- plus that awesome present that Harlem had made specially for Jacky (see picture below).....
Pictures Credit as listedAfter the first show, when Harlem was asked by reporters backstage, he said he came to "chao xing" (pay homage to 'the King')....but that he was also there to 'check things out' and make sure Jacky's performance was 'up to par'.....and that he would return on Sunday (the day of the last performance) to 'supervise'.....HAHAHAHAHA!! In all seriousness though, I was touched to hear Harlem say that watching Jacky's performance on stage moved him so much, that he actually cried during a few of the songs (awww....).
Anyway, in addition to the totally cool bright red "Hok Yau" Guitar that Harlem gave Jacky, he also sent him a gigantic fruit basket prior to the first night’s performance, complete with Jacky’s favorite fruit – apples (see picture).
The sign attached to the basket read:
To: Da Bei Yau ('Big Nose Friend’ – referring to Jacky)
4 days worth of fruits
Supplied to the person who will break the Taipei Coliseum record.
From: Da Tou Yu (‘Big Head Fish’ – referring to Harlem)
Also, here is what Harlem posted on his Weibo after watching Jacky’s opening show in Taipei:
Translation: He [Jacky] used the ½ in ½ century to sing his songs and with that, sang out his life story, while also singing our story! When I was listening to [the song] “Perhaps Love”, why did I once again feel a wetness in my eyes? Is it because his singing is too good!? Or perhaps we are just too fragile!!....That’s life!!
Courtesy of: Harlem Yu’s weibo (posted on 8/19 at 16:18):
Lastly, here’s a hilarious post from someone’s blog (no clue who the person is) that was forwarded on Weibo. The blog writer wrote about his friend’s ‘ encounter’ with Jacky and Harlem 16 years ago (hats off to the writer for his sense of humor – I was laughing the entire time I read this…LOL).
My interpretation of the ‘encounter’: Awww, Harlem is trying to help Jacky save money….what a friend! (Hahahaha!!)
Originally posted on July 28, 2010
Translated by: llwy12
Asia God of Songs
The time is 1995. The God of Songs [Jacky] came to Taiwan for his concert. It was in the middle of his Taiwan tour and he was staying at the Hotel National [in Taichung].
This blog’s author was very young at the time, so needed to find a girlfriend – she was first love, but later ended up running off with another guy.
But that’s not important. At the time, she was working at Hotel National, in the Chinese food department. All of her colleagues were fighting over the opportunity to go see the Heavenly King [Jacky], however afterwards, when they returned, they appeared quite flustered.
The God of Songs had just entered his hotel room and so the service staff started performing their room service tasks in order.
The first staff was the bellboy responsible for taking up the luggage. After placing the luggage in the room, the Heavenly King, being who he is, did not put on airs or try to act self-important – instead, he was extremely polite and generously gave the bellboy a $500 (TWD) tip.
That particular colleague was jumping with joy – not only did he get to see the Heavenly King, he also received such a generous tip!
The second colleague was from housekeeping and arrived to clean the room. Actually, it wasn’t much cleaning, but rather just tidying up the various items that adorned the room. Upon completion, the colleague respectfully nodded to the Heavenly King, who was ready to hand over a tip.
Right at that moment, the Heavenly King’s best friend – yes, the one who sings “Let Me Love Enough All At Once” [Harlem] – suddenly appeared at the room. After exchanging greetings, the friend asked the Heavenly King why he didn’t go visit him first?
Laughing, the Heavenly King said that he just got off the plane and so headed over to the hotel first. As he was saying this, he took out a 500 dollar bill [TWD] and was about to hand it over to the housekeeping colleague.
The friend asks: “What are you doing?”
The Heavenly King replies: “They just finished tidying up the room and I’m very grateful to them.”
The friend says: “500 dollars? That much? Are you crazy?”
The Heavenly King replies: “The smallest amount I have is 500 dollar bill.”
The friend says: “Why didn’t you say something earlier? I have 100 dollar bills.” [turns to the housekeeping colleague]: "Come, come, come….thank you very much! Here’s your tip. As for the other room service crew, it’s not needed.”
As the rest of the staff left, they were muttering under their breath about the friend’s ‘stinginess’.
Recently, the writer of this blog saw a massage chair commercial that he [Harlem] did and suddenly remembered this interesting past ‘encounter’.