In my time working at Love’s, I have met all kinds of musical acts. Since it is a truck stop, and since there are a number of venues nearby where such acts play, and since we are the only truck stop on the east side of town, lots of tour buses stop in. I have met the guys from the fairly current acts Authority Zero, the guys (and girls) from Paramore, the guys from Korn, the guys from Lamb of God, and the drunken little twerp Sammy Adams. I have also met some of my childhood favorite bands like Ratt and Bret Michaels. And while I’m not a fan of country music, there have also been a bunch of current country acts in the store that everyone else went all gaga for. I don’t even remember their names to list them here.
I’ve so far been able to maintain my composure throughout these meetings, which, of course, is the goal. They are usually stopping in after a concert in the wee hours of the morning. They want to use the bathroom and get back on the road (except Ratt, who stopped in at about noon on a Sunday. They were so happy to be recognized that they stayed for a good half an hour taking photos, signing autographs, and thanking everyone for supporting them). They don’t want to turn every minor stop into an autograph signing public appearance. The exception to that one being the guys from Authority Zero, who stopped in before they became quite so popular. They were happy to take photos and sign autographs for a bunch of people while they were there. The flip side of that was Bret Michaels, who was an incredible douchebag, not only refusing to sign autographs or take photos, but blatantly ignoring nearly everyone who attempted to speak to him.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever detailed any of those meetings here. I doubt that I have, because you care less than I do, and frankly I care very little myself. It was neat to meet them, and especially so to meet Ratt, who have already passed their prime and thus have learned a bit of humility. Still, hardly worth mentioning. But a few months ago, I happened to meet a musician that I had never heard of, and it was that experience that prompted this post.
It was very late at night, or probably very early morning, when the guy you see pictured to the right came into the store. He was very friendly, soft-spoken and polite. He was looking for some fingernail glue or crazy glue to fix a broken nail. He felt it necessary to qualify that by mentioning that he was a musician and needed it to reinforce his cracked nail while he played his guitar. Being something of a guitarist myself, I assumed that he must be finger-picking, and probably on an acoustic guitar, for that to matter.
While I walked him to the aisle where we keep the glue, I asked him about his music. Before he responded to the question, he asked me what type of music I enjoy. Since old age is getting to me, my tastes now have switched from growly metal to symphonic metal and classical -although, oddly, I don’t really care for classical symphonies all that much, preferring solo piano and violin pieces- which I told him. His face lit up and he smiled wide. He told me his name is Peter Fletcher (perhaps hoping I would recognize the name, which I didn’t) and he plays classical guitar. He invited me to come and see him perform at a show the following night in Tucson. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the show.
I walked him back to the register and rang up his purchase. He thanked me for my help and my time. I went back to whatever it was I had been doing before he came into the store. A few minutes later, he came back into the store with a CD in hand. He said he would give me a copy if I promised to listen to it. Something in his tone made me think that he doubted that I would. Once I assured him that I would listen to it, he once more thanked me for my time and left the store.
When I got home that night, I immediately ripped the CD into my music library and listened to it. It is pretty amazing. It has been on my playlist since that night, and I even downloaded another of his albums a couple of weeks later. They remain on my playlist (along with hundreds of other albums, but there nonetheless) and every time one of the songs comes on, I remember that I forgot to send him a thank you. So while I was writing him a thank you, I decided to mention him here as well.
I still don’t know a great deal about Mr. Fletcher other than that he is a guitarist. I don’t know what level of fame he may have achieved or if he makes a living solely as a musician. What I do know is that he was the kindest musician I have ever had the pleasure to meet, and I truly wish mainstream musicians would learn a bit of humility from him. It was very refreshing.
Here is a snippet from his track Bach Cello Suite Bouree if you’re not familiar with classical guitar:
For more information about him or for links on where to purchase, visit his website at PeterFletcher.com.