I was at the Memorial Concert for George Harrison at the Royal Albert Hall. It had the great and the good of music there – Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr…but the song that was played right at the end of the concert in honour of George was sung by Joe Brown, “I’ll See You In My Dreams”. Joe Brown is not the stellar name that perhaps Eric Clapton is or somebody like that but a much respected man of music. He was the man that was chosen to close the concert because he was a great friend of George Harrison’s and it appeals to me because though I admire the people who are out in front and getting all the attention I always look on a film to see who the character actors are. If it’s a band I’m looking at the drummer or the bass player or somebody like that. The people who are not front and centre are of more interest to me than the people who are out front getting all the adulation. And George Harrison was that person in the Beatles. He was the quiet one. And Joe Brown was similarly not the “look at me, look at me” guy and I like that.
The people who don’t draw attention to themselves are the powerhouses. Without the people doing the important work at the sides there wouldn’t be a whole. So the stars are important but unless they have got people doing the work, playing the bass at the side and playing the drums at the back, being the doctor or the midwife or anything like that you wouldn’t have the story being told and you need these people and they need recognition.
I regard myself as being the jobbing broadcaster … and I think it is what I aspire to be, a jobbing broadcaster. You put me in a broadcasting role and I will do it and all I am doing is the mid-morning show on Radio 2 and it is not the Breakfast Show. The Breakfast Show is the star role. I’m the star’s best friend. I’m the best man at the wedding, as it were. I’m very happy in the role. I don’t wish to be in the spotlight I wish to be standing beside the man or woman in the spotlight saying: There you are. Didn’t you do well?”
BBC Radio 4 – Inheritance Tracks, Ken Bruce on Sept 22, 2018
Well said Ken! In all my years I have never heard a celebrity say something like that, and I love his clarity and honesty about who he is, and what he does. It’s not that he has no aspirations, he is a successful radio host on British National Radio after all. But he is a man who is comfortable in his own skin. He knows what he is good at, and how he is made up. I hear contentment, appreciation, and a willingness to play the supporting role to get the job done. That’s my kind of guy.