The recent 7 Rockas Festival in La Laguna made me think of Bruce, and Bruce made me think of a guy I met in Las Américas, whose name I forget, when we were putting together a magazine feature.

The bloke in Las Américas seemed to model his behaviour on the Colin Farrell character in Phonebooth. He wore designer clothes, a designer watch and talked consistently about his flash car, other people he knew with flash cars, attending flash events with models on his arms… he talked money, money, money. His conversation left me as cold as the Arctic Circle (actually in these times of climactic change, probably colder).

Bruce on the other hand was a very nice bloke I met on a trip up the Yangtze. Bruce taught me a simple trick with two wine corks which confused and ‘wowed’ me. Clearly, as it involved wine corks, we had been partaking of the odd glass or 5 of wine and so it probably wasn’t that difficult to confuse me. It’s a useful little trick to know whenever a ‘party piece’ is required (unfortunately it’s impossible to describe in words) and it impressed the hell out of me.

Our friend Sarah has done lots of things which have also impressed me no end. She’s climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro for charity, been a dead body on the beach for the cover of a crime novel and gave up a very good job in the NHS to go and work for the VSO in Sri Lanka.

A while ago we interviewed an eye specialist in Santa Cruz who goes out to Mexico a couple of times a year to administer free eye treatment to the poor – I was very impressed by him.

On the same trip that we met Bruce we also met Joan, a ninety year old woman travelling on her own. She was as fit as a flea which was impressive in its own right, but what really impressed was a throwaway line as we flew across a piece of desolate land somewhere between China and Russia where we could see the occasional camp fire flickering beside large shadowy tents.

“I once spent the night in a tent with a prince down there,” She remarked and said no more, lighting my imaginative blue touch paper.

At a party a few years ago some people were talking about what they’d just been doing work wise. One bloke mentioned that he’d just finished making a movie about Bob Marley. As I’m a movie buff and had just read the review in Empire movie magazine, I was really, really impressed by that one.

The reason why Bruce made me think of Phonebooth man was that they existed at opposite ends of the spectrum. Phonebooth man and people like him try to impress everyone by parading material goods, but ultimately there’s no substance to them. Bruce and the other people I’ve mentioned haven’t actually set out to impress, they just did things that were, to me anyway, incredibly interesting and therefore impressive.

But what’s all this got to do with the 7 Rockas Festival in La Laguna, I hear you say?

Part of the 7 Rockas Festival involved an air guitar competition which reminded me that Bruce was the proud father of the UK national air guitar champion.

How impressive is that?


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