Before

Well...I was born in west London in 1958 and have a brother Alan who is a couple of years older than I am. My mum died in 1993 and in February 2017 my father passed away at the grand old age of 95.

I was educated, believe it or not, although quite frankly I really detested school and anything structured and, as such, only ever worked at what I enjoyed….which was music. I started playing piano and clarinet at an early age but one day someone mistakenly gave me a bass guitar and that was it! With my customary over enthusiasm I quickly learnt how to play both bass and six string, mainly by playing along to David Bowie, Deep Purple and T.Rex records and by the age of fourteen I was in my first band.

I look back at diaries I kept then and I realize that I really had only one goal in mind but I was being steered towards a classical music career which at that time I didn’t want to know about...quite ironic considering what I do now and let’s be honest it could have all gone horribly wrong! I left school at 16 and went to work...which lasted just under two years but by then I had joined a semi-pro band called ‘Wilder’ (they all ended in ‘er’ in those days) as lead vocalist and we did many gigs around the UK including support for bands like the Jam and Smokie (oh the glamour!)

However it was with ‘Wilder’ I had my first professional work with, of all people, Gilbert O’Sullivan. Gilbert took the entire band as a backing group although being the singer I was somewhat surplus to requirements, but I ended up playing flute, sax, guitar and keyboards for him and, given we were only on stage for 45 minutes, I was kept quite busy! It was tremendous experience, although not quite ‘my’ music, and all the places we played were big venues; it felt very exciting and further fuelled my ambition... This was 1978...but what to do next?