The grainy photo below is of Myself performing as a member of My Pet Junkie roundabout the turn of the Millennium. Behind me on the drums is long term collaborator Leon Camfield who to this day still performs with me when schedules allow; and stood next to me on the Bass is good friend and one time My Pet Junkie original member Richard Porter.
Richard was an essential part of My Pet Junkie’s birth and he performed with the band for over 2 years before moving on. He Performed on both of MPJ’s EP’s before we signed with Riverrun records to make our first album.
Following Richards departure from the group Julia Bell stepped in to take low end responsibilities and we have remained the same line up since 2001. However Richard has remained a constant pillar of support over the years surprising us by turning up at shows unannounced numerous times between his own many journeys to Dubai and the US among many places.
In 2016 I received a message from richard which read “I thought you might be interested in seeing a guitar my dad has just finished (this is number 5 or 6 I think) his plan for this one is to pass it onto a touring musician who uses it, but then passes it on to another musician and they use it and pass it on and so on and see how far the guitar can travel around the globe.” So Intrigued by this I contacted Richards Dad – John Porter.
He has taken the time to build guitars simply by teaching himself from the internet. He sources the wood from scrap and turns it into something again useful and quite frankly beautiful.
John had just finished building a beautiful new guitar and as it says above he wants it to travel. My brother (who incidentally was the man who got me into guitar) was able to meet him and pick the guitar up for me.
And then suddenly one day – there it was – in my possession…..
Now as much as I love guitars I have over time come to see them as basically a tool for a job. If they need to be slowly destroyed for the sake of making the right sounds then so be it. Not to say I generally mistreat them but I use them very percussively and that does increase the wear and tear no end.
However with this axe I felt it truly deserved total respect and every time I would play it I wanted to be delicate and gentle.
Within the guitars sound hole read a note from John:
“This Guitar is Free To The World”
And so it’s journey had begun. I was honoured to be one of the 1st to play it and so it was next to work out where it would next go.
As always these things seem to direct themselves and no longer had I had the guitar arrive I was contacted by on old friend.
Can you play at my wedding was the request of one of my dearest oldest friends P.
She was due to be married a couple of months later and wanted me to perform a totally acoustic version of the John Martyn classic ‘May You Never’ at her wedding.
I was honoured and scared to be asked and to be performing a piece I loved so much but was also petrified of attempting.
But as the performance was to be totally acoustic and the guitar was not an electro-acoustic. It seemed fated that my performance would be the live debut of this beautiful instrument.
And so it came to be that in the summer of 2016. I performed the John Martyn classic in front of the wedding attendees….
However the story did not end there. P’s new wife Sarah was an accomplished musician herself. She performs under the name Little Sister Blue. Later in 2016 she was due to fly with P out to Japan in order to start a new life. It seemed somewhat fated that this purpose built travelling guitar should start clocking up some miles.
In the same day it had made not only its 1st public performance but also it’s 2nd – With it’s new owner.
Sarah and P would perform a wonderful duet later the same day and so the process of it’s travel from me to her was complete.
The guitar is now living out in Tokyo with Sarah and from there who knows next.