After much bitching and moaning both here at TB and in everyday conversation our band leader finally sacked our lead guitarist. Apart from his many and various crimes against melody, rhythm and structure what brought him down was his attitude and lack of commitment to the group. Anyway, that's old news. Wednesday; the ax fell, long enough after morning coffee for the taste to have left his tongue but a long wait until the sticky sweet pleasures of a lunch time pad thai. This is the cruelest hour. It had to be done quickly after "the incident", so we couldn't wait until after the Friday gig. It was brutal, almost Stalinist, but without the queues for bread and toilet paper. I tried to activate my network to get a replacement lead guitarist, no luck. The band leader, a man of seemingly unlimited contacts in all sorts of spheres, and not adverse to dropping great bundles of cash on his hobbies, says he had "the guy" ... and potentially a long term replacement. Great! So I send "the guy" a set list with annotations and keys. No response. "It's cool" says the band leader, "he'll be fine". I sense a fuster-cluck coming up, we all do. So it's 7:30pm before the 8:30pm kick-off. We meet "the guy" and go through the setlist, and hammer him with the variations to the standard bar hits we play, who starts, where we stop. In 10 mins he's had a tropical deluge of information and admits that there are a few songs that he's never played ... Oh. I'm now very nervous in spite of "the guy's" relaxed attitude. As we get on the stage he says, "just make sure I can see your hands". (That my hands are shaking so much they are not actually visible is another matter.) From the first chord of set 1, song 1 (Alright Now) it was clear that there wasn't going to be a problem. It turns out that the band leader had found a professional session guitarist who had recorded and toured with some of this country's biggest acts and, it will be alleged, jammed with Joe Walsh. By the end of set 1 audience members were doing the "I am not worthy" bow at stage front - God's truth. I sent emails to my other band buddies in the break telling them to get down to the club and check this out. Right through the evening "the guy" lifted every song, powered up with eye watering leads and sat back with gentle, graceful fills and licks where required. The two songs he didn't know at all ... within a few bars of working within the key during the drum intro he had the signature just right, he kept his eye on my fretboard, worked out what was needed, what the progression was ... and then played it in a way you'd think he'd been working on for years. By the beginning of the 3rd set I said, "go nuts man, do whatever you like". He did. How much the BL dropped on this guy I don't know but it was worth every cent. Afterwards "the guy" packed up his gear, helped with some other logistics, then bid us all farewell. It was as if we were visited by the Easter Santa Bunny, or Superman, I can't decide. I said to one of my band mates afterwards in the parking lot that what I saw was the difference between a musician and someone who just knows how to play a bunch of songs (ie. me). He agreed and we discussed music tutors and actually learning scales. I so want to be Superman. Happy days ... but we still need a lead guitarist - can anybody help?