My highlight at NAMM last weekend, so I thought, could not be surpassed after seeing Stevie Wonder perform 10 feet from me. Thanks to Will Lee for inviting me, to watch my favorite bass player sit in with Stevie!! But two more musical moments of equal thrill occurred on the last day…
I am taking the liberty to vouch for a young man I’d like to introduce to my readers, Shaun Hopper, who’s highlight, I guarantee, blew mine away!!
I am so tickled to share this story! Folks, watch out for this kid, he is a star.
Saturday evening I went to the “All Star Guitar Show”. And this handsome. charming guy walks on stage alone, with his guitar, and proceeds to smoke a few tunes, including a medley of Stevie Wonder, and tackled, Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody, which received a standing ovation. (Though he plays a Martin!)…(Silly guitar pun, sorry.) Martin sponsors Shaun.
He played so many parts with just his two hands, including slamming percussion, by attacking the wood on his guitar, just right. It gave me wood!
Hints of Michael Hedges were reminiscent, but Shaun Hopper has his own thing going on. And apparently, he is a Stevie fanatic.
Right before I left NAMM on Sunday night, after spending my last day in Disney Land, I ran into his drummer, Paul Quin, and he told me this story….
Earlier Sunday, while I was on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Shaun went on one of his own!
First he sat in at the Paul Reed Smith booth, and as usual, blew everyone away with his brilliance.
In demand, he then was wooing the crowd at another small stage. And guess who shows up, wooed himself?? STEVIE FRICKEN’ WONDER!!! Wouldn’t it be awesome to see the video? Heck yeah! And here it is.
(Now, Stevie, and his entourage are constantly being mobbed, so they don’t stop for anything…but they stopped for Shaun. Watch Stevie’s reaction!)
You can see towards the end that Stevie moves along, as the crowd gets a little too big.
Next thing ya know, Shaun receives a text to come up to the Martin Booth right away!
A gentleman escorted him into a room, and guess who was there? (I bet you can guess!)
Stevie and Shaun played “Overjoyed” together. And everyone certainly was! How cool is that!???
It would be even cooler if I had that damn video!! But I don’t. But trust me, it happened!
Man, I might have been intimidated to play in front of my idol, or with my idol, but this kid surely is a pro, keeping his composure. But I wish I was a fly, or cricket, on the wall of his mind, to hear the conversation going on in his head!!!
I sang along at Disney, with Jiminy Cricket, “When You Wish Upon A Star….” (Please sing that line!) But Tinkerbell was too busy using up her fairy dust on Shaun! And It was magic! My mouth still hurts from smiling for this kid.
Then I was about to leave for LAX. Shaun showed up. And along with drummer Paul, and my other friends that I met through Grammy 365, amazing recording artist Gustavo Alarco, and his producer Greg Beery, and another drummer, David Segal, they all escorted me to the garage, fortunately, with guitars carried by Rudy the Roady!
So the thrill equal to seeing Stevie, and knowing Shaun played with him? I got to play with Shaun in the Garage. A bonafide Garage band! (And Gustavo! For another blog). And I almost missed my flight!
Then Stevie showed up again, and offered me a ride in his private jet! Umm, just kidding.
But I think Tinkerbell was looking out for me, after all, because I got to play with at least one star, and I didn’t miss my flight.
And of course, I happen to have video of that as well!
Wish he could have been amplified. But he had never played the song before. He will again….with me, at a future show!