‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the legendary Nicky Hopkins…’
These were Art Garfunkel’s words from the stage of the Royal Albert Hall as the first notes of ‘The Homecoming’ filled the room.
Nicky loved England and when he returned after years in America, he had written the beautiful piece of music he played that day with special feeling - his own composition on his native soil.
When I first met Nicky in Los Angeles, it was a very brief introduction, but as I walked away, I said to my friend, ‘I wish I could marry someone like Nicky Hopkins.’ It was a year before our paths crossed again and this time he asked me to drive him to a session in Malibu Canyon.
He invited me in to the studio, the first time I was able to watch him at work. The song was titled ‘I Know That God Is Here Tonight’ and as I sat reverently by, he rapidly made some quick notations. I was surprised when, with a mischievous glint in his eyes, he passed his notes to me and I saw that beneath the music he had written the legend ‘God & Chips’!
Those three words changed my life forever. Nicky brought me back to life and I started seeing the world through his eyes.
Even now, years later, I remember things he said or did that make me laugh out loud.
Nicky touched people’s lives, not just with his extraordinary musical abilities, but with his courage and his wicked sense of humour. As long as the hundreds of albums he contributed to are still listened to, he will never be forgotten.