Growing up in the sleepy little English town of Letchworth Garden City in the 1960s, I first got interested in music while listening to the Beatles on the radio. My parents bought me an acoustic guitar when I was about 8 and I taught myself to play while simultaneously taking lessons on the recorder, piano and then later, clarinet. My music education was going along just fine until one day in 1967 I heard the Jimi Hendrix song “Purple Haze”. I had never heard sounds like that coming out of my acoustic guitar and I decided that from that day on, the electric guitar was to be the most important thing in my life. Now if only I could convince my parents to buy me one…. I eventually got my electric guitar and furiously studied the works of Hendrix, Clapton and Page, but my rock star dreams were soon put on hold when my beloved axe was burned in a fire (accidentally) set by my brother Danny. Distraught, I found solace in my old acoustic guitar which had been gathering dust in the corner. I had no idea that this incident, however tragic at the time, would prove to be a turning point in my life. I started to develop a love for the instrument, a feeling that continues to this day. Losing my electric guitar at that time proved to be a blessing - I soon found lots of inspiration in the music of Crosby Stills and Nash, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell who were all playing acoustic guitar based music. I started to carry that guitar with me everywhere I went- it became my best friend.
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