LAST SHOW TOMORROW until back in the US in September!
Every night I get to play with legends, and I mean legends. Firstly, Graham Gouldman, a highly pedigreed songwriter, from the fair city of Manchester, is singing “Dreadlock Holiday”. I am immediately transported to the sheet metal factory in Moorabbin. A daydreamer by nature, I was working the metal press, hoping the music would not move me to distraction, to the point where I punched a hole in my hand. Needless to say, I got out of there. Next, the formidable Gregg Rolie is singing and playing “Evil Ways”, and I am on the back of a Triumph Trident motorbike, winding around the curves of the Great Ocean Road, wondering what lay around the next corner. Many twists and turns as it happened. Meanwhile, Gregg was playing at Woodstock. Oh my dear Lord!
“Rosanna” is next, sung and played by the extraordinary Steve Lukather. Our respective bands also graced the same stage many years ago at the Grammy awards in the heady days of the early 80s. Luke is a guitarist of the highest order, and every night, amazes not only the crowds, but all of us alongside him onstage. His playing belies a somewhat shy nature, but in the course of this tour, we have managed to coerce him out of his shell a little, to the point where he feels comfortable enough to share some of the innermost musings of his supple and curious mind.
Directly behind me is Gregg Bissonette, a drummer extraordinaire, who drives the band like a train, that always runs on time. It is a gift from the heavens to get to play with him every night.
During the saxophone solo of “Who Can It Be Now”, Greg Ham, whom I loved dearly, is always in my consciousness. Perhaps it’s more than a coincidence, that this solo, and much much more, is nightly being so excellently played by Warren Ham, who not only expertly plays almost everything, but sings like someone who likes his mother an awful lot.
And, of course, every night, I turn around, and behind the other sparkling set of drums, or fronting the band, is the one and only Ringo Starr, who played in the greatest musical phenomenon in history. In 1963, in Saltcoats, in my mother and father’s music shop, my father put the needle down on “Please Please Me”, and said, “Have a listen to these guys, I think they’ll do quite well”.
Ringo tells me that he loves to play, and I believe him. He is doing what he loved, and what he still loves to do. I am glad he is still doing it, and I for one, am happy to be along for the ride.