Born: February 21, 1960 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
It started in 1960. Hi world here I am, a clean file ready to be up loaded with all the cool stuff that was happing in that decade. I feel lucky to have been bought up in an era of feel good, people willing to express themselves though all the art forms, but for me the mental springboard was the music I was hearing though radio. The JY Prog (Jimmy Young's) mid morning program, Tony Blackburn's early morning fest, are the ones that spring to mine. You would be listening to artists like Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, The Who, James Brown, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Freddy & The Dreamers, The Kinks, Doris Day, Ken Dodd, The Goons, I Think you get the message, all fresh tracks by artists of the day, I'm in heaven! Ok, I'm lying in bed suffering from trips like Chickenpox, Mumps, chest infections etc, over a period of 5 years or so; I wasn't a lazy bum all my life! But there I was pumping my ears with all this incredible music. I think I was 14 years old when being driven back by dad from a summer holiday in West Runton Norfolk, where we have a cottage, that I heard the beautiful sound of Lester Young playing Tenor sax through the radio. I remember telling dad that this was the sound I'd love to make. Soon I was the proud owner of a tenor sax! A 'Power Tone' made in Slovakia. During the year ahead sounding like Lester Young was seaming like a bridge too far, never been a patient bloke, but I continued my listening education, Ben Webster, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Rudy Popinilli, Flip Phillips. Time lapsed until the school group emerged, I forget what we called ourselves but we played stuff like, The Wonderer, 20 Flight Rock, Sweet Little Sixteen, Blueberry Hill you get the idea. Anyway I was given the role of front man, lead singer and sax, probably cause no one else could sing and that's not saying much! This was fun, a great way of picking up female admires and totally forgetting what school was for! The band lasted about two years and took me to the age of sixteen, my final year at King Alfred's, Golders Green. Afterwards I teamed up with certain members of the school band, one of these guys being a chap called Julian Bass, son of Alfie Bass, 'lovely British comedy film actor'. Well Julian was a great boogie style pianist and we'd go out as a three piece, sax, piano and drums. I carried on playing in part time bands while trying jobs ranging from car mechanics to house decorating, car coachwork, golf pro, green keeper, contracted gardener. It was at this time I was playing in a rock n roll band called The Stargazers, in the evenings and gardening during the days when the band got a gig at the Venue in London. At this show was the head of A&R at CBS record company Muff Winwood, he loved the band and signed us up. This moment defined where my career was going and it's been a roller coaster of an existence ever since. After two years with Stargazers I joined the group JoBoxers, we had top ten hits, world tours and all the life style of 80s pop stars! Until like a lot of things this trip came to a spluttering end. This took me to 1985 and a film called Absolute Beginners where The Stargazers reformed to back Slim Galliard (jazz legend). I dabbled in some walk-on / extra work in film/TV and continued to play with some great acts e.g., The Big Town Playboys, David Bowie, Robert Plant, James Tailor Quartet, Little Willy Littlefield, Otis Grand, also I had a go at my own band called Piccadilly Yellow? OH Charlotte, Sophie and Pedro! Were are you guys? Would love to get in touch. The band was great, all our own songs but a 10-piece live band made it not financially viable. Along came the 90s. I'd met a guy called Will South, a lovely piano player. We started writing together as well as playing and formed a team called Heavy Shift. In 1995 we released the album, Unchain your Mind, It took off, Jazz Fm's album of the year, top ten On Billboard's chart in the USA and more world travel to promote. Shift is still going six albums later and still hungry. At this time, mid 90s, I had my first encounter with the west end stage in two productions, the first was, Good Rocking Tonight, a musical about Jack Good, the fifties' TV producer. The second was Elvis the Musical. It was in the fist production I meet up with Dave Howarth. We both had a love of 40s swing and formed the duo The Hep Chaps; check out the site for more information. The best thing to happen to me in the 1990s was the birth of my son Charlie! So coming pretty much up to date, one of my latest projects is the band Jive Romeros. We specialize in the rock n roll / jazz music of Britain in the mid fifties e.g. Art Baxter, Don Lang, Tommy Steel.
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