I was fortunate enough to have played with him at a session arranged by another friend, Prakash John. We played at The Level Crossing on Yonge Street and I was as nervous as a person could be just to be on the stage with a guitarist that I held in such high esteem. We played several tunes together and he was nothing short of kind, generous, and a real gentleman. Afterwards, I must have bent his ear for about two hours getting information on his viewpoint on playing, attitude towards life as a working musician, work ethic, and many other areas that became staples for me in my own career.
Many years later I met up with him again when I was playing at Albert’s Hall with Harrison Kennedy and the Rockin’ Hurricanes. I had the chance to thank him for the great influence and advice that he had given me many years before. He gave me one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. He said, “You must have been listening to what I told you, because you are sounding really great!” He then chuckled and said, “Not everyone listens to me you know!” I, for one, am a better player and have a better work ethic because I tried to listen and learn from a master guitarist.
Unfortunately, he passed away in May of 2005 after a lengthy battle with cancer. His energy and zest for music and in particular guitar will be sorely missed by all.