Dec 2022 News Update
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Dec 2022 News update
Dear friends. Every year that passes brings forth challenges in life. Now we have reached this time of year, a time of reflection and hope for the future.
For Hilary and I it has been a good year trouble free of health issues and we hope with all our hearts this continues I continue to be grateful for all the good things that come our way and I personally feel privileged to be able to continue doing what I do and something that brings joy to my heart and hopefully to others who listen to my music and resonate with it. This year has been a major landmark in my creative world with the release of Scattered Chapters in its many forms culminating with the album and project being warmly and in many cases deeply received. The Guitarist magazine and Classic Rock interviews bear testament to this.
Hilary and I wish you all health peace and joy for Christmas and thank you for your continued support of my musical offering alongside my friend and collaborator Paul Ward.
This month’s news features the background to the Guitarist Magazine interview (Dec 2022 issue #492) and the link to the filmed tuition (now on YOUTUBE) where I demonstrate the basic technique of “harping” using Isabella’s Wedding as the example.
We also looked at DADGAD tuning which the above piece is in. I also looked at other tunings. The most bizarre being the tuning I invented for ROOTS from the Fear of the Dark album DADGBC.
I have always found it an odd pastime looking at myself on film and wincing at some of my facial expressions when attempting a rather tricky passage but all in all I was quite happy with the results and Jamie Dickson apart from being a really fine person was a very good interviewer.
I have had the privilege of being in the mag quite a few times over the years the last time being in 2016 shortly after I came out of hospital and was featured on the cover of the ACOUSTIC supplement again a great honour. It was David Mead on that occasion that did the interview. This time round it was the editor Jamie who said he wanted to do it being a long-time admirer of my work.
On the day of the interview Hilary and I arrived early having booked a hotel for the night prior the interview to make sure we got there early. On arrival we we’re greeted by photographer Phil Barker and straightaway were discussing how the photoshoot should go. He had already been experimenting with lighting and showed me the results which I thought we’re fantastic and almost Rembrandt in their warmth so that’s what we agreed and you can see the excellent results, well the lighting anyway!
I took just two guitars to the session, my Fylde signature model and my Danelectro, the main electric I used for Turning Earth on Scattered Chapters.
photo © Phil Barker for Guitarist Magazine
Personally it was one of the most gratifying interviews I have ever had the pleasure to do in a magazine ( although I used a bit of bad language to make a point and I couldn’t believe I had actually said what I said. It must have been in the heat of the moment) mainly because of the emotionally charged back stories to many of the pieces. Anyone interested in getting a copy will find it in WH SMITH or by post here:
I hope I managed to convey the essence of the whole journey that led to Paul and I creating the album (during lockdown) and one that I feel will be impossible to surpass.
Sadly I wasn’t able to mention the book or the mini documentary explaining how the whole concept came into being. I’m sure we must have touched on it but the questions were very much directed to the music. Never mind.
Just click on the link HERE to view the tuitional footage.
Hello friends and particularly you guitar players out there that like my music and want an insight into what I do, then the following may be of interest to you.
I am offering a FREE half hour Zoom lesson to anyone purchasing the following items (see below) for Christmas.
You will find the purchasing links below.
When applying for the free lesson quote GG1 for the CD.
GG2 for the Scattered Chapters book.
GG3 for the Perilous Journey Biography.
A perfect present for a guitar playing partner for Christmas!
After you have made the purchase of your choice then contact Paul Roberts (quoting GG1. GG2 or GG3) either by email or phone at email@example.com or telephone 07860 648068
Paul will let you know how much my normal rate is for these Zoom lessons so you will know what a generous offer this is!
The offer runs until the end of January 2023.
New home page pic
Everyone who has seen this month’s GUITARIST mag has commented on the photographs so we thought it would be nice to have another “Smiley one” for the Home Page so I've chosen to use the one at the top of this news page.
The previous one was taken well before lockdown at West Fest in Malvern on a beautiful summer’s day where I was performing there.
I think I look marginally better smiling than trying to look mean and moody and 74!
Oxted United Reform Church
My recent concert at the United Reform Church in Oxted was pretty special in many ways because we travelled down the day before to stay with our dear friend Roger Bruce from our time in Heathcliff.
The Friday concert was made special by our beloved webmistress Sue Holton and husband Mike who travelled all the way from Ramsgate to see us and to very kindly film the gig the end result being three pieces on YOUTUBE. We hadn’t seen them for such a long time because of Covid.
A wonderful rock guitarist called Martin Mickels opened for me with a display of serious shredding. I then took the stage to a very appreciative audience. At the end I received a standing ovation which these days is quite a regular thing and I’m very touched.
What a joy to meet this remarkable young man Ollie and his dad Joe during the interval at Oxted, and what a colourful person my special guest Martin was, a real rock dude.
Ollie may only be 9 but he has been learning guitar for 2 1/2 yrs and has a go writing his own music. Hilary and Sue sat next to Ollie and Dad Joe at the gig and he was SO excited ! It was his first ever gig. Hilary brought him backstage for a quick chat with me in the interval.
A friend from the past was my wonderful old bass player Alan Hall who came to see me and reminisce about the old days when we gigged together and supported a certain David Bowie at a teacher training college before he became a superstar.
As if that wasn’t enough an old school friend Stan Humphreys turned up and once again all the memories flooded back about the dreadful school we attended way back in 1959.
I recieved this lovely note from the organiser afterwards:
Just a quick note to thank you for your visit on Friday evening. It was a true pleasure & privelige to listen to you play, and the evening just flew by! I have received lots of messages over the weekend from people saying how much they enjoyed it, and the consensus seems to be it was the highlight of the festival.
Sincere thanks again for entertaining us all so brilliantly.
A nice review Of Scattered Chapters
by the legendary Bev Bevan from ELO
Whilst spending a pleasant weekend in Lincolnshire I dropped into one of the finest vintage guitar shops in the UK, Old Hat Guitars in Horncastle. I had previously purchased the flamenco guitar featured in past news pages but decided I wouldn’t really use it so decided to see if there was something there that I would use.
I was made most welcome by Georg the manager there and purchased this fun budget Wesley guitar fitted with Ironworks P90 pickup that sound remarkably good and was surprised to see such quality British pickups on a relatively affordable budget instrument.
Maybe they were fitted as standard or added later by a past owner. This guitar was made in 2000.I eventually contacted John Wesley the maker a very nice chap and he told me that he imported this guitar along many more from the Far East set them up and sold them for a small profit. He told me that the pickups were added later by a previous owner. The company folded a few years ago but John is still repairing instruments in his Barnard Castle workshop.
Anyway I have enjoyed playing it and it rings like a bell. Obviously one can’t compare it to high end guitars but believe me for the money it’s amazing.
Just to remind folk that I’m still available for Zoom lessons.
I feel that teaching is an equal part to my performing and composing life. I feel sure that the time spent will encourage students to create their own pieces, hopefully inspired by the lessons.
All enquiries about online guitar sessions should be made to Paul Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him direct on 07860 648068
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you face to face online.
From the archives
Me at Les Cousins about 67.
I’m playing my Hagstrom guitar used on my first album prior to getting my beloved John Bailey.
Enough of posting about me and what I’m up to! Here is a pic of the woman who made it all possible this past 35 years. I know that this lovely picture of my beloved Hilary (left) and her 13 month younger sister Helen isn’t the sort of thing I usually post on the News page but it’s such a lovely image.
Hilary says she was about six year old when this pic was taken. Matching ringlets and jumpers. I love her sister’s cheeky smile!
Thanks to Martin Snodin for the enhanced image.
Of course in many ways it’s relevant because without my Hilary there would have been no GG music created in such a unique and heartfelt way without her in my life. xxx
And finally, I wanted to share this special message on Facebook messenger from someone abroad.
Words like these make it all so worthwhile.