Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Two years ago Lynn and I travelled to Edinburgh to see our friend Bill Watts, from Los Angeles, play guitar with Eric Burdon and The Animals. It was a fantastic concert, revelatory in the sense that Burdon still has that amazing voice - he didn't record classics like We Gotta Get Out of This Place and Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood yesterday, but as soon as he opened his mouth . . .
The highlight of the night, of course, was House Of The Rising Sun - or it would have been, had the audience not been turfed out onto South Clerk Street when the Queen's Hall fire alarm went off during the first set. The fire brigade duly attended, checked out the hall and gave the all-clear, the concensus being that someone had snuck into the toilets for a cigarette. We filed back in after only half an hour, and were treated to three more songs and some virtuoso guitar by Bill . . . before the alarm sounded again, and this time they wouldn't let us back in.
I have to say, no-one really minded - we were all on a high and the only murmur of discontent went like this: 'All this way and no House of the Rising Sun!' Ah well.
We had arranged to meet Bill afterwards, so we went back into the hall and talked our way past several officials to get backstage. Actually, that's not quite true - we were told in no uncertain terms we couldn't go backstage, so we just kept walking and talking, opened the first door we came to, and there was the band, packing up and drifting off. You can't miss Bill - he has a smile that matches his personality. Warm and open. We hadn't seen him for years so it was great to catch up; and of course we knew it was likely enough a few more years would go by before we saw him again.
Anyway, we were thrilled when Bill's mum June, one of our dearest friends, sent the link to this YouTube video from San Javier Jazz Festival in Spain. Hope you enjoy - it's the song we missed.. Billy Watts on guitar, of course.
Posted by Michael Faulkner on Tuesday, September 27, 2011