Saturday, 12 October 2019

Coolest thing ever said to Al Stewart

I went to see Al Stewart at the Royal College of Music in Manchester last night. It was a sell-out performance and he was, as always, excellent. The support band, Empty Pockets, who also were his backing band, were very good in both capacities. He told this story:

About 40 years ago, he was backstage and a woman he reckoned was about 10 years older than him came in, made herself a drink and sat down to read a magazine. Assuming she was the wife of the promoter, he went over to chat with her, and after a while she told him that she had a cassette of his music in the car, adding that she had only two cassettes in her car, the other being of her brother.

"Is your brother in a band?" asked Al.
"He was," she replied, "but they split up."

As he put his guitar on to go on stage, Al asked the name of the band. She replied: "The Beatles."

It was George Harrison's sister. Al said it was coolest thing that's ever been said to him.

► I remember watching the live version above of 'Year Of The Cat' on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1976. He and his band did an excellent version last night.


  1. My wife and I saw Al Stewart in Canterbury, just over two years ago. I've been a lifelong fan and it was a privilege to see him perform live.

    We caught up with him briefly, after the gig. He signed our programme and I told him that I'd seen him twice before. The first time was at UMIST, in Manchester back in the mid-70's. The second time was at Hammersmith Odeon shortly after the release of Time Passages.

    Two totally different gigs but he recalled them both. A great musician and composer, and a great entertainer as well.

    Fascinating story about George Harrison's sister too. Al told us a tale about being taught to play the guitar by Robert Fripp.

  2. I first came across Al Stewart in 1970 when his third album, 'Zero She Flies' was released. I first saw him in Central Hall, Liverpool in 1971. I agree entirely that he's a good performer, song-writer and entertainer, and at 74 he's just as good as he ever was.


Comments, including disagreements, are welcome.
Abuse and spam are not and will be deleted straight away.
Comment moderation is installed for older posts.