Tommy Emmanuel
Click the photo to enlarge



I’ve been watching a YouTube video this morning. One that has sparked a trip down memory lane.

Rick Beato, a well known YouTube channel host runs a music channel with lots of tips, analyses and lists of “The best 10 {{ insert topic here }}”.

Today’s video (click here to watch it) is an interview with the acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. My brother and I have been huge fans of Tommy for as long as I can remember and rightly so, he is a phenomenal entertainer. Superb guitarist, both on electric but especially his beloved acoustic, and to top it off, a bloody nice guy.

“How do you know what a famous musician is like? You only see them when they are switched on!” some people have asked.

To start my tale we must go back to around 1997 or 1998, I can’t exactly remember when, but it was a long time ago. I was part of the Yahoo Tommy Emmanuel mailing list. Not a mailing list as in subscribe and we’ll send you advertising every day until you scream and go running for the unsubscribe link. This was a list where conversations were had with Tommy fans all over the world, via email. You sent an email to the list and we all got it. I was an active participant in the list answering questions and joining in conversations where I could and became friends with many people all over the world.

One of these friends (with whom I am still in contact) was Gina, a lovely lady. And, who just happen to be Tommy’s manager.

When Tommy was touring my part of the world, Gina sent me a private email asking if I’d like to meet Tommy. Of course, I very quickly accepted this amazing offer and was told to be outside the newly constructed Frankston Cultural Centre at 4 pm. So that day came and time ground to a halt as I waited for 4 pm to arrive. When it did Gina took me for a walk and we chatted about this and that and the mailing list and how awesome it was.

I’ve since been told that the chat was to ensure I was a nice human.

So we went back to the venue and Gina said, let’s go meet Tommy. I went in and he was there talking to some of the crew. He saw Gina and came over saying “Hi, I’m Tommy.” We shook hands and I proceeded to silently fan-boy like you would not believe. Now I must interject here and say that for many years Tommy did a meet and greet after his gigs. And the one thing you have to know is that he genuinely cares about his fans. When he talks to you, he talks to you. You have his full attention.

After around five minutes he said he had to go to sound-check and I thanked him for his time and told him how much I was looking forward to seeing him play and was about to head over to Gina to thank her for the opportunity when he said, “Where are you going? Soundcheck is this way.”

To cut a long story short, my invitation to meet Tommy was not just a five-minute audience with the great man. It was an audience with the great man, front row seat at the soundcheck, dinner (consisting of pizza and soft drink), full backstage access and a chance to say thank you and goodbye before he came out and met his adoring fans.

That’s how I met Tommy Emmanuel.

And that’s only the beginning.

In the interest of not turning this into a Lord of the Rings length ramble, I’m going to split it up over a few posts, each time sharing a specific memory.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride. Oh, and watch the video. The man is truly an amazing entertainer.

I wish I still had the photo of him and me eating pizza together.

Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next post.




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Photo Information: 
Nikon D300
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II @ 116mm
1/200 | f/4.0 | ISO 1600
Saturday December 18, 2010 @ 21:22
Thebarton Theatre
Torrensville, South Australia, Australia

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One Comment

  1. Richard, what a great time you must have had, and I am waiting to hear the rest. Thank you.

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