[Slowhand] is this true? Was this the lineup this year?
Garret74 at aol.com
Garret74 at aol.com
Thu Jan 3 15:54:18 EST 2008
The Best New Year's Eve in England with Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Ringo
Starr and Joe Walsh
NEW YEARS EVE IN ENGLAND
Article written by George "Santana" Fender Stratocaster Gibson Les Paul :
As a professional rock musician for the last thirty years, I have had many
opportunities to experience the New Year's Eve in many countries around the
world. This particular New Year, however, I was in England and spent probably
the best time ever. No, it wasn't with the thousands crowded along the River
Thames to watch the firework display and queue up for hours to see London from
the London Eye and it wasn't at some 'posh do' that would set me back a
month's wages. It took place in a small leisure centre just outside a small
Surrey village, cost me less than £50 and not a drop of alcohol was available to
'The best?' I hear you say but this sounds really boring... Oh no, my
friend, this is the third time I have attended this event and each time is a
magical experience and I can't imagine that it could get better but each year it
does, and this year was the New Year of all New Years! So what was it that has
caused me so much excitement? Maybe you are thinking I have experienced some
kind of religious revelation, perhaps I saw a star hovering over this small
venue in this small obscure English village?
Well, in one way you would be right! But not one star - there were many. And
these stars were not celestial bodies but real human ones! One was called
Eric, another Gary, there was Pete and Joe, Andy and Richard. Let me share my
story with you.
Every year I am lucky enough to get hold of tickets to this private function
that is organised by some of these above named to raise money for a
particular charity close to their heart. Because the venue is small, the tickets are
limited to as many people you can comfortably get into a large sports hall
without contravening Health and Safety Regulations. The hall is laid out with
decorated tables around the edge of a large dance floor and towards one end ,
a large stage is constructed at one end which professional sound and stage
technicians have set up to give an impressive Wembley Arena output with the
intimacy of a village hall.
On this stage, every year a special band plays live for more than three
hours and it is this band that makes the celebration so magical. As a band, it is
completely unknown and you will never find reference to it wherever you
search in the musical media. Each year the band takes a different name and this
year it was called the 'Totally Abandoned' Band. Its leader, for one night
only, is probably one of the best rock and blues guitarist England has had and
is known worldwide. Some songs that you will all know from this guy are Layla,
I Shot the Sheriff, Lay Down Sally....now perhaps you can see why I am so
excited....yes, it's Eric Clapton!
Now Eric Clapton by himself would be pretty mind-blowing. But put him
together with Gary Brooker from Procol Harum, Andy Fairweather Low originally from
the 1960s British band Amen Corner and still going strong touring with some
of the best musicians of the 60s and 70s, and to this mix Joe Walsh from the
US band, The Eagles, stir in Pete Townshend from the Who and sprinkle
liberally with Ringo Starr from The Beatles and ........be blown away!!!! A jamming
session pare excellence!
As a professional musician myself, having spent 30 years of my adult life
earning my living in this precarious profession, to see 'The Big Boys' like
this and to be able to get so close to them was beyond any dream I could have
had. Top this though! My wife's friend and her family are the warm up band and
this friend's husband kindly took me backstage where I could have a clear and
private view of Ringo drumming whilst singing 'Boys'.
Later I sidled in there again and this time was met by an extremely friendly
Pete Townshend who shook my hand and wished me a Happy New Year.
So that was it....my New Year celebration....breathing the same oxygen as my
heroes. A big thanks to everyone who made this event something I will take
to my grave. Not just to the Boys but to all the staff who made the night such
a resounding success. Can't wait for New Year 2009!!
Happy New Year everyone.
And, in Ringo's words: 'Peace, Man'
Here are some of my favourite songs from those Great Guys.
Ringo Star(Beatles) with a little help from friends...(too many on the stage)
**************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
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