The Best New Year’s Eve in England with Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh

As a professional rock musician for the last thirty years, I have had many opportunities to experience the New Year’s Eve in many countries around the world. This particular New Year, however, I was in England and spent probably the best time ever. No, it wasn’t with the thousands crowded along the River Thames to watch the firework display and queue up for hours to see London from the London Eye and it wasn’t at some ‘posh do’ that would set me back a month’s wages.

It took place in a small leisure centre just outside a small village somewhere not far from London, cost me less than £50 and not a drop of alcohol was available to drink.!!!

The best?’ I hear you say but this sounds really boring… Oh no, my friend, this is the third time I have attended this event and each time is a magical experience and I can’t imagine that it could get better but each year it does, and this year was the New Year of all New Years! So what was it that has caused me so much excitement??

Live in Ripley Surrey

As a professional musician myself, having spent 30 years of my adult life earning my living in this precarious profession, to see ‘The Big Boys’ like this and to be able to get so close to them was beyond any dream I could have had. Top this though! My wife’s friend and her family are the warm up band and this friend’s husband kindly took me backstage where I could have a clear and private view of Ringo drumming whilst singing ‘Boys’.

Later I sidled in there again and this time was met by an extremely friendly Pete Townshend who shook my hand and wished me a Happy New Year.
So that was it….my New Year celebration….breathing the same oxygen as my heroes. A big thanks to everyone who made this event something I will take to my grave. Not just to the Boys but to all the staff who made the night such a resounding success. Can’t wait for New Year 2009!!


Another great New Year’s party in the usual place with the usual Great Band of the Fourth Edition that this year gave us another magic night. The show began with the Tumbling Dice Experience, a great Dave on the guitar and his brother on the drums and Jackie the rock chick, playing good old rock and blues, after that Nicky Griffiths and his band warmed more the atmosphere especially the moment he took off his socks whilst standing on his head!!!! Eric with his usual band ,like last year, started with “Knock on Wood” and after the break he opened the 2009 with the Midnight hour”. A great night a great new years Eve. A big thanks to Eric and our friends for an other unforgettable party. Happy new Year!!!!!

And, in Ringo’s words: ‘Peace, Man’