Tommy and the Tornado

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Tommy and the Tornado

Postby Boyce Steadman » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:23 pm

We went to see Tommy Emmanuel in concert last night and got to the Newberry SC Opera House just before a storm hit. We went up to the dressing room to get a poster signed by Tommy and just about then the sirens went off and we were moved to the stage area with Tommy in tow. So for 20 minutes I and a few others had a chance to talk with him and ask questions. I told Tommy how much I loved his part in the CAAS Chet in Hollywood recreation last summer that I saw online. He then played Santa Lucia for me as he played it last summer. Wow. I was in pure heaven.

Tommy is such a sweet person and treats the fans so well. It was the same last May in his workshop there. The concert was amazing as usual. What a wonderful tribute to Chet - Tommy said when he went back to Chet's recording of Hollywood to learn it note for note he got goose bumps again like Chet was teaching him from the records when he was young.

It was a memory I'll always have and he helped me feel again the spirit of Chet's music.

Thanks - Boyce
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Re: Tommy and the Tornado

Postby bill_h » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:27 am

Boyce, are you sure those high winds etc. weren't a result of Tommy playing up a storm??!! Maybe those sirens went off automatically because they knew Tommy was about to play up a storm!

Seriously, I met Tommy twice. He didn't remember me the 2nd time but I still feel like I made a friend both times I met him. He's a great person!I feel like he catches lightning in a bottle every single time he steps on stage.

Glad you got to meet him and see him in concert. Only those that have met him in person and seen him in concert can fully appreciate what you experienced There's only one Tommy Emmanuel!
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Re: Tommy and the Tornado

Postby RandeDager » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:26 am

Bill, I remember when Tommy starting being a main headliner at CAAS and I had never heard of him before. He was supposed to have been a big star in Australia but hadn't reached anywhere near the status in this country that he has now. I sat down and played with him in the lobby in the early 90's and just thought I was playing with a talented newcomer. I was embarrassed to find out later what his significance was, but I probably played better because of not having known.....lol. The whole point of this little story is that Tommy never let on that he was "somebody". He was quite humble.

Once I knew that Chet was unlikely to perform any more, I quit attending CAAS. I never returned until 2008. By then Tommy was a big name internationally. I remember thinking to myself that there was no way, with his current status, that Tommy would be playing out in the hallways with any of the attendees. I was wrong. One day as I was walking to one of the side rooms, there he was playing with one of "us commoners". Tommy has always remained very gracious and humble.
Rande
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Re: Tommy and the Tornado

Postby BillB » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:39 pm

I arrived on Thursday evening of CAAS in 2009. I had only been there for a few minutes when I saw Tommy and another guy sitting and pickin' in the hallway that goes down by Kirk Sand's room. It turned out that the other guy was Mark Casstevens. I went over and sat down on the floor in front of them, and of course, a crowd began to gather. At some point, I showed Tommy my nametag and asked him if he knew my song. He and Mark immediately started playing (and singing) "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey" complete with lead break. It was a great moment for me, and they were both so friendly to everyone that stopped by to listen.

Bill Bailey
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Re: Tommy and the Tornado

Postby Pam E » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:47 pm

Hi Boyce, My daughter and I were there too, in the dressing room for a picture and autograph, when they moved us to the auditorium for safety during the tornado warning. I believe we were the ones right behind you all in the dressing room. My heart swelled when he went and picked up his guitar and proceeded to play for us, unplugged and I remember you talking to him too. I kept telling my daughter to pinch me to let me know this was real. And, hearing him pick right next to my right ear for the lady sitting behind me, well just can't tell ya what a thrill all of it was, the show, the music, the man...really a special night....I'm still going over it in my mind...on about cloud 8 1/2 now. :)

Pam E
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Re: Tommy and the Tornado

Postby Boyce Steadman » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:05 pm

Hi Pam. What a great night that was. At Tommy's workshop last May he spent 3 hours showing us things and answering questions. One thing I love about that is Tommy can talk with anyone at whatever level they are in playing or if they don't play at all. He never talks down or seems bothered by the same questions he always gets but he can adapt to the person and always makes them feel like he is a friend. That is a rare thing and I always heard Chet was the same way.

The lady in front of us asked Tommy about harmonics but he thought she said harmonies and said a few things. After he left to get ready for the show she turned to me and we talked a minute and she was referring to his harmonics and I told her what I knew about the technique. As you know on Over the Rainbow Tommy uses them a lot and she got to see what he was doing some.

Those shows have such a warm feeling about them like we are all old friends. Fingerstyle seems to bring that out in people.

I just love what Tommy does and how he presents his and Chet's music. He even played the Claw for us before the show during the tornado warning.

Amazing. A night I'll never forget.

-Boyce
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