We met Guitar Noi late one night at Chiannes beach shack.
Noi was slender, very tall, kinda Marleyesque with his extremely long hair and fu man chu stache and beard. Always a big grin on his face and a gentle nature.
Noi rolled in about 11PM, we were just watching a little dog chase crabs on the beach and generally lazing from a huge bbq fish meal that Chinanne had expertly fixed for us earlier in the evening.
Noi brought his guitar along and I quickly asked him to play “Stairway To Heaven”, well, he DID! Never missed a note in fact, none of us there could believe how talented Noi is!
He played one song after another, we tried to sing along, aided by a case of Singhas we yelled out the lyrics of every song Noi played and Noi even taught us a few local Thai songs along the way. Daybreak suddenly jumped up from behind the big mountain to the east and we all groggily stumbled back to our homes and bungalows.
The next day Patong Patty and I were talking about the night before, when we met Guitar Noi, Margaret and Chianne invited us to go along with them to the big Patong Beach Hotel and see Noi’s show there that evening.
During the day I sat with the guy that would later become “Paradise Bill” and we watched the first windsurfing contest on Patong Beach! The wind surfers kept circling around and around we just figured it was the course they had to follow, but sadly found out that a German tourist, in fact a Doctor who had the blues when his girlfriend left him and he drink too much and took a mess of pills, resulting in him swimming too far off the beach and drowning. It was bad news for sure.
The good news was Noi WON the first ever Patong Windsurfing Championship! Noi was quite the athlete and easily out distanced ALL the competition without any trouble!
The time finally came, we walked up to the hotel, located about mid beach and sauntered inside.
Guitar Noi was behind the organ, playing elevator music, but when he saw us, he immediately got on the microphone and said “now we gonna shake em up some” and began playing Neil Youngs “Southern Man”, I walked up next to him and we began singing and with Nois excellent musicianship and singing, we brought the house down!
From then on, every time Noi saw me and he was behind the organ at work, he’d start playing Southern Man and we’d sing together and maybe several other folk songs at the time.
After work, we went thru the bushes behind the big Patong Beach hotel to the little place that Noi resided with his dear wife Lek and their darling wee daughter Oraphin.
Lek made us all welcome, we sat on bamboo mats for several hours and sang more songs and party’d on.
We were overjoyed at meeting Noi and his family and would be friends for evermore!