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My experience began at 2!

Forming who you are as a musician

I realised my earliest recollection was at the age of 2, going in a taxi with my Dad to see my new born sister Sue.

We have always been a close knit family, with my youngest sister Jai. So it was that we would step on stage, each of us in turn as we had a song to sing.

Having the opportunity to grow and enjoy music together was an inspiration, and one that would lead me to being a professional drummer at the age of 25. There were earlier gigs, and cruises, but they all dwindled as I had to develop some sort of expertise in business – I also had to grow up!

I was fairly sure of myself, but it was nothing more than bravado, as in gig situations I really didn’t understand how you got from earning £25 per gig, to the astronomical figures of hundreds back in the late 70s early 80s.

In truth there is no secret, you get offered a gig, told what the money is and take it or leave it. If you don’t feel its enough you tell somebody what you feel, and that often meant that was the end of the gig for you!

I would, and still will, do a gig for nothing, if it’s with somebody I want to work with that much, or its for a good cause! It all needs to be considered as this is the Music BUSINESS.

Very often people don’t want to be told this is the case, but if you are trying to earn a living, you must believe your time is valuable.

How valuable is up to you!

Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson

In the early days I would listen to Mum and Dad’s music, and what was on the radio, or LPs on the radiogram in our front room! That thing was an amazing piece of furniture, and it sounded great for the time, though not stereo.

I would listen to a complete mixture of music, from Classical to show tunes, to music hall.

Artists from Mario Lanza to Val Doonican or The Dubliners, The Hi-Lo’s, The Four Freshmen, Oscar Peterson and Les McCann. I would later find out about Miles Davis from my Uncle Mick, and more great jazz artists as he was a real fan. He eventually led me to love Prog starting with Genesis and particularly Yes, ELP and Gentle Giant.

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The thing I notice is, by listening to such a vast range of artists and styles, it all helped to shape what I loved in music. I feel there is a vast array of music available, but as a lot of it is computer generated and hip, people miss out on the Classical control of some singers and the musicians of the Orchestra, as its often not deemed hip! That is plain wrong! As well as getting into the ‘Bass wars’ some producers have had over the last 18 months, you should be aware of how Classical Orchestra can move you emotionally with melody and harmony.

It honestly will make you a better musician!

Nuff said for now!

TTFN

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