As may be the case with most children, I was always leaping to the next ‘fad’, the next short-lived interest. I recall being hugely interested in diving when I was very young, the whole sub-aqua world was a desirable ‘Narnia’ for me, an undiscovered world I couldn’t wait to visit.
I have, at time of writing this, still never dived beneath the waves with a tank on my back.
There were many similar things that caught my attention, only to be jettisoned in favour of the next.
My parents, particularly my Mum, liked to listen to the radio or to records and cassettes (yes we had cassettes back then!), so music was part of my home life from as far back as I can recall. Despite thwarted attempts to learn to play guitar, it was the drums that caught and held my attention.
My parents assumed my interest in the instrument would be a short lived thing and would soon go the same way as previous interests.
But it didn’t!
I remember when we got a drum kit at school. About 20 of us turned up after school to have a play (so we each didn’t get long). The following week only a handful came back. I was one of them. I
was able to have a go at a beat. I think it was from a song by Queen, but I forget which song.
(Aside: Queen’s drummer Roger Meadows-Taylor (he dropped the ‘Meadows’ quite early on in the band’s career) was and still is a huge influence on me and one of the reasons why I wanted to play the drums in the first place. I have many other influences, mainly from the world of Rock but Roger Taylor was one or, if not the, first and his playing still inspires me today.)
Once I left school, my parents, realising this ‘fad’ wasn’t going away, finally agreed to let me have my own drum kit on the proviso that I got pads to limit the noise. This I did, but even with the chipboard and rubber Premier ‘dead-heads’ on snare, toms and bass drums, the noise from my bedroom rendered watching television in the lounge beneath a … trying affair for my folks and eventually I tried to play only when I was alone in the house.
Having eventually acquired a bigger and better kit, I sold that first black Diamond kit on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral. So it was a day tinged with sorrow and joy (I managed to sell it for about the same amount I had bought it for!).
I have played in numerous rock bands to date. Cover and originals. I have recorded some songs too.
I gigged a lot with my first ‘proper’ band, a covers band called Fury, and gained valuable experience of playing live. I have gigged with various bands for many years now and I also act onstage. So, as long as I know what I am supposed to be doing, I no longer really suffer from stage fright.
I successfully auditioned for my main current band, Vitreolic when they parted company with their previous drummer. I was a nerve-wracking affair but I guess I did ok as I had a call asking me to join before I’d even got home.
We are in the process of recording our first full length Vitreolic album. Despite the problem that face an (currently) unsigned band trying to record their own songs in this day and age, I remain very proud of the songs and can’t wait for the album to be finished and released.
I also play in covers bands which is great fun and helps keep my hand in as well as ensuring I continue to learn new things on the drums.
This enjoyment and enthusiasm for the instrument is something I am keen to pass on to my students.
For information, I am fully DBS Checked and am a Registered Chaperone.
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