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Davey Graham: what a waste

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GUEST,Ian cookieless 25 Oct 07 - 07:31 PM
BanjoRay 25 Oct 07 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 25 Oct 07 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Tom of Bedlam 25 Oct 07 - 08:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 07 - 08:24 PM
Barry Finn 25 Oct 07 - 11:23 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Oct 07 - 11:31 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 07 - 03:00 AM
Dave Masterson 26 Oct 07 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 26 Oct 07 - 03:59 AM
Megan L 26 Oct 07 - 04:16 AM
mattkeen 26 Oct 07 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 26 Oct 07 - 04:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 07 - 05:30 AM
Mr Happy 26 Oct 07 - 05:56 AM
Hamish 26 Oct 07 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 26 Oct 07 - 06:21 AM
Dave Hanson 26 Oct 07 - 06:28 AM
mattkeen 26 Oct 07 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,wordy 26 Oct 07 - 06:36 AM
Grab 26 Oct 07 - 07:00 AM
mattkeen 26 Oct 07 - 07:09 AM
Jack Campin 26 Oct 07 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 26 Oct 07 - 07:44 AM
GUEST, Sminky 26 Oct 07 - 07:47 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 26 Oct 07 - 08:11 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 26 Oct 07 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 26 Oct 07 - 08:15 AM
Lowden Jameswright 26 Oct 07 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 26 Oct 07 - 08:20 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 26 Oct 07 - 08:23 AM
The Sandman 26 Oct 07 - 08:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 07 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 26 Oct 07 - 08:41 AM
mattkeen 26 Oct 07 - 08:43 AM
Santa 26 Oct 07 - 09:08 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Oct 07 - 09:13 AM
Mr Happy 26 Oct 07 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Friend of Bill 26 Oct 07 - 09:34 AM
Mr Happy 26 Oct 07 - 09:40 AM
Mr Happy 26 Oct 07 - 09:45 AM
Folk Form # 1 26 Oct 07 - 10:01 AM
GUEST, Grimmy 26 Oct 07 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Tom of Bedlam 26 Oct 07 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Friend of Bill 26 Oct 07 - 10:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 07 - 11:14 AM
GUEST, Sminky 26 Oct 07 - 11:37 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Oct 07 - 11:54 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 Oct 07 - 12:04 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Oct 07 - 12:09 PM
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Subject: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 07:31 PM

Tonight two friends and I saw Davey Graham in Worcester. I don't want to name the venue because what I want to say has nothing to do with the excellent venue, but entirely the responsibility of the performer.

Now I know there are other threads at the moment about paying singers and musicians their due respect and appreciating the effort they put in, even if they aren't, in the opinion of the listener, very good. I wholeheartedly agree with all of that. It's a different matter, I think, when the artist shows a complete lack of respect for themself or their audience, as is the case here.

Davey Graham arrived on stage at about 9.30pm after two support acts. As he stood by his case to get his guitar out, I thought I saw him totter. At first I dismissed this, as he's hardly a youth any more and one can get less steady on one's legs in 'senior' years. Then he sat down to play and he was slurring his words. The first piece was awful: lots of fluffed notes and his timing was all over the place. By the end of the first piece he was dribbling, and this continued. In the next few pieces his timing got progressively worse, and increasingly notes were not just fluffed but plain wrong. I was sat in the front row, only about 15 feet from DG, and by the third piece I could smell the alcohol. More and more I noticed how leaden his eyes looked, his eyelids opening and closing in slow motion. His speech became not just slurred, but incomprehensible. I found myself looking into my lap and shaking my head in disbelief. Nothing I can write here can convey just how bad it was.

After about 20 minutes the three of us walked out and went upstairs to the bar, unable to take any more. We were not the only ones to leave early. It was embarrassing and maddening to think we had paid £17.50 for this. I can go onto the streets of any major city any night of the week and see people drunk and incapable. And I wouldn't even have to pay for the privilege. But I don't count that as entertainment.

But it got worse. 10 minutes later, after only half an hour of Davey Graham dribbling, talking incomprehensively and playing appallingly, a steady flow of people came into the bar. We thought they had all walked out en mass, but no: Davey Graham had finished his performance and left the stage. We were soon in conversation with a steadily growing crowd of angry and bewildered people who could not believe they had witnessed a drunk and incapable man on stage, performing for little more than *half* the time of the main supporting artist (John Smith, who was great, by the way). A crowd of us went to the MC to complain, knowing it would make no difference, but also knowing we would feel better if we said our piece. So we did.

I will still play and enjoy Davey Graham's old albums. I still appreciate all he has done for guitar playing. But I am afraid I have now lost all respect for the man as he is now. It is obvious he has no respect for himself or his audience. What a waste.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: BanjoRay
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 07:36 PM

How about feeling a little sorry for the guy?
Ray


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 07:42 PM

Why would I feel sorry for him? His state is entirely self-inflicted. Either he, his management or his friends should have the good sense to prevent/talk him out of going on a stage. But mostly, he should have the good sense to say no. He is personally responsible for what he puts into his body and professionally responsible for putting on a good performance. On both counts he scores zero.

I am reminded of Amy Winehouse's father: don't buy my daughter's CDs or go to her gigs, as you are just feeding her drug habit. I wonder how drunk I have helped Davey Graham get?


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Tom of Bedlam
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 08:19 PM

I saw Davey Graham play just under a year ago and had a very similar experience. I found it rather difficult to watch.

However, I would perhaps qualify the statement that his condition was 'self-inflicted'; I think some of the blame for his state, on stage at least, can be laid with his current management, the individuals involved (I won't name names) certainly don't seem to help matters and the most commonly expressed feelings I have heard across when the topic of Davey comes up are of concern. It all appears to border rather closely on exploitation, both of the fans and of Davey himself.

A very sad state of affairs.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 08:24 PM

Davey's not the first great performer in the folk world who's been cursed with drinking problems, and he won't be the last. Matt McGinn wrote a great song about it :

I've been sailing through troubled waters
That knew no calm.
The wind was wailing o'er those waters
And my sorrow knew no balm.
Troubled waters, troubled waters, troubled waters in my soul.

I've been drinking troubled waters
To ease my mind
But in those waters, troubled waters
No solace could I find
Troubled waters, troubled waters, troubled waters in my soul.

Srorm clouds gather o'er those waters
No haven had I
I wandered o'er those waters
No love had I
Troubled waters, troubled waters, troubled waters in my soul.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Barry Finn
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 11:23 PM

It's a shame that it's such a great waste & it is a pity & entirely self-inflicted too. I'd be rather pissed if I had paid that much to see a drunk perform poorly. His handlers may be party to blame for poor managment but he's the one giving them the OK to exploit. I'm sure that word will pass & venues will no longer book him but his people shouldn't be premoting him while he's in this stae. It's only more humiliting to himself when he wakes up & he stirs from his s/blunder. Had they told him to get fixed first they might have helped & at least he would have the face, if he did succeed in getting dried up, to make a decent comeback. Everyone loves a winner freshly back fom the grave but no ones loves to watch loser when they're on the slide going under.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 11:31 PM

I have in thepast year or so been to watch two gigs of relevance here. One was of an electric band that I used to love to pieces, and the other of a seminal acoustic guitarist.

Both were a huge disappointment. The notes were there in order, the words were there in order: but the fire, the passion of performance was gone. IMHO they were just going through the motions to collect their pay cheque. I feel in a way that that is a greater betrayal of the artist's patrimony than getting legless.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 03:00 AM

Are you sure that's what happened? Even when he was good, this guy was weird. Like everyone else, I saw the tv documentary and I could see he'd taken his eye off the ball a bit.

I saw him a few times in the 1960's. There was always something a bit disquieting about his style. It was never quite what you were expecting off the records - more improvised, less structured. At some points he just seemed to ignore the original theme and go 'free form' - as we called it in those days, or he'd say 'this is in 15/17 rhthym' and who the hell was counting?


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 03:23 AM

I remember back in the 70's he turned up at the Coach House, Farningham with Diz Disley, and was so stoned he could hardly put two notes together. It wasn't improvisation, it was just plain awful. Not much seems to have changed.

Sad indeed, but at the end of the day we're all big boys and girls and must take responsibility for our actions.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 03:59 AM

Thanks for posts, folks. It's sad to know I am just the next mug to have the experience of an incapable DG. I knew he had a reputation for being unreliable (not turning up for gigs or even a whole tour) and for being stoned. I just thought that, since he was touring again and had a new album out, he had probably straightened himself out. I was wrong.

At the beginning of the gig I looked at the half empty venue and wondered why a legend like Davey Graham hadn't filled it. One minute after DG appeared on stage I stopped wondering: obviously many others already knew what I had to find out out for myself.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Megan L
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:16 AM

It is awfy easy tae condem these men. My dad had his own band for years and the ammount of drink folk sent up was ridiculous. My dad was a strong man and refused drink when it was sent but his two brothers had a weekness for the stuff if it was sent their mouth opened. week men need strong friends.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:50 AM

Ian the cookieless

"entirely self inflicted...."
I completely heartless statement, if and when a serious situation develops for you, particularly if it is in the area of mental health, I hope you have people round you who are nothing like your statement makes you sound.

As to the general point about Davey; I think it is inadvisable for him to be touring from lots of points of view. Lets just send him some money anyway.
A lovely and hugely talented man who has been unfortunate to have encountered multiple addictions.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:56 AM

Unfortunately, the life of a 'gigging' musician tends to encourage this end result.

The following is MY experience only & when I say musicians I am talking about pro's & semi-pro's in folk, country, blues & rock. Lots of work in working mens clubs in the North of England.

All my musician friends/acquaintances are either divorced, separated and/or big drinkers. (I can actually think of no exception to this but hope there is one).

When you turn up for a gig you need to be there before the audience so you arrive early to set gear up, sound check etc.
The landlord/host offers you a drink.
When set up the audience start to trickle in & some fan will insist on buying you a drink.
In the break, old & new fans will offer drinks as will the host.
Members of the opposite sex will become 'friendly'. If you have been on the road for a while this can be very tempting.
When the gig is over you have the gear to clear away. Often the landlord/host will offer a drink whilst you do so.

For a solo performer it is a lonely life & the temptations are great.
Amazes me that there are lots who don't become alcoholics.

Still annoys me when a 'professional' act cannot deliver the goods though.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 05:30 AM

I know what you mean Little Hawk, but I shouldn't have thought Davy fitted into this pattern. Since he was very young, he's had recording contracts, listening audiences, enormous goodwill from the folkscene, and reverence from the guitar playing community - such as it is. I can't think of one major guitar magazine that hasn't done a feature on him.

I'm sorry if he's hit problems in his life. I think of him as a young man striding down Greek Street, looking very fit and looking decidedly exotic in a huge straw sombrero. He was always a remote sort of character, but you'd never have guessed at it ending like this. I hope he will figure out some of the answers to his problems and it doesn't end like this.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FIRST YOU LOSE THE RHYMING (H Andrews)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 05:56 AM

FIRST YOU LOSE THE RHYMING. [Harvey Andrews]


First you lose the rhyming
then you lose the timing
Then you lose the money
then you lose the friends
And you try for one more song
But the words don't come and the chords are wrong
Whisky bottle won't last long before it ends

I met him in a bar room in Chicago
I was writing what became of names we knew
About the ones who'd let their shooting star go out of sight
The one-hit wonder boys who never grew
And I asked him, Sir, what happened then to you
He said;
Chorus

He told me, It's an old and tired story
You'll need a way to make it sound brand-new
So tell 'em that I had my share of glory once all right
But I had somebody strong to see me through
And she told me all the things I shouldn't do
she said;
Chorus

But I did all a young man does with money
With all those young girls coming on so strong
And that's how come I lost my little honey to the road
'Cause she went off and wrote it in a song
And now you see her up there on the T.V.
She's a superstar and everybody knows
She sings a broken heart just like it should be sung each night
And I never miss a second of her shows
And I know the way the chorus always goes


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Hamish
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 06:08 AM

I had a similar experience in Brighton in February. Here's what I posted to the uk.music.folk newsgroup:

"How very, very sad. Went to see Davey Graham last night in Brighton. But he's really not up to the job, I'm afraid. There were spells during the performance where you could see and even hear some of the spark that was once there, but by and large it was an uncomfortable evening for the audience who were shocked and embarrassed but also, incredibly, very warm and supportive throughout. "


and:

"If he came to pretty much any club I've ever been to unannounced and unrecognised, they wouldn't mind too much if he came back or not. By no means the worst floor spot I've ever seen; but on any given night he'd be there or there about."


and here's what his agent replied:

"The morning of the Brighton concert was the height of the snow in Oxfordshire. I had to have the car towed for three miles to get to a passable main road. Davy had a streaming head cold which had affected his hearing slightly. We were trying a new small bodied Martin OM-31 that wasn't quite set up to our high standards.
The seating arrangement seemed to be a bit weird. Looking sideways. We are going to just do small theatres in the sense of tiered seating
from now on.
Davy played well. Not like a boxer, more like an older bull-fighter.
Attempting dazzling moves.
He is currently staying in Gloucestershire getting things together for the album, and appreciates everyone's support. The gig the week after in Exeter was much better. Its a long road. Each performance is
unique. There is some more work needed to fix some problems. Its
personal to Davy and I don't want to have to spell that out too much.
We are doing more gigs now and just one so-so performance gets a
dissproprtionate ammount of attention. It is only a hall, and a
gathering, and an idea really. Its nice when the audience mixes and
talks to one another. London doesn't suit him and never has, but I can only do what I can do.
Mark Pavey"


Draw whatever conclusions you like.

--
Hamish


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 06:21 AM

Sorry WLD but its Black Hawk not Little Hawk - different fella!

I was generalising about (solo) artists & trying not to pick on one case!
With the 3 similar threads in progress this seemed the most appropriate!


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 06:28 AM

Daveys problems are mostly self inflicted, he deliberately addicted himself to heroin because his blues guitarist idols were addicts.

Don't know about the booze but I've not a lot of sympathy.

eric


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 06:34 AM

And you don't think that indicates that things were already unraveling then eric, you big old softie?


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 06:36 AM

Very sad. Seen it before. What's bad about all this is that he is still getting on stage and taking money under false pretences. One can only think that his management are squeezing the last drop out of a reputation established long ago. Anyone who really respected the man should tell him to hang up the guitar and not take it down again until he can offer a fair night for a fair wage.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Grab
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 07:00 AM

FWIW, comparison to Bert Jansch. BJ was wiped out for a long time, but kicked the booze (because it was a choice between that or dying!) and started working again. I'm too young to have seen him the first time around, but in his second (sober) incarnation he's a damn good performer. Shame that DG hasn't got his shit together - maybe he needs the same ultimatum of "quit or die" to wake him up. :-(

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 07:09 AM

Trust me, that ultimatum often does not work with alcoholics and addicts - thats the nature of the illnees/condition sadly.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 07:43 AM

Some people manage to perform well when drunk - I've never seen Cathal McConnell performing sober, but when on stage he always manages to sing and play well and with his inimitable patter.

If you can't pull that one off, you either shouldn't be drinking or shouldn't be performing.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 07:44 AM

Just to respond to a few points, since I initiated the thread.

mattkeen, I don't think my (and others in this thread) saying that Davey's condition is "entirely self inflicted" is, as you put, it, a "completely heartless statement", but a statement of the obvious. Whoever strapped him down and forced alcohol into his mouth? If he is an addict, it is his choice to remain one or do something about it. As you rightly say, an ultimatum "often does not work with alcoholics and addicts - thats the nature of the illnees/condition sadly." In other words, it's his choice, his behaviour is in his hands alone, and the only way out is to make different choices. No amount of sympathy stops an addict from being an addict. Nor does any sort of help from any source - not until the addict decides to stop and accepts he is in trouble, then the help can be accepted.

It sounds as if his management is in the business of making excuses for him and brushing his appalling performance under the carpet. I think it's obvious why, and it's a scandal.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 07:47 AM

I've been to about 8 of DG's gigs over the past couple of years. His performances have ranged from poor to embarrassing to downright farcical. I have not seen him in the state described above, though it does not surprise me. On the occasions I saw him at least, one couldn't blame the booze. One very well known artist and contemporary of Davey told me straight: 'his brains are fried'.

I am not sure to what extent he is in charge of his own affairs. As has been hinted above, there are 'other interests' at work. A certain individual, already mentioned above so I won't repeat the name, was advised not to take him on the road as 'it would kill him'.

I sincerely hope that the quest to cash in on the name of one who was arguably the most influential British guitarist of our age, does not cause Davey any more harm than has already taken place. As for his reputation - I fear it is probably beyond repair now. And that's a great shame.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:11 AM

As someone who's worked with street homeless people with addictions, I reckon some of the 'self inflicted' comments ARE a bit hard hearted, to say the least. No, no-one 'straps you down' but it's never that simple. I've seen a lot of people over the years who are basically self-medicating against a hostile world...

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:14 AM

I also think this is an almost entirely pointless and negative thread about kicking some poor sod when he's down - with a few honourable exceptions - and I'm not going to do any more to keep it alive.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:15 AM

But Nigel, when they are stoned, dribbling and incapable, would you want to pay £17.50 to see them on a stage?


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:20 AM

My wife thought about buying me a ticket for his concert as a surprise present, but elected to ask me I if still loved his music. I'm glad she asked - yes I love his music, but knew of his problems and said thanks, but no thanks to seeing him now. There are a number of other performers still trading well on past reputation, and none of them would I pay good money to see.

Anyone who loved Tony Capstick and saw him often enough would have witnessed some embarrassing evenings; it's very very sad to see someone you admire so much keep pushing the self-destruct button.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:20 AM

I posted the above message in between Nigel's two messages (probably obvious). Of course this thread is negative: it's about a negative experience, it's about someone once great who should not be on a stage, for his own good as much as anything else. But it is not pointless. My intention was to tell the story to prevent others from having the experience we had. I want the man to be remembered for what he was, not what he is. That's most likely if he stops performing now, or if people choose not to go.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:23 AM

Davey Graham is due to play in Gateshead next Monday. I've already bought a ticket, and despite the discouraging reports on this thread, I still intend to go, hoping that he manages (as he has done before) to rediscover his technique, and his zest for playing. If he succeeds, it will be an evening to treasure. And even if he fails, I won't consider the time (or the ticket price) wasted.

Maybe this tour is a big mistake. Perhaps Davey's friends should have persuaded him to stay at home until he pulled himself together, or simply advised him to give up performing in public entirely. But so long as the tour is still going ahead, I believe Davey deserves a show of solidarity from all of us who admire his past work, and who still hope he might produce something comparable with it in future.

Everyone who loves the music of the steel-strung acoustic guitar owes this man an enormous debt.   He virtually re-invented the instrument, revealing potentialities in it that were unsuspected until he came along.   Outside a relatively small circle of knowledgeable admirers, he has never received sufficient recognition for this achievement. And today, even if the ravages of time and self-neglect have brought him to the state described by some contributors to this thread, we still owe him.

If Davey's management is reasonably honest, then the fraction of my ticket money that eventually reaches him should be enough to buy him a meal. Even if the concert is a total washout, I won't regret doing that for him – and there's still a chance that he will get it right on the night.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:24 AM

This thread is not going to help Davey Graham.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:26 AM

Any half civilised country would have awarded him a pension for composing one of the most influential pieces of guitar music in the history of the world.

A far more significant contribution to the culture of this country than the present Poet Laureate has come up with.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:41 AM

Captain Birdseye: "This thread is not going to help Davey Graham."

I have no relationship with the man, so have no way of helping him directly, but as I posted above: "I want the man to be remembered for what he was, not what he is. That's most likely if he stops performing now, or if people choose not to go."

In my own tiny way, I am trying to help Davey Graham.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 08:43 AM

What makes somebody an addict/alcoholic is precisely the fact that they do NOT have the ability to choose about taking the bloody stuff.

You obviously don't understand that.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Santa
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 09:08 AM

mattkeen: obviously understanding differs on this point. Addicts can and do have the choice of taking steps that would reduce or cure their addiction. Perhaps it does take falling to an extreme condition, or the help of true friends: thankfully I wouldn't know. I suspect it varies with the individual, but I do know that many have taken those steps, and have been cured or at least alleviated their condition. Yes, the man deserves some sympathy - although how much self-afflicted harm deserves sympathy is open to some discussion - but if his brain really is "fried" he shouldn't be placed into the position of taking money under false pretences. If it isn't "fried", then he should be encouraged to detox.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 09:13 AM

He was never my favourite performer - but he does not deserve the sniffy opprobrium being handed out my some here.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 09:29 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davey_Graham


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Friend of Bill
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 09:34 AM

I'm an alcoholic - but I've been sober for 14 years. One thing the alcoholic needs is for folks to be honest with him. It's the one disease that convinces you that you don't have it. Don't rescue the man. Until he hits bottom he won't be willing to get the help he needs. Trust me - I've been a Davey Graham type - but I was able to make it back. He can too. Assuming that alcohol is the real problem. If he has the capacity to be honest with himself he can turn his life around.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 09:40 AM

As he was here:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cFB6xj1xHnM


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 09:45 AM

p.s. read the YouTube comments


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 10:01 AM

Apart from Angie, what has he done? His albums during the 60s and 70s were shit, even the hopelessly over-rated "Folk, Blues and Beyond," which contains the much vaunted version of Better Git It In Your Soul, but which, to my ears at least, is very pedestrian. Compare it to Bert Jansch and John Renbourne's beautiful rendition of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat: Two artists with a substantial body of work behind them. The least said about his voice, the better. (After saying that, I did enjoy "The Complete Guitarist", released in 1979, which showed that he was a very good guitarist, even if he broke no new ground - and he didn't sing (hooray) on it.)

As for being a drunk and a junkie, I do feel sorry for the man, who, from what I can gather in articles and interviews, seems like a decent sort. Even if it is self-inflicted, drunks and junkies are rarely in control, and if he lacks the character to take back control, again, not his fault.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST, Grimmy
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 10:05 AM

Being drunk on stage a couple of times doesn't make you an alcoholic, as seems to be the assumption here.

I have talked to him both before, after and even during several of his gigs (we're talking the past two years here) and, though not the easiest man to communicate with, he was certainly not worse the wear for drink on those occasions.

Alcohol is not the problem.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Tom of Bedlam
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 10:12 AM

Penguin Egg, that may be your honest opinion, but there are ways to say things, and that wasn't put very well.

As to your question, what has he done? Davey Graham created the style of guitar that Bert Jansch and John Renbourn used; just ask them. Without him there wouldn't have been the version of Goodbye Porkpie Hat you enthuse over, because it owes its in technique and theoretical approach entirely to that first seen on 1959's 'The Guitar Player', an album that pretty much invents the idea of the guitar instrumental in a non American blues or classical setting, even if it does have a rather overenthusiatic drummer. Folk-blues guitar and jazz were mutually exclusive in this country before Graham, as were Folk-Blues guitar and trad.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST,Friend of Bill
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 10:13 AM

"Alcohol is not the problem."

The only person who really knows is Davey Graham.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 11:14 AM

"Apart from Angie, what has he done?"

Even if that were all he'd done. It would be enough. Most of us expend a lifetime's efforts without achieving s fraction of that. It doesn't come free. Its accomplished by creative effort, divergent thinking, and makinng a sensual relationship with the instrument that is born from hours of practice.

If it were easy - every bugger would be doing it. And as the Radio 2 federation of crackpots try to unload yet another totally unmemorable pile of shite on us as the next new thing - take a good listen to it. that's the sound of people who don't even know how to start making that kind of creative effort. And the sound of djs and programme producers who have never understood that.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 11:37 AM

'Angie' probably had more effect on the world of guitar playing than any other piece of music. The ripples from Davey Graham's creative spash of genius are still spreading outwards.

He was playing 'world music' before the term had even been invented.

Oh yeah, and he invented a new guitar tuning too.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 11:54 AM

Surely Bluesleeves was Davey Graham too.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 12:04 PM

It is currently fashionable to knock Davy (NB this is how he currently spells his name) Graham and it's been cropping up periodically on one forum or another over the past couple of years.

I have been loath to contribute to this latest assassination attempt because, as has been remarked more than once, such a thread is not helping.

I have, however, known Mr Graham (not well but intermittently) for around 40 years. I knew him best when, back in the 60s and living close to C# House where I worked, he underwent and survived a spell of heroine addiction.

The whole point of addiction is that it is not self-inflicted. Other than falling in love with which it has remarkable similarities, it is the one human activity that is not an act of will. It happens and the person so afflicted has no control over it, nor does s/he even admit that there might be a problem. Unless and until they do, there is no hope of resolution and it is pointless to be prescriptive about what they 'should' do. All friends can do is suggest 'maybe you might . . . ' and be supportive wherever possible.

I know not whether Davy is back on the H or just the booze. I have seen him perform twice fairly recently and he was fine in the musical sense, with comprehensive and fairly comprehensible preambles and good (though not brilliant) execution. OK, he was odd but that's part of the charm. His illness is more frightening but is absolutely not a signal for opprobrium and abuse from erstwhile 'fans'.

Think on. You might be there yourself some day.


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Subject: RE: Davey Graham: what a waste
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 12:09 PM

Good heavens!

I agree.

But I do like the idea of "heroine addiction" - is it a bit like Modesty Blaize?


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