Biography

Earliest musical impressions: Finlandia by Sibelius - (remember being very moved by that when I was 3 years old) and the 'Ink Spots' song, "I Love Coffee".

Later heard records my sisters used to play; Elvis, Buddy Holly, etc.

Started having classical piano lessons aged 6 years. Around the same time heard Bert Weedon (British guitarist) and various skiffle artists on T.V. (anyone remember 'Six Five Special'?); that was my first awareness of the electric guitar.

Soon afterwards heard and saw on T.V. Cliff and The Shadows. That was when I knew I wanted to be a guitarist (specially after seeing pictures of Hank's red Strat!). Other musical heroes at the time were the Everly Brothers - (my best schoolmate and I used to sing their songs a cappella doing the harmonies). I would listen to Radio Luxemburg at night on my transistor radio often falling asleep with the earplug still in my ear! Remember those days?

Heard all the British early sixties bands - The Beatles, Merseybeats, Tremeloes etc. as well as The Beach Boys. Later heard The Rolling Stones and my second real guitar hero Jeff Beck - his guitar playing on songs like "Heart Full of Soul" and "Evil Hearted You" made a huge impression on me.

Meanwhile I was learning classical violin, having piano lessons and singing solos in the school choir. I took up drums whilst my brother Andy started playing guitar. We played together a lot, often playing songs that Andy was writing.

Whilst attending Epsom College public school I started playing bass in a band with Andy, and started learning guitar. At this time first saw Jimi Hendrix on T.V. ('Ready, Steady Go!' and 'Top of The Pops'). That totally turned my head around and inspired me with a vengeance! That's how I wanted to play! Spent hours listening to records, figuring out what the guitar was doing and learning everything I could - "Are You Experienced?","Disraeli Gears" and "Blues Breakers". Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Rory Gallagher and Jimmy Page became a big influence as well as The Beatles late sixties albums and other 'Flower Power' bands. I started to become aware of jazz at this time and used to watch Ronnie Scott's live on T.V. each week - Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Kenny Burrell particularly left an impression.

Finally I got to see Jimi at The Albert Hall, February'69 after several failed attempts (blocked by parental control and school rules!) - felt Jimi was not of this earth! No wonder up to this day he is consistently voted the world's number one guitarist! As a musician and teenager I was exclusively under Hendrix's spell for the following few years - (the photos from the period of me looking like a miniature Jimi complete with frilly pink shirt that my mum had made providing an affectionate laugh!) It was at this time that I started to get some gigs under my belt, including a working men's club in Wigan supporting a soul band that were fantastic playing Otis Redding songs complete with brass section whilst our band consisted of brother Andy on guitar and vocals and me on bass, supplemented by our mono reel to reel tape recorder that was providing drums and another guitar part, (pre-recorded by Andy and me literally in our wardrobe 'studio'.)

Also played at school barbecue (I had by now totally decided that being a musician "rock star" was my mission for life!) The family then move from Warrington (near Manchester) to Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex - swapping the bungalow (literally next door to George Harrison's mum) to one similar in my mum's hometown.

Whilst at Hastings College of Further Education formed first proper band with my brother and soon after formed 'Factory' which ended up touring the pub rock and club scene in the UK for five years. I was sharing lead vocals as well as playing lead guitar, electric violin and harmonica, all the four band members writing individually and as a band. We were influenced at that time by bands we used to see at the college gigs, such as Genesis (before they were huge!), Electric Light Orchestra, Arthur Brown, Fusion Orchestra (Jill Saward), Vinegar Joe (Elkie Brooks, Robert Palmer) and many others.

Now in my late teens I continued my violin studies to Grade VIII as well as getting 'A' level music. I had also started increasing my interest in jazz and fusion and was listening a lot to Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Parker; also heavily into Focus (with guitarist Jan Akkerman) as well as Stevie Wonder and Gary Moore.

Factory went from strength to strength until it nose-dived, after being ripped off by a management company who made false promises (bet you've never heard that one before!). The band was a force to be reckoned with live, and blew a number of headlining acts off the stage!

We then had a prog rock band 'Head On' with almost the same line-up, which although very promising and producing some great adventurous pieces of music didn't fulfil its promise and soon split.

This took me up to the late '70's early '80's, by which time I had become heavily influenced by jazz-rock fusion, particularly John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Tony Williams's 'Lifetime' with Allan Holdsworth.

Throughout the late '70's early eighties I gigged consistently playing very varied styles and in many line-ups. Regularly played jazz standards in a guitar duo and also more adventurous jazz with a local quintet (with long time bass player friend Roger Carey and great pianist Pete White).

Continued to play various pop and rock with a guitar, bass, drums trio (which included Roger Carey) as well as with 'Jim, Jim and The Jims' which featured session guitarist Ray Fenwick.

Made the big move to London in 1981 and found myself mainly playing solo gigs in West End wine bars (guitar and voice) before doing a six month stint in Switzerland and Norway with upmarket covers band 'Limitz' playing six nights a week, five sets each night - a great discipline!

Immediately upon returning to the U.K. teamed up with Wesley Magoogan (sax player of 'The Beat' and 'Hazel O'Connor' fame) for co-writing which led to being signed to a major publishing deal with CBS. At this time was writing and gigging with original jazz/rock/prog/fusion trio 'A Minute Passed', again with outstanding bass player Roger Carey (who is married to and performs with the great Lliane Carrol) and the late great Mark Thirsk.

From then till the present I have been working generally as a freelance guitarist in many styles and formats including 'Odyssey' tour, 'Dancing In The Streets' in the West End, and performances with Edgar Winter, American trumpeter Mark Isham and Australian diva Kate Ceberano. I am currently very excited to be back focusing on writing and performing original music.