A man and his guitar
League great Eric Grothe still loves performing before the crowds, writes Chanel Parratt
EG: The Gold Coast. My mum, dad and brother are there so I’m up there every Christmas. Lots of nice lunches and dinners PARRAMATTA powerhouse and rugby league great Eric “Guru” Grothe Snr says if there’s one thing he can’t travel without these days, it’s his guitar.
Grothe, who will perform at the Tamworth Country Music Festival next weekend, says visitors should take the time to explore the main street to see all the talented buskers and stop in at the Longyard Hotel where you can catch Eric Grothe & the Gurus.
Favourite place to travel in Australia?
together, relaxing and taking it easy and a fair bit of golf with my brother as he loves it.
How about overseas?
EG: I don’t get to go overseas much for holidays but I had the opportunity to travel to Europe with the Australian team when I was playing rugby league. The Swiss Alps really stand out in my memory. Chamonix in France is another place I think of fondly, picture perfect with amazing snow-capped mountains there too. It was like a dream.
What destinations are on your wish list?
EG: The bucket list (laughs) yeah there’s a few I need to start ticking off. Hawaii and the rest of America, Italy and I really want to get to Egypt to see the pyramids.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival?
EG: We’ve played there for the past five or six years and, like each of those, we look forward to the crowds. They’re so responsive, they love any kind of music and they really get involved. Everyone is so friendly, they’re all there for the right reasons – to relax, listen to music and have a good time.
When you’re not performing, do you get the chance to check out the other bands?
EG: Absolutely. We always take a walk down the main street to where the buskers play, it’s incredible. We’ll pop our head in to a few pubs to see who’s playing, there’s such a great atmosphere and I’m always surprised by how many different styles of music there are at Tamworth.
What’s on the Gurus’ set list?
I don’t want to give all our secrets away but we’ve been learning some new songs. We played a Brian Ferry song, This Is Tomorrow Calling, a few weeks back that went down well so that will be on the list.
Are you nervous before a gig?
EG: The nerves are always there, but once you get into the first song they go awayquickly. The crowd are always behind you and a few beers over practice with your band mates before helps.
Cheesiest thing you’ve done travelling?
EG: A local paper wanted to take a photo of us in front of the Big Golden Guitar a few years back so there might be a cheesy photo of us leaning over a camera lens floating around (laughs).
ESCAPE IN TAMWORTH
Escape editor also be performing in Tamworth with his band The Deadliners at The Court House Hotel and Family Hotel on Friday. See the venues or tcmf.com.au Brian invites all Escape readers to drop in and say hello.