早安，我得看手錶才能確定現在是早晨。實在太美妙了，很榮幸能參與這場典禮，感受各位畢業生散發的活力。恭喜所有畢業生及各位家長，能站在臺上感受這一切實在太美妙了。我不得不說昨晚的音樂會，你們看見我手中拿著稱不上是正式演講的講稿，但我不得不說，自從來到伯克利音樂學院，成為這場典禮的一份子，聽過昨晚的音樂會，這場演講似乎已顯得無關緊要，甚至再也不會被提起。我這個類似街頭音樂家的人竟有幸來到這裡演講，貴校的風氣確實令人耳目一新，昨晚所展現的音樂才華也十分令人感動，呈現所有不同風格的音樂，十分感謝你們對我的作品的詮釋，十分令人感動。我不得不說，Geri Allen、Thara Memory和Valerie Simpson的音樂非常棒，Valerie Simpson昨晚的表現確實出色極了，太棒了。（歡呼聲）（掌聲）
Oh wow! Well, good morning! I had to check my watch there to make sure it was the morning. It’s so, ah, this is absolutely so amazing. It’s such a privilege to be part of this. All the energy from the graduates. You know, congratulations to all of you. And to the families as well. It really is something being up here and feeling all this.
I’ve got to say, the concert last night, you can see I’ve got something here which could loosely be called a speech, but I must say, after having come to Berklee and been part of the experience and listening to the concert last night, the speech is rendered useless. It’s not even going to be referred to. Here I am: A sort of busking musician trying to busk my speech.
What a spirit there is here! It’s absolutely amazing. The quality of musicianship that was shown last night is really moving, right across the whole of the different genres that were being played. I thank you so much for the interpretation of my music. That was really touching. But, across the music of Geri Allen, and Thara Memory, Valerie Simpson’s music, which is superb, I must say. Valerie Simpson was absolutely superb last night. Absolutely!
But also the sheer, to hear the brass section that you have here. Hearing them last night from the audience, just down there, was so powerful and so precise and so punchy and everything about what real good brass sections should be about. Fantastic soloists there. It was just moving, right across the whole of the evening’s event and I must say that being here in a college, I have to sort of be perfectly honest with you all that I was sort of self-taught. Not such a bad thing because I learnt from records and trying to sort of interpret playing of what would be my guitar heroes from there.
Along the way I became a, I think you call it a side-man here, a session musician. And I was going in there and I’d have the charts. I was head-hunted for this, actually, curiously enough, but I couldn’t read music at that time. But I could read the chord charts and the session musicians in those days would play across quite a wide variety of music. It wouldn’t be, like, if you were a guitarist you wouldn’t just be the stylist in your own sort of field. I had quite a number of sort of guitar techniques that I’d evolved over my sort of teenage years so I could apply all of this acoustic folk-picking and slide guitar and etc etc. But it was a very, very closed shop in those days. Actually, probably still, maybe.
But now, obviously, as a specialist musician, you would be contracted in. But, in those days, when I had to sort of go in the door and have that discipline to play because, boy, if you made mistakes, you wouldn’t be seen again. I was in this whole sort of studio role for about two and a half years playing all manner of things from TV jingles to soundtracks and film music, Goldfinger, to The Kinks, to, you know, it was really a wonderful sort of, colourful role that I was playing.
Until, one day the music charts were passed out and there were the notes, and it was a gentle hint, I think, that I had to learn to read music in a very, very serious way. Because there were serious competitors there and everybody was fluent with music then. So I had to come on very, very quickly in leaps and bounds so it was, yeah, it was quite a pressurised moment but I had come through it and then I was reading like all you guys do.
So I just wanted to give you that little bit of empathy and understanding about having to learn. Reading music is a major part of it and of course, once you can read, write it down, read others’ work, that’s great. Thank you so much for inviting me here, it really is an honour and a privilege and I thank you all very much. Good luck in the future. Thank you.