Gordon Giltrap looks back on his life as he heads to Chichester

Gordon Giltrap will be in both concert and conversation for a special date in Chichester's St John's Chapel on Saturday, November 17 at 7.30pm (tickets on 01243 783185).

Gordon Giltrap
Gordon Giltrap

The night marks the launch of his biography Perilous Journey.

The first half will be the usual concert format followed by Gordon in conversation with the book’s author Steve Pilkington.

They will cover various chapters interspersed with Gordon playing pieces relevant to the time period.

“I just said yes to the book,” Gordon says, “because I was quite flattered to be asked – and ego rose to the surface!

“ So many people have said to me over the years ‘When are you going to write your life story?’, but I wasn’t equipped to do it.

“I am not a writer. I didn’t have the energy or the time or the motivation or the desire to write my own story.

“But so many people had said my story would make a good read.

“Steve would come up on a regular basis with a tape recorder and we would go through almost album by album.

“Each chapter in the biography is an album title or the title of a piece of music. As Steve says, the book is not about guitars or equipment. It is about a person.

“It is in the style ‘Gordon did this and Gordon did that’ and then a lot of it is my words.

“And I think he has captured me. I think he has captured the strengths and the weaknesses and the triumphs and the tragedies and the essence of what I am all about.

“I think I am pretty grounded. I have never taken myself too seriously. I think I am a compassionate and kind person, and I think I have always been grateful and thankful for all the good things that have happened to me.

“I have no time for arrogance.”

And he is also a musician.

“I do my best within the limitations of the tools that I have been given in that I am self-taught and everything is intuitive.

“But nature has been kind to me and has given me a gift, and I have always done my best to try to deserve it.

“I think most people are creative, but if you have got the gift of a creative artform that people seem to like and want to listen to, then that is very special.

“Right from the early days when I was signed to Transatlantic records, the stuff was raw and quite crude and naïve, but they saw something in me, and I think they saw energy and potential and drive.

“I was trying to cast my mind back for the book, and I was astonished how good my memory was. I was astonished at the details.

“You can’t include everything, and I didn’t want it to be a chance to get my own back on people that might have wronged me or damaged me in the past.

“I wanted it to be something that my children could read. I wanted it to be caring and compassionate.

“And my life has been a progression as I look back. I have always had a degree of spirituality about my personality.

“I always had a search for some kind of meaning in life. Certainly, what I went through three years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, that was life-changing, but through that I met so many extraordinary people.

“What I went through to be right where I am today and to have the mindset that I have got today, to have met the amazing people through my dark struggle… would I do it again? I suppose the answer would be no.

“But I know that I am not the same person now.”

He is in the clear with the cancer.

“But I think I have changed. I think I value things more. I certainly know the true meaning of love.

“I thought I did, but I do now, and I know that it is acceptance of people. It is not judging people.

“It is loving people for who they are.”