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I have finally stopped giggin for good.


New member
Aug 26, 2022
Woke up Wednesday morning, 7th September, not feeling well. Still not well a few hours later, so son phoned for an ambulance.
Vomited massively before ambulance arrived, so son phoned 999 again and told them to upgrade the call to urgent (he is nurse-trained and knows his shit inside out).
Ambulance crew took my blood pressure - it had tanked and my temperature was way above the norm (my son later told me it was at 43.5!).
Fast ride in an ambulance to the Norfolk and Norwich hospital, to the 'Resus' section of A&E. Serious shit, because 'Resus' means you are one step away from lapsing into unconsciousness.
Cellulitis had also flared up again in my left ankle. So through the blood taken, it was deduced that I had an infection that had triggered everything. A kidney not working to full extent was also noted.
In the meantime, I had a catheter up my 'eye' (horrible!).
They did some kind of 'oscopy', the camera down my throat to see what was going on in my stomach. Showed that there was small ulcerations on my stomach lining.
Over the days with intravenous fluids, antibiotics and antacid tablets they finally got me back to something near normal, with the small ulcers being tackled and my kidney back to working order.
I was discharged on Monday 12th September, getting home at 8:15 pm.
Total, total, shock to me and Anne.

I have taken stock of this serious health scare with Anne, and decided that I should cease gigging. Gigging, as you all know, is not just about the playing but the complete end-to-end situation from start to finish, house-to-house. I'm not going to drive my body to do the 6-7 hours involved with gigging any more.

I can't complain. I started gigging in the night clubs of Liverpool when I was 18 and still at school. I played at many 'famous' venues that The Beatles had played at: Litherland Town Hall; New Brighton Tower Ballroom; Aintree Institute; Blair Hall; Dino's (then call the Peppermint Lounge); the Pyramid; The All Fours; and the original Cavern Club in March 1969 when an 18 year-old schoolboy. Can't complain with those on my CV alone.

So now I'm recovering and taking it easy. I'll be selling three of my four lefty Les Pauls, and my two amps: a Mesa Boogie F-50 Limited Edition, and the Albion Gulfstream15 (which was my gigging amp for the last 3 years - I retired the Mesa once I got it as it was just WAY better!).

I'm still knee-deep in the Battle of Britain Luftwaffe research side of things, presently involved as a Specialist Contributor to the Red Kite series of books, 'Battle of Britain Combat Archive'. Volume 13 due out soon, with about another 4-5 still to come.

So my playing time has come to an end. I loved every second of it, and wouldn't have swapped it for the world!
Sorry to hear all that. Take care. I too have had a few "scares". Gigging really is a young man's game unless you are in really good health. Most 60+ year olds are going to have some "issues" and unfortunaly many not diagnosed and the guy is totally unaware and they have an event on stage. No news is good news right?? I'm happy just getting together for casual jams. No stress of the total gig experience which can be long and a lot of work before and after a gig as I have no roadies!

Billy Porter

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2005
Take care of yourself John
It is getting harder in your 60s. We had 3hours practice last night and its hard work nowadays. A gig a few months ago - humping PA, Amps, lighting and Drums up 2 flights of stairs took its toll for a few days afterwards.

I've took up weekly Jazz guitar lessons just over a year ago. Easy to carry an acoustic guitar and you get to play with other like minded players as well as learning stuff I should have 40+ years ago

John Vasco

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2002
Well, after the hospital debacle, today, 30th September, I have reached my 72nd birthday! Never thought I would get to this point after the heart attack aged 50.

I also met 'er indoors on 30th September 1971, my 21st birthday to be exact. So 51 years together today.

How time flies when you are young! Me aged 21, Anne aged 18.



Active member
May 11, 2004
John, life has been good to you. You’ve truly been blessed. I turned 65 a couple of weeks ago and my wife and I celebrated our 38th anniversary this week. The best to you and your wife.