Graham Reid | | 2 min read
Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is no stranger to New Zealand's shores and nor should be because he was for a long time a near neighbor. Born in New South Wales 60 years ago, Emmanuel rose quickly through the ranks and by his teenage years he had acquired considerable road miles touring with the family band and also a stack of awards.
In the early Seventies he joined the re-formed Dragon but it was his solo career — during which he played alongside Chet Atkins, Hank Marvin of the Shadows and Eric Clapton – that he is best known for.
These days he is based in Nashville but tours regularly and performs across the genres from country to jazz.
On the eve of a short New Zealand tour (dates below) he took time out to answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
Guitar Boogie by Arthur Smith
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
Hank Marvin, Gene Krupa
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Lennon, Nirvana, Gaga, Jacko
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Nuage by Django Reinhardt, The New Frontier by Donald Fagen, Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson
Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
The Eric Clapton autobiography
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Ed Sheeran, Think It Out Loud
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
John Wayne in The Shootist, Forrest Gump, Rabbit Proof Fence
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
Elton John, Your Song
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
George Benson's Weekend In LA
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
A A R - the initials of my three daughters
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
In Coogee, Australia, learning all the things that I'm no good at at the moment.
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
I think this new album is some of the best songs I've written and sounds closest to exactly how I sound when I play.
TOMMY EMMANUEL NEW ZEALAND TOUR
Wed Aug 19, 7:30pm, Founders Theatre, Hamilton
Thurs Aug 20 8pm, ASB Theatre, Auckland
Fri Aug 21 8:00pm, The Opera House, Wellington
Sat Aug 22 8:00pm, Aurora Centre, Canterbury