Knowing your place

In 1991, Eric Clapton gave songwriter Will Jennings a verse of a song he had written, beginning with the following immortal words.

‘Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven’?

He asked Jennings to finish the song, because it was too close to the bone for him, having lost his 4 year-old son in a tragic accident months before.

Jennings baulked at the idea, for similar reasons to the ones Clapton had for asking him. Jennings initially didn’t feel comfortable at the idea of finishing a song that was so personal to Clapton, but Clapton persuaded him and so Tears in Heaven came to be.

Dave Flynn was our guest on In The Lamplight this week, and had some great stories about the likes of Paul Simon and Gary Moore as well as the various ways he had made music work for him as a career.

He also uttered the following quote in relation to the job he had as the front man of a wedding band – ‘If anyone is going to steal the limelight from the bride on her wedding day, then I intend to be that person’.

Dave, although the quote was slightly tongue-in-cheek, knew that brides generally aren’t happy with being upstaged. If it does have to happen however, it’s preferable if the upstaging contributes to the atmosphere of the party, and he knew that it was his place to do just that.

Jennings in the first story also had the wisdom to know that if Eric Clapton wanted a song finished, even a song dealing with incredibly personal material, it was his place to do so.

Knowing your place. Just as important as knowing how to do your job.

PS Tears in Heaven featured on pianowithkieran.com over the last two weeks. Tuition and challenge videos now available to all.

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