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July 10, 2005
Have you been playing long Mr. Clapton
Dizzy Queen Liz doesn't recognize rock legends!
by Gulliver

We are not amused Your Majesty! When dizzy Queen Liz met four of Britain's most famous guitar greats at a reception in her home recently she didn't even recognize them.

"And what do you do?", her majesty asked rock legends Queen's Brian May, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.

The four were among musicians greeted by Queen Elizabeth II at a reception at Buckingham palace to honor the British music industry.

Queen guitarist May told her that he had performed on the roof of Buckingham Palace at the Golden Jubilee concert in 2002.

"Oh! That was you, was it?" the British monarch replied.

Moving on to Jimmy Page, the Queen inquired: "Are you a guitarist too?"

Eric Clapton took no chances and, firmly shaking the Queen's hand, introduced himself by name.

"Have you been playing a long time?" the Queen asked of the legend who is regarded by his fans as the nearest thing to God on guitar.

"It must be 45 years now," replied Clapton, 59.

Good God your majesty. You need to get out more! Even Gulliver knows who Eric Clapton is. I've four vinyl albums from his days with rock supergroup Cream to prove it, left to me by my great-great-great-grandaddy. They must be worth a bundle.

Sorry folks, but they're not for sale. Did I hear a five figure offer mentioned?…well everybody's got their price. If you're interested, I also have a genuine mint condition vinyl album of Rory Gallagher with Taste. According to a Gallagher fanatic friend it's worth 500 bucks at least.

Do I hear offers?

Londoners show courage under terrorist bombs attack!

Enough criticism of the poor old doting Queen. Let's give her some credit for summing up the mood of a wounded London recovering from the recent terrorist bombing outrage.

After visiting the injured in hospital, Queen Liz has this message for the evil bombers:

"Those who perpetrate these brutal acts against innocent people should know that they will not change our way of life.

"Atrocities such as these simply reinforce our sense of community, our humanity and our trust in the rule of law. That is the clear message from us all."

Well said mam.

Over 50 people died and 700 were injured in a coordinated bomb attack on three of the city's underground trains and a double-decker bus.

A friend of Gulliver's who went to London to a new job escaped the train bombings by only minutes. Our friend traveled on a Circle Line train to her work destination that fateful morning of 7/7. Minutes later two Circle Line trains that followed blew up with bombs planted by terrorists.

Our friend - who is from Ireland - was in a state of shock. She missed the closeness of family back home at a critical time like this. But a group of Irish girls in London became her "family", looking out for one another. That weekend like so many Londoners, she was back in work, keeping the wheels of business and industry turning.

Many have admired Londoners' stoicism and determination to get up and get on with life after a bloody attack like this. That comes as no great surprise. They are the same people who were unbowed by and withstood the best Hitler could throw at them during the London blitz.

Yep, you gotta admire them. No terrorist can kill that kind of spirit.

Are we likely to see security dramatically stepped across European cities after this, making it more cumbersome and difficult for travelers? Unfortunately, yes.

Gulliver visited London and New York recently. The Big Apple was definitely on a higher state of alert, compared to London's more laid back approach. Admittedly it's hard to protect transport systems from dedicated terrorists, but security appeared very lax flying into London's Heathrow Airport, and also walking around Buckingham Palace area.

The only time our bag/suitcase was searched in London was when we went for a burger to Cheers Restaurant and an American worker there insisted on checking it! Need I say any more!

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