Tuesday 13 December 2011


My sister knows their manager so I was on the guest list to see 'Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra' on Saturday night. Among the musicians was Rico Rodriguez - reggae and ska legend - best trombone player (trombonist? tromboner? trombonologist?) in the world and a hero of mine.

Coincidentally I'm reading a book about 'The Specials' written by their bass player, he talks about when Rico started playing with them, the reggae crowd accorded him slightly more respect and adoration than if he'd been the second coming. He was also a massive marijuana smoker, and mainly a very laid back character.

On Saturday night after the Jools Holland show we went to their hotel to say hello to the manager. Outside the hotel I could smell grass being smoked, and when we got inside there was Rico, checking in and signing for his room key. I wanted to say "YoureMyHeroILoveEveryNoteThatYouveEveryPlayedThatSoloOnTheLongVersionOfGhostTownIsTheBestThingIveEverHeardWillYouAutographEveryThingThatIOwn" but restrained myself slightly and started to say "Good show tonight". He stopped me after less than a syllable and said "Dankyou sooo mush, you doo kaind." and that was very clearly the end of the conversation. I suppose he's had over thirty years to learn to deal with gushing sycophantic idiots.

My brother tells me that a couple of years ago he was going to another Jools Holland show and ended up in the same cab as Rico. My brother asked him about touring with 'The Specials' and all he said was "Dey wer'.... laively boys."

Richard "starstruck" B

No comments: