Hi. I’m British, an average guitar player, who has an interest in music, nature, wildlife, steam locomotives, lighthouses and history. My weakness is a liking for Real Ale. If I could I’d invite you across for a drink, a chat, and put the world to rights. In the meantime you can check out more about me here, or browse my current portfolio below.
I live in a small English seaside town a few minutes walk from the beach, in an area many describe as ‘the back of beyond’. It suits me now, the relative quiet and easy pace of life, whereas at one time I much preferred the hustle and bustle of city life.
I was born in the 1950s in a city which, during World War II, was the second most bombed in the UK after London, with 95% housing damage. Of course, I wasn’t alive for that, but as a child I did play among the bomb sites, while in the…
Are Buskers back?
During Lockdown in the UK, they disappeared from our streets. I was in York this week and spotted one. A young man, doing his thing, playing multi-layered instrumentals using his Boss looper connected to his amplifier via half a dozen FX units on a pedal-board.
He’s the first busker I’ve seen up north in over a year.
Beginning of this July, I spent a week in London. I saw only one busker in the nation’s capital, an accomplished accordionist. He was about 60 years old and played a melody of what sounded like Romanian folk dance music…
Album of the Month reminds me of the 1960s UK 30 minute TV pop-music show called Juke Box Jury (a concept stolen from a 1950s American TV show of the same name). A panel made up of celebrities — actors, sports personalities, and singers — listened to the latest record releases. They discussed the merits of the song and voted it either a Hit or a Miss…
September 11, 2001
That September day in the UK started off just like any other. Fine clear skies, always a little damp in the air at the break of day, with a heavy dew on the lawn. The summer heat almost gone, but warm enough to give hope of an Indian Summer that maybe would linger long enough to get those outdoor jobs completed before the onset of chill winds.
I’m an outdoors sort of person who hates being cooped up indoors on a bright clear day. Watching daytime TV is not for me. TV can wait until the evening…
Buddy Holly was born 7 September 1936 in Lubbock, Texas, and would have been celebrating his 85th birthday this week, had he not died in a plane crash in Iowa in February 1959 — the day music died, according to Don McLean.
What would he have been doing now had he lived? Maybe hanging out in Greenwich Village with Bob Dylan, discussing the possibility of getting Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, and Ringo Starr on board to record a classic rock and roll concept album highlighting their glory days.
Is Buddy Holly Still Relevant Today? That was a headline I saw…
It’s something we’ve all been through, for good or bad — those teenage years. Louis’s story struck a chord, causing me to reflect on growing up in Britain in the early 1960s, the problems it caused me, members of the public, and the worry it must have caused my parents and others of my age.
With the Second World War over, buoyed by a successful bombing campaign in Palestine, Jewish militant groups turned their attention to Britain, and British establishments based in Europe.
With their main goal, the formation of the State of Israel, less than two years away, Jewish activists sought retribution against those it believed were antisemitic, and who had conspired against them in their fight for freedom in Palestine, before, during, and after hostilities ceased in 1945.
Yaacov Levstein, alias Jacob Eliav, became head of Irgun bombing operations in Europe and was based in Paris. He was known to British Intelligence as…
Earth Wind and Fire, decided they only needed three. A talented and hugely successful bunch of musicians, who somehow escaped my radar. I don’t have any of their albums, nor do I know much about them.
However, I’m comfortable with fire. The warmth and cosiness of the hearth and an open fire in mid-winter, or sitting round a log fire playing guitar in summer with friends, suits me fine. I like things connected to fire — salamander, kindle, steam locomotives, smouldering, roaring, heat — yes, heat, like that on a scorching summer’s day.
Joe Meek said he wanted to paint pictures of sound. He was at the very beginning of British pop-music in the 1950s and became a hit-maker to a home-grown generation of young pop stars. A maverick, he was seen as a serious threat by the established record companies who didn’t want their monopoly and supremacy challenged by an outsider.
Record producer, musician, sound engineer and songwriter, Joe Meek pioneered space age and electronic music, and used the recording studio as an instrument. He is considered one of the most influential sound engineers of all time. …