The recent Duty Free Show of the Americas in Orlando featured one of the best Gala Dinner acts that I’ve seen in many years of attending such events.
They were called The Flaming Guitars, who wowed the audience with a virtuoso acoustic performance of rare panache and at times breath-taking musical skill.
At dinner I had the pleasure of sitting next to Duty Free World Council President Frank O’Connell, a great champion and defender of our industry. As we both remarked on the quality of the act, our attention was drawn to something almost eerily familiar about the lead guitarist and star performer, whose guitar skills would surely challenge Jim Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, B.B. King, Pete Townshend or any of the great guitarists down the years.
Who was this bespectacled maestro performing all sorts of magic in front of us, including playing the guitar behind his head Stevie Ray Vaughan style?
Was it Keith…Keith… Keith… Richards of Rolling Stones fame? Mmm, there were some similarities but no it wasn’t the world’s coolest old-age pensioner. But Keith… now that name rang a bell.
And then it dawned. It was not Keith Richards but Keith Spinks! The resemblance was uncanny. Yes, the hard-working Secretary General of the European Travel Retail Confederation was the evening’s star turn! It had to be him, for not even Spitting Image could have come up with a better body double.
Clearly Keith had stepped in to save the IAADFS money by not having to hire a more expensive entertainer. Now that’s what I call playing a lead role in our industry. Not only does he specialise in getting travel retail out of serious jams but now he was getting it into one! Talk about highlighting a fret to our industry.
What a performance! Thank you Keith. None of us will ever look at you the same way again, after the night that you truly struck a chord with all your admirers in the business.
*Footnote: Keith Spinks and his Flaming Guitars can be booked for your next event courtesy of his new agent, Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com