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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

Student Days: 3 lessons for life I plucked from guitar-playing

My sight-reading scores a hit
One day, while still his student, John Williams asked me round for a social evening at his house. We had a nice meal and some wine. There were other people present although I can't remember who they were.
"Would you like to do some playing?" he asked. He brought me a guitar and some music. He sat next to me with his guitar and music. Full-speed we launched into Vivaldi's Concerto for 2 mandolins and orchestra. I had read through it once before some years previously. It was my last year at College. A few days later John phoned me up and asked me to form part of his group John Williams and Friends with concerts through the UK including London's Royal Festival Hall. We also recorded the album John Williams and Friends for CBS. On it we performed the Vivaldi concerto.
Lesson for life:
My persistence at developing sight-reading skills paid off in a way I had not expected, for John, in a most discrete and elegant way, had in effect auditioned me. It was my first big break, and I never looked back.

Why some dressing-rooms just won't do
I travelled some twenty miles out of town to a small music society for one of my first recitals. I used public transport and arrived keen to prepare for the event by doing some quiet playing. The organiser was there to meet me. He showed me to the stage area where I rehearsed for a while, and afterwards I asked him to take me to the dressing room. I followed him through a white door and found myself in a public toilet. He said there was no other room available.
Lesson for life:
There always is a private space available better than a public toilet, but I didn't know that at the time.

How a pretty girl turned over and nearly ruined my concert
I was twenty years of age and was very attracted to a lovely girl with long flowing black hair, just one of her various notable attributes. I kept on trying to win her over. One day I asked her whether she would turn the pages for me in a concert I was presenting with a harpsichordist, and to my great excitement she said yes. There was one critical page turn required which she had to do as quickly as possible. In the concert she gripped the edge of the paper, and with the speed of a slap she turned the page. Unfortunately, all the music went crashing to the floor. She gathered it up and replaced it on the music stand - in the wrong order. In the following years she went on to become a fine musician and well-known personality, who as far as I know turns over her own music.
Lesson for life:
Prettiness is not a sufficient qualification for page-turning, but perfect for head-turning.

Salalah, Sultanate of Oman, 9 June 2012

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=1298 .
© 2017.

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