Music has always been very important in my life but sources of listening in my younger days were limited to old records belonging to my parents, Radio 2 and Top of the Pops. Apart from maybe “Ginny in the Mirror” by Del Shannon I didn’t find much of appeal among the old records, Radio 2 was not what it is now so Top of the Pops was the only place to find excitement.
This was soon provided by Slade, The Sweet, T-Rex, Alice Cooper and dare I say Gary Glitter. These were soon to be followed by Suzi Quatro, Geordie (featuring some guy who ended up in AC/DC) and Queen.
As I got older it seemed that many of these bands were no longer cool, apart from maybe Alice Cooper and Queen. During this time we finally got a record player at home and though I am now somewhat ashamed to admit that the first single I brought was “Leader of the Gang” by Gary Glitter, my first album was “Ride a White Swan” by T-Rex, which seems to have much more credibility.
The mid 70s seems to cover a period when I became less interested in popular music and ended up listening to a lot of my dad’s records by the likes of Ray Conniff, Bert Kaempfert and James Last as well as ‘Trad’ Jazz from Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball. To be fair I was spending more time on other things than music really for one of the very few times in my life.
Then came the summer of 1977. I was vaguely aware of something called punk rock, we all knew of the episode with the Sex Pistols swearing on national TV and although not keen on the look I have to say I liked the music. This coincided with a fantastic summer spent with lots of friends, the craze that year was skateboards and the music started with the discovery of Elvis via a friend’s mother just before he died and quickly moved onto The Stranglers, The Jam, The Clash, The Buzzcocks, The Adverts and many more.
Some of my friends had the advantage of older brothers when it came to musical influence and as I found new friends a whole new world opened up: Pink Floyd, Genesis, Hawkwind, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. I loved it all. I was just as happy to go and watch The Stranglers and the Buzzcocks one week and Motorhead or Judas Priest the week after.
I failed to understand those people that insisted you had to be a Punk, a Rocker, a Goth, a Mod, a Skinhead or whatever, to me it was all great music.
It was at this time, towards the end of the 70s that I started to make my own music and I’m happy to say I am influenced to this day by all the above and much, much more.