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Matt Flaherty

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journal slacker [Jun. 29th, 2004|12:18 pm]
Matt Flaherty
I've found it hard to sit down and write in my journal lately. It's not that I'm particularly busy, it's just that I'm pretty much a slacker all around. I put things off and journal writing is not a big priority anyway. But I felt I should write a bit today because of recent events. Two nights ago the Free French got together for the first time since our gig six weeks ago in order to rehearse and learn a few new tunes. I was expecting there would be some sloppiness and forgotten parts, etc. To my surprise and delight we were very tight on the previously prepared tunes and I rather enjoyed playing them after the long absence. rhodri never writes much after rehearsals or gigs which suggests that he thinks we're all sh1t, but in reality I think he just doesn't want to bore his readers with shameless band plugging, with a few notable exceptions. Since I have fewer friends than fingers on one hand I need not be so socially responsible.

The other big event that happened was the TOTO show last night at the Albert Hall. Evidently I was joined by sexyworld, although we would not have known this never having met. I am not a big TOTO fan, nor I gather is sexyworld. I went to the show because my old friend Steve is a member of the crew on this tour and he provided me with guest tickets complete with aftershow privileges. Steven Lu, who landed the gig as keyboard tech, is perhaps the most talented musician I have ever played with. For the last seven or eight years since we finished at Berklee he has been living and working in LA as a producer, composer, arranger, keyboard player, music director, and tour technician for a variety of big name artists. He has been making contacts and climbing the social and professional ladder of the LA music scene. I on the other hand have been building web sites (!). Unlike Steve, I had suffered a severe burnout following the Berklee education which caused me to abandon all musical pursuits for a good five years or more. This saw me shifting careers to IT and multimedia production, a career which began in New York's "Silicon Alley" and carried on to present day London after marriage brought me to this country as a permanent resident. About two years ago I felt the music ban beginning to lift and I've finally done something about it.

Anyway, there I was (or there we were - beeblog as well) at the TOTO show, which was alright, and the aftershow party, which for me was a disappointment. The last time I saw Steve Lu was when he played piano at our wedding over five years ago. Once Steve was finally free to come and hang out with us we only had about fifteen minutes before we had to leave in order to relieve my mother-in-law who was babysitting. We maybe could have stayed a bit later but there was a real risk the baby would wake up and be inconsolable at or around midnight. We have had a string of such behaviour. So fifteen minutes to go and Steve starts introducing us to members of the band. First he grabs Steve Lukather, lead guitar/vocals. I will refer to them as Luke and Lu in order to avoid confusion. The meeting went something like this:

Lu: Steve (who had probably just been in the middle of talking to someone famous), this is my friend Matt and his wife Beccy.
Luke: Oh yeah? Hi. (somewhat taken aback)
Lu: Matt and I did Berklee together.
Luke: (a bit softened) Holy Sh1t! Yeah.
Lu: Matt is an amazing guitar player. He's after your job, man. You'd better watch out!
Luke: (laughing) You can have it!
Me: (embarrassed) It's not true, none of it, none of it.
Lu: Don't worry Matt, I'll poison him tonight. You'll be a shoe in!
Me: What are you talking about?!
Luke: (laughing still) Hey man, I've got kids!

Ugh! After that I shook bass player Mike Porcaro's hand and didn't have a whole lot to say so that was the end of it. I was glad to have seen Brian May at the aftershow and at one point he came over and stood next to me while he was on the phone, but I would not impose myself on a celebrity even if I thought they might like it. It's just not my style. Before we left my friend disappeared because he had to find his tour manager for some reason. We had to leave without saying goodbye. The whole aftershow experience was coloured by my feeling that I had a curfew and that kind of put a damper on the experience. Pity.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: rhodri
2004-06-29 12:49 pm (UTC)
No, I thought we were great!

But you wait til Sunday. I'm going to work you like a Japanese prisoner of war.
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