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Entry number 11 in the 365 Black & White Challenge is of Rob Little and Tommy Emmanuel playing the same bass guitar!
Back to the Tommy Emmanuel stories for today.
Not sure of the year, but Tommy was back in Australia and doing a regional tour. He had a routine of alternating tours where one time he would focus on capital cities and the next do a series of regional shows instead, always citing that he grew up playing in regional areas and liked to make sure that he got to as many areas as possible for those who couldn’t make it into the city.
As usual (but never taken for granted) I was invited to the Ballarat sound check/gig and took my camera along having just caught the photography bug. Tommy was as welcoming as always and gave me his full attention for a chat. He then had to run to an interview for a DVD he was filming that day. Funnily enough, the director of the DVD asked me to walk about in the background to “simulate pre-gig activity”.
During the soundcheck, I’d asked Tommy’s manager if I could invite my brother to the gig. After receiving instant approval I jumped on the phone with my brother. At this point, I should mention that he was roughly a three-hour drive away from the gig. I should also mention that it is no surprise to anyone that after a very short call, he was on his way!
In between the call and his arrival, some employees from Maton, the company that makes the guitars Tommy loves to play whilst on tour, presented him with a brand spanking new guitar. As mobile phones weren’t as ubiquitous back then, I was the only person there with a camera. Needless to say, I was snapping away and was rather pleased when Maton asked me to see the photos. Later on, we organised the swapping of a lot of merchandise for a few photos to be used on their website. My first “sale”!
When my brother arrived I met him outside and took him in via the stage door. I’m not sure what he expected but I know it wasn’t to be bought into a large room where the only other occupant, who happened to be one of his favourite musicians in the entire world, was playing quietly to himself in the corner. Now, even though he was playing for no one, his “performance” was enough to make my brother stop and just stare (which made me smile a lot). Tommy looked up, stopped playing and came over to say hi. What a guy!
Needless to say, the gig was perfection and after it was done I took my brother backstage to say a quick goodbye before we left. Back then, Tommy would spend literally hours meeting and greeting his fans after every show and because of the access I’d been granted, I never hung around ensuring others would get time with the great man.
I will remember these times with a smile and a healthy serve of gratefulness. I’m still in contact with his manager (no longer managing Tommy but always a delight to talk to) and I probably thank her for all these times at least once a year.
Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next post.
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Nikon D700 on Manual mode
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1:1.8D @ 85mm
1/200 | f/2.8 | ISO 1600
Friday November 12, 2022 @ 12:33
St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
B&W 365 - 11/365