Jesse Hector – does the name ring a bell? He was the founding member of the bands The Hammersmith Gorillas (also the guitarist) and Crushed Butler, and has become a permanent fixture in the English music press. Jesse Hector basically had it all, without actually really hitting the big time. The documentary, A Message to the World, follows Jesse, now a cleaner who also happens to have a rock and roll career that spans 50 years. I am a fan of documentaries, so was greatly enthusiastic about watching this.
Jesse is now working as a cleaner at The Royal Horticultural Society and at Hackney Empire. As Jesse travels around London, he talks about his previous jobs, along with discussions about his time in the music scene. One of the most touching, and quite possibly the most heartbreaking, moments in the documentary was that of when Jesse talks about why he doesn’t have the “guts” to get back on the stage. Jesse said that he didn’t have the “bollocks” to get back on the stage due to his age. This struck a chord, as why should someone, if they have so much talent, should be worried about their age. It sort of reflected what people (some, not all) may expect to see on the stage these days, sadly.
The documentary is a must-see for any music fan, or even documentary fans. It’s a genuine work of art. Jesse comes across as a well educated man, who has nothing but love for his time in the music industry, despite the bumps along the way. It will be showing at this year’s EEFF and is highly, highly recommended. Even the heart breaking moment of when Jesse admits he recently turned down a huge gig at the Royal Albert Hall, where he would’ve been playing amongst greats such as Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend, is a must watch.
You can catch A Message To The World at East End Festival tonight, playing at the Aubin. You can buy tickets now.