I was touched by your editorial about the humiliation you faced at another guitarist’s hands. It was very brave of you to reveal it. I know how tough it can be, as I’ve had exactly the same happen to me. I invited a young guitarist up to guest in my band (he’d come to a few gigs with his Dad and they’d let it be known he would like to play sometime). So I brought a spare amp and he had his own guitar; it was my gig so I felt well in my comfort zone. I’m in my 40s and he was in his late teens and the outcome hadn’t even occurred to me. But he got up and wiped the floor with me. The audience loved him like he’d scored the winning World Cup goal. But I was devastated. It took weeks for me to recover my nerve. This was years ago but your welcome note reopened the wound for a minute or two. I did get over it, as clearly have you; I learnt a lesson from it and hope I grew as a musician. Funny thing is, I still play but he works in a bank – had all the talent but no staying power! Peter, South Shields
That’s horrible, Peter. But think I can top you. In the ’90s I used to play at a blues club in Chelmsford, and thought I was one of the ‘top dogs’, if you like. One day a young guy came in; unfamiliar to me but with long, fuzzy hair and a gig-bag over his shoulder. He put his name down to play and got up with me. I soloed first and gave it my best shot; he quietly proceeded to eat me up for breakfast. “That was great,” I said afterwards, hiding the fact that I had died inside. “So what’s your name, son? “Er, Guthrie... Guthrie Govan.” Doh!
Guthrie Govan: devastating, even at age 21