As fond farewells go, it would be pretty hard to beat Stuart Crampton’s last stand as a music teacher tonight.
All this week, from his cosy little room in Greystones Studios, the much-loved, long-haired guitar guru has been saying goodbye to one teary-eyed student after another.
And we’re talking one very long goodbye here, as it was back in 1996 that the failed insurance clerk walked through every estate in Greystones one fine day with his hand-written flyer, offering guitar lessons. When Stuart got home, there were 45 messages on his answering machine.
And a music empire was born.
This evening, as the very last student played the very last note in this room that had heard so much joyous music, Stuart Crampton prepared to pack up his belongings, hand in his badge, and head off for a celebratory meal with his beloved Alison.
Only, upstairs, in one of the swanky Theatre Lane Lofts, quite a few of this rockin’ teacher’s little red roosters had come home to throw a surprise party to the man who had tutored each and every one of them in the fine and ancient art of rock agus roll.
Ironic, of course, that the young boy who hated piano lessons – and even got his mum to forge his practice journal – would end up teaching music for a living. Happy word-of-mouth meant that, for the last 23 years, this mild-mannered-verging-on-Lebowski hippy has never had to advertise his guitar and piano lessons, one happy kid after another telling another, and then, another. And on it went, five days a week, for 23 years, every class a few steps closer to the perfect chord, every chiming hour a celebration of simply playing music, live, in the moment.
Of course, when you see a remarkable young artist like Dylan E. Crampton, or Elliot Crampton, or Claudia Crampton, you know that they didn’t pick that talent up off a stick. Growing up, they would have been surrounded by music, with mum, Val, belting out those soulful siren calls alongside their pop in Driftwood, grooving Greystones every Thursday night in Dann’s all those years ago.
But, hey, enough of our yakking. Let the man himself tell you his story, firstly with our quick chat below (before we lured the wide-eyed sucker up to that surprise party), and here, as Stuart gives a heartfelt, long and winding thank you for the days, those endless days…
You can go explore more Crampton craziness right here.
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