Gary re­turns to his first love The Who

West Sussex Gazette - - ARTS & ENTERTAINM­ENTS - Phil hewitt Group arts ed­i­tor [email protected]­me­

Gary Grainger was Rod Stew­art’s gui­tarist for five and a half years at the height of Sir Rod’s chart suc­cess – the days of Hot Legs and I Was Only Jok­ing, songs Gary co-wrote.

But he re­turns to his first love The Who when he lines up in Chich­ester as lead gui­tarist in The To­tal Who Show at Chich­ester’s As­sem­bly Room on Fe­bru­ary 9.

The Who were the first band he ever saw, says Gary, who lives just out­side Chich­ester.

“I first worked with (Who front­man and singer) Ro­ger Dal­trey in 1985-86, and that was for an al­bum that ended up be­ing called Can’t Wait To See The Movie, and we did var­i­ous TV shows play­ing live. We were tour­ing on the back of his pre­vi­ous al­bum called Un­der The Rag­ing Moon. Ro­ger was al­ways lovely to me. I have seen him ex­plode at peo­ple at times, but for­tu­nately I was never on the re­ceiv­ing end. He was al­ways a great joy and re­ally friendly.”

It helps, of course, that Gary is such a mas­sive Who fan: “The Who were the first band I ever saw, in 1965 in Lon­don. I was 13. I was ter­ri­fied. It was the first gig I had ever been to, and it was jam-packed. I think I fainted about three times, but I couldn’t fall over we were all so tightly packed in.”

The gig was elec­tri­fy­ing: “Pete Town­shend was ram­ming his gui­tar into the stacks and mak­ing all these fan­tas­tic noises, re­ally ter­ri­fy­ing noises!”

Of the mem­bers of The Who, it was per­haps bassist John En­twhis­tle that Gary got to know best: “Be­cause I was such a fan of Ro­ger and Pete, I prob­a­bly found it eas­ier with John. I recorded a lot down at his house at Stow-on-theWold. He had a stu­dio built in his house that was re­ally sta­teof-the-art. He used to let me stay there and take my son down. He was great. So it is great to be play­ing The Who’s mu­sic now.”

Gary was brought into the band by singer and front­man Johnny War­man as a tem­po­rary re­place­ment last July. He is cer­tainly hop­ing to ex­tend his stay as much as pos­si­ble. It is def­i­nitely Gary’s kind of mu­sic.

A big part of the fun is also the fact that he and Gary go back to 1983-84: “We wrote a lot of ma­te­rial to­gether that we never re­ally fin­ished. I moved house and split up with my wife at the time and we just didn’t fin­ish it. But one of the songs we co-wrote ended up with Ringo Starr. It is great to have a cowrite with a Bea­tle!”

Tick­ets on https:// tick­­tal-who/ events/the-to­tal-who-show-inchich­ester/

Gary Grainger with Rod Stew­art

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