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General News

November 2009 News Update

November 2009 News Update
THE SHADOWS

I never ever lose sight of the fact my life in music has led me to meet and work with the people that have shaped what I am today, from Cliff and the Shadows through to Bert Jansch and Julian Bream.

Whenever I'm in any of the above company I'm still a little in awe of these people and can never forget where I came from in Deptford/ Greenwich and all points South East. I can still see that young kid trying to emulate Hank and Cliff, and then in the mid sixties being exposed to (for me) that life changing first album from Bert Jansch.

On Sunday the 4th of October I found myself backstage with my stepson Simon before and after Cliff and the Shadows show at the NIA in Brum.

I have always got on well with Hank and Bruce and it was such a buzz chatting guitars and music generally with the guys. Did you know that Bruce is still playing that very first Fender Strat guitar that Cliff bought for Hank 50 years ago? It has never had any of the internal wiring replaced and is sounding as good as ever. Bruce said that Oasis Music in Hampshire have commissioned the Fender custom shop to make 50 replicas of that guitar at a retail price of £5000. Bruce said even he couldn't afford to buy one! I think he may, after this lengthy historic tour finishes the middle of next year.....grin.

I had a chance to chat with Cliff about FOREVER GOLD, the piece I wrote to celebrate his 50 years in show business. He said that he DID finally get around to listening to it and indeed enjoyed it, he also remarked on how wonderful the whole presentation was with CD limited edition print of the artwork and silk lined box.

The gig of course was fantastic, and when you bear in mind that the three remaining members of the Shads and Sir Cliff are all looking at 70 years old, it really is quite remarkable and certainly gives hope to all of us ageing musicians. I loved every minute of it.

Be well guys and enjoy the rest of the tour.


CLASSIC ROCK SOCIETY

I am delighted to report that I have just been asked to become a Patron of the Classic Rock Society.

To be in such good company as some the outstanding musicians who are already patrons of the society is indeed an honour for me. The magazine for me provides a home and a platform for the sort of music I have been writing and recording over the past 43 odd years, and to my knowledge the society has always treated me with the utmost kindness and respect for my chosen art, and for that I thank them most sincerely. Being a part of it sort of gives me a warm feeling inside, and since the release of my album with our beloved Sir Rick Wakeman, I feel as though my presence has truly found acceptance among those who follow music for its own sake and not the commercial big buck. Classic Rock is not always about financial gain but more about music that has taken its inspiration from the great masters of the past. We are all indeed standing on the shoulders of giants.

My thanks for inviting me in to be a patron, I'm really chuffed.


CROMER

Hilary and I had only spent a brief  evening in Cromer a few years back when we attended a show along with friends Roy and Debbie Hudd on the Pier, so to see the town again during the day was indeed a windswept treat.

I was part of the Rock and Blues Festival and booked to play a mid afternoon slot. When we FINALLY found our way down to the pier assisted by our beloved webmaster Sue, who by sheer coincidence was there on holiday with husband Mike, the whole thing was a pleasure. Like many of these festivals it is in the lap of the Gods whether one gets a sound check or not and this was certainly the case with Cromer, I didn't get a sound check and just went on and waffled to the audience whilst gear was plugged in and the balance sorted...no problem!. The staff and all involved were a great team.

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The most interesting part of the whole day was when a very attractive lady came into our dressing room and handed me a CD, which I briefly glanced at. She came to tell me that a friend of her's, Ian Carr, a VERY fine guitar player who has played with just about everyone on the modern folk scene was an admirer of my work. I of course was very flattered to hear this (who wouldn't be) and I said that I knew of Ian's reputation and his work with Karen Tweed.... She said ' I AM Karen Tweed'..... Anyway to cut a long story short, Karen is now living in Norfolk and was recruited to compere the weekends events. After my slot she came up to me raving about Isabella's Wedding and expressing a desire to learn it. This whole episode led onto a plan that she may appear on my new album and I in return will play on her new album. Funny old world eh? On the way home we played the CD, which was recorded a few years back with some outstanding Scandinavian musicians. The album is STUNNING, and I look forward very much to working with this outstanding accordion player in the near future. The CD is entitled May Monday Midnight.
Go to www.myspace.com/karentweed for more info.


GOOSFEST.

My gig with old friend Harvey Andrews on October 11th at Cranage Hall Hotel, Holmes Chapel as part of the Goosfest went well, with the event being pretty much a sell out.

Harvey is such a great songwriter and stunning singer with a warm and engaging stage presence.

I was panicking a bit before hand because it was pretty big room and we were both going through my 'Mickey Mouse' PA system but am glad to report it did the business and sounded fine although I think I was pushing it a wee bit hard on the night.


SOUTH SHIELDS.

Sad to report that my concert at The Customs House South Shields as part of the guitar festival was very poorly attended with only about 40 people and just two for my workshop. The night before for Alex de Grassi only SIX people turned up. If you read Ernie Woodhall's comments on the Forum then I think that may shed a little more light on the whole event. Steve, one of the two who attended my workshop along with the lovely Dianne, owns a Rob Armstrong guitar...indeed a man of taste!

All that aside of course we had a lovely night with old friends Dave and Cath Snaith attending the concert. This was the first GG show they had attended in years since their son died... A sad old world.

Good to see Simon and Angie there ( I of course played her namesake piece) along with Dave and Helen Nixon.


BERT JANSCH.

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All you fans of the great man will by now know through the message on his website that because of recent illness he has had to cancel all live work for the time being. I'm sure you will all send your best wishes for his speedy to return to good health. I found out through a call from Loren Jansch that Bert wasn't well. The last time I had the pleasure of being in their company was January of  this year when we shared a stage together at the HUB in Sleaford Lincolnshire. If you look at some of the early news items you will see a lovely photo of myself, Rob Armstrong and Bert. It was a wonderful and memorable weekend.

Hilary and I send our love to you both dear Loren and Bert and look forward to the next time.


DEL NEWMAN

The great Del Newman has asked me to write the foreword for his book A TOUCH FROM GOD. He has now secured a major publisher and the book will be out there in the public domain next year.

I feel SO honoured and deeply touched that this great man of music has asked me to write the foreword. When he rang me to ask me, my response was that he could have chosen many famous names for this very pleasant task. His reply was 'who else would I ask but you Gordon'. A tear glistened!


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PRIVATE PARTY

Hilary and I have recently returned from yet another outstanding private concert for the lovely Dianne and her brother Ian, both sharing birthdays on the same day.

Playing to an audience of only 10 people this was indeed a very intimate affair, and being just a 45 minute drive from home made it doubly special for Hil and I.

You can read Di's review of the evening here, and it just reminds me how lucky I am to do what I do and to share in a special and beautiful memory for some truly beautiful people this evening. More than that I cannot say except THANK YOU and many more healthy and happy returns of the day to you both and a special thank you to Andy, Dianne's partner.

Be well all.

Gordon Giltrap.