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John Roberts recalls GG on NPR interview (1993)

While taking stock of my collection of GG memorabilia, I was motivated 
to replay a tape I had made from radio (April,'93), since it marks an
anniversary of sorts. J. Roberts, who compiled and co-edited the book of
GG Letters, (publ. '92) knew GG for 35 years, and spoke fascinatingly
about his extraordinary friend. While GG was still concertizing, and 
before he became a world-class performer, he would ask Roberts (and later
Roberts and his wife) to accompany him from Toronto to Stratford (a 
distance I would estimate at about 75 miles). But then he insisted that 
neither of them attend his performance. GG said that the presence of any-
one he knew in the audience made him feel "disturbed." Roberts considered 
this behavior quite eccentric, since such an "anonymous"
audience would hardly be possible most of his concertizing life. 
Another fact regarding GG's early retirement from the concert stage had 
to do with his abhorrence of his fans' behavior. We all know how 
oppressed he was by the rigors of travel, the loneliness, the sub-stand-
ard pianos he often encountered, etc. But, he complained to Roberts, that 
he was only someone who "happened to play the piano," and could not 
understand why his playing made audiences respond with shouts and 
whistles. And being mobbed backstage by a crush of boisterous fans was at 
least as responsible for his abandoning live performances, according to
Roberts. This latter fact is usually not mentioned in articles that dealt 
with the question of why he left the stage so early in his career, only 
to reach his audiences via recordings.