16th April 2011
It has taken me a good few weeks to get to grips with this and I may add to it in the future. I visited Gary's grave today for the first time since the funeral and perhaps that was the catalyst to begin it...
I was thinking about when I first met Gary, in fact it was something we joked about for many years! I had a friend who worked for him when G-Force were in operation and he invited me down to watch a rehearsal...knowing Gary as I do now, not a good move as he was always very private about these things. After 10 minutes I was ordered out...! Which as I say makes sense now but if only one could have seen into the future!
I had various encounters during the Lizzy times and then the lengthy spell when we played, wrote and recorded. And then, of course, touring last year. Totally unexpected and against everything I had ever said I would do. But such was, and is, my respect for Gary I did it.
He was a very complex man, not always easy, but in turns wonderfully funny and giving. I of course consider him to be one of the finest guitarists of this age, for a multitude of reasons, and he wrote some great songs over the years. His work and memory will endure, 'Parisienne Walkways', 'Still got the Blues' and many others will stay on people's Ipods etc. for years to come and that is his legacy. The first few notes of those songs could only ever be one person.
I think the most poignant memory for me, getting back together again, was the first day he and I sat rehearsing with just guitar and keyboard. We played 'So far Away', the intro to 'Empty Rooms' for the first time in 21 years and it was absolutely magical. The years just rolled away...
I will miss him more than I can say.