I'll never forget the first time I saw TheGigRig at the Albert Hall, of course I won't, and either would you. If something you'd worked so hard on for so long was going to be onstage with one of your favourite artists at one of the worlds most prestigious venues, you'd be there too right? So this was a very important moment for me. Paul Stacey was playing guitar for the Finn Brothers at the time , I'd spent endless hours putting together the pedal board for Paul for that tour and so excited at the prospect of seeing it onstage at the Royal Albert Hall, on top of all that I was also getting to meet one of my all time heroes Neil Finn at the same time. However my excitement was soon turned to deep sadness as it was that day the world found out that Paul Hester, the Crowded House drummer had taken his own life. The gig was later confirmed as going ahead so i went along to the sound check where the band played the most astounding rendition of Don't dream its over. I'd heard this song a million times, played it a million times, seen Neil perform half a million times, but the version at sound check stopped everyone in their tracks. From the sound guy to cleaners, everyone in there just stopped and their eyes were transfixed on the stage.It was a moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life. So I got to meet Neil Finn, i had all these thoughts on what i was going to say, how i would offer to sort out a really tidy little pedal board for him etc, but those thoughts were such a long way away now. I just said hi, and how i was so sorry to hear about Paul. What else could i say? He was gracious and personable, we chatted for a few moments, and that was that.
The gig was emotionally charged, but none the less, and incredible performance all round.
(in this shot you can see Paul Stacey's white Pro-14 in the lower left hand corner)
Since then we've had numerous artists play at the big dome, each one being special. This image was sent to me by Donny Little, who plays for Paolo Nutini, the MIDI 8 on stage at the Albert Hall only a few weeks ago.
I feel a little glow every time someone tells me who much they love using the gear we make, I'm grateful and proud that the artists have chosen us to carry their tone. For me this is what being passionate about what you do is all about. I see this MIDI 8 on stage at the Albert Hall, and all these rich memories come back, none of which would have happened if my business partner Dave Mapleston hadn't answered a letter I wrote to him that i scrawled out on a kitchen table 7 years ago.. but that's a story for another day