I began to realise that music was a part of my body just like my heart, lungs, kidneys etc. This was from a young age, probably around 3 or 4 years of age.
Elvis, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry and many other 'Rock' stars of the 50s were already at their peak when I was born in 57'. And that impact is still reverberating around the globe to this day!
The sounds on those records are so powerful and sometimes we need to go back to them just to remind ourselves how it should be done. Just because we now have big studios and gadgets to make bass guitar or electric guitar sound big or a drum kit sound louder we tend to forget that at that time these guys played just as loud if not louder through their sheer passion of this new found teenage rebelious outlet on very basic recording equipment. And in the case of SUN Records in Memphis in the mid-fifties where, lets face it, the birth of rock music happened there is no bass on most of the recordings anyway, it's just a case of having ears to hear really.
Growing up in the 60s was and still is a feeling of such excitement as the Beatles came along and introduced us all to yet another world of musicality as if the rock explosion of the 50s was not enough, it seemed to me that time and even today that every Beatles release was like a kind of rebirth in the sense that those incredible songs with those harmonies and such young gifted lads playing those instruments had been around in so many other lifetimes! I think they were probably old souls.
I played my drums and strummed my guitars and tried to capture all the feelings and styles around me and still remember the first real drum roll around the kit which actually felt like I was doing something wrong at the time as it seemed disconnected with the beat, but soon realised it was my style coming into its own. That one great moment when every musician finds their unique style and feel.
At 17 I started doing session work around London. Playing with anyone and everyone, lapping up as many genres as possible. Also around this time I began to start seriously collecting albums. From Rockabilly to Mersey beat from Freak beat to Punk into Progressive, Soul, Metal, Folk, Country and so on.
The Punk explosion in England around 76'/77' was a time that I found likeminded cats who wanted to get back to basics and just rock out in the way those 50s cats did, sticking two fingers up at the establishment and doing it all within 3 minute tunes!
Although I loved and still do love bands like Jethro Tull, ELP, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Edgar Broughton and many others it was getting to the point of just how many 20 minute solos do we really need?
The Clash, The Body, XTC plus many other Punk Rock acts were on my list of 'must work with' list, which I did do by the way. At the same time doing work with more established artists such as Phil Collins, Sparks, Bryan Ferry and also wrote/ played on theme music for the BBC.
My musical loves or influences include Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Hank Williams, XTC, The Clash, Rush, Phil Ochs, Little Richard, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Graham Parker and hundreds more. Living and breathing every slab of wax in every single heartbeat. Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news!
I started playing drums at 7 years old. Brought up on 50s,and 60s Rock and Roll. In 77' Punk broke and changed everything. Bands like The Ramones, Saints and Sex Pistols and a background of spent making posters for Punk shows inspired me even more.
My first gigging band was TFR, which was where I started writing songs at 12 years old. We supported UK Subs in Kingston.
I made my first record at 13. I have played and toured with Paul Weller, Ian Dury, Ocean Colour Scene, Stereophonics, The Stranglers, Jeff Beck, Ray Davies and Screaming Lord Such. This period was I was in the bands Pyramus/ Weaver/ Midnight Circus and Sniper.
I was Speedy Keenes drummer for 3 years. Speedy was in Thunderclap Newman, and produced albums for the Heartbreakers and Motorhead. He also wrote songs for The Who.
I have toured constantly for 14 years around Europe, made 6 LPs, 8 EPs and 6 singles for an array of different bands.
I then met Roy Phillips in my record shop in Chertsey. Hit it off, had a jam and wrote 3 songs in our first session. We have been together ever since.
Major musical influences include: Elvis, Ramones, Dion, The Saints, Beatles, Bad Brains, Fever Tree, Electric Prunes, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Dead Kennedy's, Country Joe and the Fish and a cast of millions accross every genre ever created.
I started playing bass when I was 16 years old. Two guitarist friends of mine were arguing who's turn it was to take bass duties when they turned to me and thrust a bass towards me. "You can play bass" they said. I was hooked from that moment on.
I have played most genres from Folk to Death Metal. Mostly I have been a humble pub rocker.
Notable exceptions to that were '3 Bean Salad'. This started out as an Ozric Tentacles/ Pink Floyd inspired originals project. Over the years it evolved into a Jazz Funk project inspired by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham and bands like The Meters. This culminated in a short residency at the Jazz Café in Camden.
After that, more pub rock followed by a long stint in a successful function band. During this time I was lucky enough to work with many fine musicians who I learned a great deal from. How to act in a band environment and what is expected if you want to operate at a high level were the two biggest things I picked up from this period.
After more pub rocking mostly with Bungles Finger, I met Roy Phillips when I joined up with the band Drop Frog. He liked the way I played and suggested to Lee Sperling that I might be a good fit for Strange Rain.
I immediatley loved the Strange Rain songs that Roy had sent me, so when he invited me for a jam it was a no brainer.
Happily the three of us hit off straight away and so I became the newest member of Strange Rain.
From a bass playing perspective, I love the groove and the interaction with the drums. The engine f the band. The foundations upon which all else is built.
It's the live performance that excites me. There is no finer feeling than when the band are all in the zone, bass and drums are in the pocket and the energy is bursting out of the stage.
Bass playing heroes would be Norman Watt-Roy, Jaco Pastorious, Billy Sheehan, Cliff Burton to mention just a few!
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