Sunday, 7 June 2009

Never meet your heroes

I recently had the chance to speak to one of my musical heroes Pete Townshend and I bottled it. We were both stood outside a restaurant in Richmond. I had spotted him from a way off, but as we got close, my wife urged me not to speak to him as she thought it would be rude. Usually I would have said hello. But on this occasion I thought better of it. I have heard he is a bit moody, although I have no factual evidence to back this up. Anyway he is one of the biggest names in my little world of music. He was the figurehead of a musical movement in this country and to people like me, who follow the Mod scene, he is an icon.
However his many interviews on behalf of The Who and as a 60s survivor suggest that he can be a bit grumpy, so I thought better of saying a polite hello.
Later my wife changed her stance to say 'I bet he would have loved a chat with you really'. Then I thought if I had said hello and he had told me to "F*ck Off", that would have been a story to dine out on for a while. So next time if I see one of my heroes I'm just going to say hello. Have you ever met your hero?


  1. One of my biggest regrets is not talking to one of my heroes, the godfather of alternative radio, the one, the only, John Peel (RIP).
    It was at a gig in Nottingham for 'John Peel Radio 1 Live', at the Nottingham Boat Club, 31st October 2002, where I nearly met him. The bands playing were Bearsuit, Miss Black America and (Nottingham band) Six by Seven.
    Anyway, during the headline band, Six by Seven, I was enjoying the music when suddenly I couldn't concentrate on the music any longer. My hero, John Peel, was standing next to me. Knowing Six by Seven were one of John Peel's favourite bands I didn't say anything and I told myself I'd say hello to him after the band had finished.
    Near the end of the gig Mr Peel wandered off - I imagine as it was Live on Radio 1 he had gone to finish off his radio programme from backstage. I was gutted I didn't say hello.
    Less than two years later, 25th October 2004, John Peel sadly passed away while on a working holiday in Peru.

  2. I would SO have gone to say hello! He'd be used to all of the unwanted attention, and whatever his response you'd have still been dining out on it! I think I'd have just said "Hi Pete, I'm a massive fan, hope you don't mind me saying hello?" and depending on his response the converstion may have continued....

    My "Same but different" story was at Sincil bank, mid eighties at a Lincoln vs Nottingham Forrest pre season friendly. I had had my programme signed by ALL of the Imps players and then manager - Colin Murphy, and ALL of the Forrest players (A steward passed it around both dressing rooms for me), but I did not have the Forrest manager's autograph - A one Mr Brian Clough!.
    I waited at the end of the tunnel, as you could in those days, and he was the last one out. Picture the scene: Young, innocent, polite little boy stood patiently waiting, and as Brian Clough got closer.......
    ME:> Excuse me Mr Cl.......
    (that was as far as my sentence progressed, as then..
    BRIAN:> F**K OFF

    That was it!! Two words straight at me from the best England manager that never was!! Ol big head had told ME to F**K OFF!! And I HAVE been dining out on it ever since!!