... in Watford, a post-war baby-boomer, but I grew up in Derbyshire from the age of 2.
EARLY MUSIC MAKING
Self-taught on ukulele from age 4. Took up classical guitar at 10 but was soon bowled over by skiffle and rock'n'roll. Went electric at 16 and was invited to join a Derby band (in those days, a "beat group"): The Vulcans, my first band. Around the same time I was a founder member of the school jazz band with my good mate Steve Salfield (and all these years later we still occasionally gig together in The Back Seat Jivers).
After A-Levels I went off to London as a British Rail management trainee (largely to please my parents, I might add - a "proper job"!). Stuck it for a while but it wasn't for me. So I applied to, and was accepted at ...
Foundation course at Derby Art College then 3 years studying furniture design at Nottingham, where I met kindred spirit Derek Pearce, to this day another of my closest friends. Roaring Jelly was born.
After teacher training in Yorkshire I taught art in a secondary school in north Derbyshire for 8 years. But all this time Roaring Jelly had been steadily building popularity on the folk scene and beyond. Eventually, the BIG DECISION: the band went pro. In 1981 I became a ...
... and have been, more or less, ever since: Roaring Jelly, R. Cajun & The Zydeco Brothers, Zydeco Hot Rods, The Back Seat Jivers, The Omega 3 (some of these concurrently), latterly solo ukulele, still a teacher of guitar and ukulele and still composing. After living in Surrey for over 20 years I've become a Southerner again (well ... almost). And now that I'm gigging less frequently I'm getting back into artwork.