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Star Tom is my new best mate
4:11pm Friday 29th June 2012 in Leisure news
SWINDON musician Phil Spalding rubbed shoulders with Hollywood A-listers when he performed at the premiere of Tom Cruise’s latest film.
Guitarist Phil, 54, of Peatmoor, who is a former drug addict, has been performing with Bernie Marsden from Whitesnake in recent months, and the pair were asked to play at the Rock of Ages premiere in Leicester Square through Bernie’s connection with the film production company.
Performing on an open air stage in front of thousands of fans who had turned out to catch a glimpse of their favourite actors and actresses, Phil rocked on down to songs featured in the film before chatting with Tom Cruise.
“Tom Cruise is my new best mate,” said Phil, who is now the town’s Hepatitis C co-ordinator.
“He was a really nice, genuine guy and I talked to him about the recovery work I do in Swindon which he was really interested in.
“I offered him some guitar lessons and he laughed, but having seen the film now I think he is doing a pretty good job.
“He said it was lovely to be on the road with his films and we both agreed we were very blessed in our lives.
“He spent about two hours talking to fans and having pictures taken – he was a true professional.”
Alongside Bernie, Robert Hart from Bad Company and the film’s Diego Boneta, Phil performed a variety of classics from Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi and Deff Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me.
“It was brilliant to perform in the open air,” he said.
“I wasn’t nervous at all, I loved it, I’m a performer, I never really get nervous.”
As well as Tom Cruise and some of the other stars of the film, Phil also met comedian and television personality Russell Brand.
“He was a great guy, he is in recovery like myself so I ribbed him about that and he had a go at me back.
“It was brilliant. The film was great, a real feel good film with lots of funny bits.”
Phil, a former Hepatitis C sufferer, recently set up a support group for other sufferers in the town and has seen the group go from strength to strength.
Employed by Swindon and Wiltshire Alcohol and Drug Service, he is on hand for personal meetings with sufferers before and after testing, and helps to help raise awareness of the infectious disease within the town.
Phil can be contacted on the Hep C helpline on 07850025116 or email hepcpositive @swads.org.uk.