Last night, Addi Somekh held a one night only book signing and performance at the sold out theater- The Dynasty Typewriter located mid-city with special guest comedian, beatboxer and musician Reggie Watts.
The event was a celebration of the release of his book “Inflatable Planet” which features photography from around the globe. Back in the early 90s, Addi was joined by photographer Charlie Eckert and the pair took 7 trips to over 35 countries spanning four years time.
The journey was an exploration into the universal nature of joy and how balloons, like music or food, are their own language- transcending culture, politics and religion to bring a simple but powerful expression of joy to everyone, everywhere. The entire project was shot on film and later developed and paired with unique travel stories from around the globe. Over 20 years later, the book was born!
The show opened with a first act featuring Addi Somekh sharing his story of becoming a balloon expert- one that started with a broken heart and a summer job in college to pay off car insurance and turned into a 30-year career. Then he shared some of his balloon artistry, specifically balloon crowns and some of the history of the headdress across cultures. Act 1 featured a slideshow of his travels showcasing pictures and excerpts of stories from the book.
Act 2 included a performance by Addi’s band “Unpopable” which includes electric bass (Joey Maramba, Melanie Medina), drums (Rob Shaffer), and Addi playing his unique instrument- the electric balloon bass guitar, which is a one string instrument made with of course, latex balloons!
The band was joined by special guest Reggie Watts, who also wrote the book’s foreword, for a unique performance. Singer Arlynn Page, also joined “Unpopable” on vocals to close out the show with a stunning cover of “House of the Rising Sun.”
You can catch Addi’s band “Unpopable’s” next on Sunday, May 26th at The 1881 Bar in Pasadena.