We all dream big when we’re young. The smaller the child, the bigger the dream. We all go through a phase of wanting to be an astronaut or a superhero, I think. Me? I wanted to be a rock star. I was very lucky with my musical upbringing. As a child of the 80’s I managed to avoid a house filled with Duran Duran, Simply Red and whatever other new romantic, cheese extruding, synth popper, happened to be on the Dave Lee Travis show. The wooden cabinet on which our silver Sony stereo sat was well stocked with the best records the 70’s had to offer, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd… Name a classic 70’s band and they probably resided in that cabinet. I was listening to classic rock in the womb.
My musical journey started with keyboard lessons. I didn’t realise this actually required work. I assumed a few weeks later I would be Rachmaninov. Not so. I discovered early on that I had a natural inclination to procrastination and inaction. Whilst this can be a perfectly compatible to the rock star life once fame kicks in, it doesn’t bode well when you’re 8.
So, music went nowhere for a while. Then I discovered the guitar. I still have my first guitar (pictured above). In fact, it is still my main guitar. It is slightly like Trigger’s broom but the main body is still the same guitar I learnt my first chords on. This discovery led to some renewed musical excitement and a few songs were written. I just needed a band. A move to the big city was required. A degree in some such or other was the excuse. Armed with a student loan and a guitar case of hopes and dreams, I set off for the bright lights of Sheffield. I was in the company of such luminaries as Pulp* and er…. The Human League and…..er…….Def Leppard? It was fairly inauspicious. It turns out however, hanging around in bars getting drunk and not going to lectures doesn’t make you a rock star. It makes you skint. Phase two of life was about to begin. Growing up.
The spark was dying. The embers were a dull glow for 15 years. Then one day whilst perusing items in a music shop I saw a Yamaha AW1600 recording machine. Wouldn’t it be fun to record a few of the old songs I wrote when I first got my guitar? After a few years of actually learning how to write and record music I had five songs. Was this enough for an album? Sod it. Yeah it was. ‘Wish You Were Here’ only had five songs and one of mine was 18 minutes long. That’s a side of vinyl. But what to call it 16 years after having written my first song eh?
If you too have dreamed big before and would like to accompany me on my musical journey, then click here to listen to my debut album ’16 YEARS’
*I do love Pulp by the way.