Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Supporting Gordon Giltrap

I asked. Some one replied by E-mail. Tell me the Gordon Giltrap story.
Last year I was asked to play guitar at a village hall near Stamford, I was to be the support act for Gordon Giltrap. Wow! I said yes straight away. Not
because I was any good, or needed the money, but just because I could say I supported the Trap. Well on the night through some quirk, Gordon was playing first and me second. So technically I was top billing. Gordon was brilliant. I say brilliant because he was. But to be honest after I’d heard three absolutely brilliant songs I got bored. There’s only so much brilliance a boy can take, only so much perfection. I sat there hoping beyond all hope that the Trap would make a mistake. just one little one, so he could stop being a God,
and become a mere mortal like the rest of us. But the sod played it all note perfect. Don’t you just hate that. Well played his set and name dropped like mad a list of the famous he played with. All done in that easy matter of fact way, that shows us that to him it’s just an every day thing. He finished his set and when the tumultuous applause had died down announced that “Mike da hat is going to play his 12 string guitar for us, where are you Mike?”
I put my hand up. “Here. Ready and waiting.”
“Well I wouldn’t want to play 12 string myself. It takes forever to tune. So over to you Mike.”
Hmmmm having a dig at me already?
“Thanks Gordon. Oh yeah and thanks for doing the warm up act for me.”
The crowd went wild with laughter and clapping. Gordon was not impressed and never spoke to me again. So while he was putting away his nine guitars
at the front of the hall I set up at the back with my single twelve string.
A good 75% of the audience pissed off, they’d only come to see the warm up act. But I was left with a decent crowd.
I started playing. I got through a load of old favourites and had them singing along. Then the cleaners turned up. They started putting away the chairs that weren’t being used. Fair enough. It was only 10:30. But I carried on. No one told me to stop. Someone got up to visit the toilets came back and his chair was gone. I thought that was so funny I started laughing in the middle of a song. I laughed more. I was laughing so much I had to stand up to play and someone took MY chair away. It was getting beyond a joke. Then one of the cleaners got out a hoover and started cleaning. WHAT? This was getting beyond a joke. There were murmurs among the audience. Finally I gave up.
There was no point battling against the sound of a vacuum cleaner. I packed away my guitar and went outside to join my friends.
“Where’s Pat?” I asked.
“Can’t you hear her?”
I listened. Pat’s voice came through loud and clear she was giving the organisers a piece of her mind. She told them in no uncertain terms that she’d
never seen such downright ingorance and rudery. Yes rudery. She was fuming. She had booked me to play at their request and this is how they treated a guest artist. their behaiviour was unforgivable.
She finally came out, still shaking with anger.
“I need a drink” she said. “Let’s go back to my place.”
So we did. And that friends is what happens when you
let amateurs organise a professional gig. Or more to the point small village amateurs, who are more used to organising coffee mornings.


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