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Bill McGuffie: Interview 2

Interview Two: Of Great Bands and Magic Moments

Three interviews by Les Tomkins in 1973 and 1974 explore the career of pianist and composer Bill Mcguffie.

Interview: 1973

Source: Jazz Professional

Interview Text or Transcript

After leaving Joe Loss, I was working as a rehearsal pianist at the Adelphi Theatre, London, for a show called Golden City. In my lunchtime I used to practise; that was all I ever did, practise! One day I was practising Rachmaninov’s 2nd or 3rd, and this voice behind me said: “What are you doing?” I said: “I’m sorry, but I like to practise during the lunchtime break.” He said: “Are you the rehearsal pianist?” I said I was. “Not any more, you’re not.” I said: “Oh, I can’t leave the job—it’s the only job I’ve got.” And he said: “Well, my name’s Phil Green. Come on.” Separate Soon after that, I was in his house, practising a concerto he was working on for a film. Then I went down to Elstree with him, and I played this concerto in a film. Afterwards, some of the boys in the band came over to me—all sessioneers I’d been in great awe of, people like Max Goldberg, Jock Bain, Freddy Gardner—and said: “Wonderful piano playing, son. What’s your name? Who have you been with?” Its amazing; you would think that, being with a big–name band like Joe Loss, the musicians would know of you. But touring bands were a separate existence entirely from the world of the sessioneer.

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