Lee Ritenour

July 27, 2013

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Soho, Saturday afternoon.

Looking round the hot sweaty queue, from my even hotter casual repose on the sunny side of Frith Street, I wondered if we were all really the same, those of us with a common interest ?

Was I like them ?

A bunch, or rather line, of middle aged badly dressed men, some clearly flouting the venue’s published code. Some grey pony tails (Why ?????), not all on the same head fortunately. The ubiquitous obligatory Japanese tourist – I’ve no idea what they thought they were standing in line for but passed the time photographing scaffold.

Then we had a few lucky, (bet they doubted it) teenagers with dads or grandads and several 40 something Thai ladies, don’t ask why.

What better place to spend a hot and humid afternoon in London – anniversary olympics my arse, why do we put up with repeats ? – but in a dark night club, albeit air conditioned to the point where I wished I’d worn my coat.

Lee Ritenour was doing a question and answer session with a few demo’s thrown in, before playing his second night at Ronnie’s – which sadly I missed.

What a genuinely great, entertaining bloke. Lots of interesting anecdotes and none of the Guitar Godliness he could’ve laid on very thick.

A brief nod to his gear – I hope he’s not sponsored, as they will be disappointed. Good to hear that most of his gear is standard kit and within the grasp of us mere mortals. Nice story on his German effects pedal too.

Some good advice, we’ve all heard before and usually ignore – practice makes perfect, particularly if you dedicate your life to it AND learn all those notes, all 20+ frets worth, not just a few on the dots. Then practice getting to each and every one FAST

(All that being said and on a side note Steve Cropper says he ALWAYS follows the dots….)

Then the bit we all dread, at least if this was a comedy act, which it certainly wasn’t. The main man wants somebody to join him on stage to help demonstrate technique. Unbelievably 20 half wits stick their arms in the air !! So by my reckoning that should have been 10 of the full shilling if you had to rely on them. Thankfully we didn’t. I suppose it really is something to say you’ve JAMMED on stage with Lee Ritenour at Ronnie Scott’s.

CLAMMED more like. Clearly everything these two hapless volunteers ever learned instantly vacated the cranium and fingertips. A very brave effort but cringeworthy.

All in all an excellent afternoon’s entertainment from one of the best – more Audiences to come on a monthly basis, check it out on Ronnie Scotts website. Well worth a tenner whatever the weather.

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