Early years pretty conventional - runny nose grazed knees disappointed at Christmas…
At the age of five I went to Gillespie Road (home of the Arsenal) Primary school where I learnt to play the recorder to a high standard. In fact at the age of 9 I was performing as a soloist at concerts in front of 1500 people. So I got a love of music and the chance to show off in front of a lot of people. Still disappointed at Christmas though.
My next school had no active music lessons so my musical activity dropped off
until the only guy in the school with a guitar showed me how to play the riff from
'teen scene'....that was it. My academic standards dropped as my ability on the guitar grew. I played my first gig at a school dance 8 weeks after picking up the guitar.
From then on through the remainder of school and university it was a variety
of groups (as we used to call them) Peter and the Wolves/Amalgamation/Pearly
Kings/Pleasant Street/Matons Magic Mixture/ Magic Mixture all with the guy Melvyn Hacker who started me off. Magic Mixture made an album for Saga records for which we got paid £150.00 relinquishing our rights to everything,
shades of things to come. I wrote all the songs and we played a few gigs. I then left Melvyn and joined Axe with a young drummer Nikko McBraine and a young bass player John Anderson. We gigged built up a reputation and early 1969 I went to work in Portugal for two years.
Back to England and Charlie was formed. Until we got signed properly we all had day jobs so there was quite a bit of juggling when we had gigs.
Charlie’s history is well documented - after Charlie finished I nearly went back into computers as nothing at all was happening but I got a call and went to New York to work with Tommy Shaw on his new solo album. As a result of that album my production/songwriting career began and I did three albums with Bad Company, albums with Giant, a Foreigner album, a Tesla album also worked with Richard Marx, and the Eric Gales band.
I then started work in England and added management skills to my portfolio. I worked with 3 Colours Red, Janus Stark, the YoYos, and the BooKoo Movement, producing all of these as well as managing
Recently I have produced Hate Gallery an exceptional rock band and the new album from Tesla, and of course the new Charlie album.
Right now - waiting for the next project. They're always just around the corner.
Born in Aldershot and went to boarding school first in Malvern, and then Bath: both beautiful spa towns, interestingly.
Started classical piano age 8, when my parents bought me a splendid 1910 Broadwood upright, on which I would compose more or less everything I have ever written. Still have it to this day.
After a brief stint at art college in London, got signed to Charisma Records in 1973 with ‘Greep’ and released a number of singles before working in theater (in deepest Deptford), and touring with the New Seekers, whose lighting designer also managed Charlie!
Post Charlie, moved to Los Angeles. Did some work with Robby Krieger (the Doors), almost broke into film music (the industry was just not quite for synthesizers at the time), did some more theater as MD of Capt. Crash Vs The Zzorg Women Chapters 5 &6. Ultimately ended up starving; saved by a Top 40 band by the name of Tropical Madness, which about sums up that particular LA experience.
Back to UK in1983, playing with John Miles. Started writing books: Keyfax – a series of keyboard buyers guides, a bio of Frank Zappa, books on music technology, and even a cookbook with then brother-in-law Raymond Blanc (yes, him).
Teamed up with Genesis’ Steve Hackett in ’89 and over the next seven years seemed to appear on 10 or more SH albums plus countless North and South American tours.
Joined the Yes supergroup Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, playing every date the band played 1989-90. Did 2 albums, Symphonic Music of Yes and Live At Mountainview. Three, if you count Watching The Flags – a Jon Anderson ‘solo’ CD on which I played everything and co-wrote extensively. Also released my own solo album, Back To Bach, in 1991.
Had cathartic moment on stage in Japan in 1996 with Genesis alums Hackett, and Chester Thompson, and Asia/Crimson folk John Wetton and Ian McDonald. I looked around on stage and saw a bunch of old men, including (if not especially) me. Determined never to set foot on stage again and never have.
Founded Keyfax Software (now Keyfax NewMedia), and now write and produce music/technology DVDs and websites including upcoming Alan Parsons Art & Science Of Sound Recording. Still play, write, and record music but leave the live stuff to the next generation – daughter Abi (bass) and son Cameron (drums). Yes, very convenient, that, I know.
Born January 20th 1950 in London, England.
Started ‘bluffing’ guitar with a tennis racquet around ’63 to Apache --- Wow, that red Strat was something else.
My first ‘real’ guitar was a Watkins Rapier 22, and about the closest (and cheapest) you could get to a Strat in those days. That was around ’65. Could have got the ‘33’ (even closer to the Strat) but my Dad wouldn’t sign the hire purchase agreement, bless him!
Bought a bass guitar in ’66 ---- a second-hand Hofner ‘F hole’ semi-acoustic. Legend has it, it was owned by Heinz’s bass player. Maybe true, but no wonder he got rid of it. Actually, that’s not really fair, because it saw me through a few years.
The “Wells Street Blues Band” was my earliest ‘serious’ trip into club/pub gigs. We had a great vocalist/blues harp guy called Dougie. He could blow a blues harp like no one. I wonder what happened to him?
Those were the days of watching the Blues Breakers, and wondering why EC left and formed Cream. Then of course Peter Green took over and that was fine for a while, but then everything went pear shaped. Well it did for me! Once Green left I lost interest.
So from a band point of view we formed Ax after WSBB, and hooked up with drummer Micky (Nikko) McBraine. Then Terry came on board.
It’s a pity we didn’t tour in the very late seventies/early eighties as we had a load of great stuff to put to a live audience! Bloody record companies! Having said that, we were probably up to our necks in debt!
Still got my ’59 Fender Precision, and tinker now and again, but basically gave up the gig scene long ago.
Went through a horrible time in 2000, loosing someone I’d been together with for 30 years, but I then met an absolutely beautiful lady called Mo - now my wife!
We live in South Cambridgeshire (UK) and letting history go by.
Born October 21st 1951 in London, England
Started playing guitar at age 12 with the emergence of the Beatles in England around 1963.
"I was heavily influenced by the British Blues guitar players of the mid to late sixties, most notably Peter Green & Eric Clapton. I was exposed to American Jazz & R&B at an early age, as my mother listened to Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, & the like. Consequently as my technique and ability improved I started listening to and trying to emulate the style of players such as Larry Carlton, and Jay Graydon. So naturally I was drawn to the likes of Steely Dan.
I began to break into the London session scene in the mid 1970's, had the opportunity to join Charlie in 1976. I left along with Julian in 1980 and decided to move to California, which I did in 1981. Worked as a full time musician doing session work and playing in various local bands until 1988 at which time excessive drinking habits & the birth of my first daughter forced a rethink of my lifestyle.
Since that time, now 20 plus years clean, I am a business owner, live with my wife in Southern California and indulge in my other passions of vintage guitar collecting & restoring 1959 Cadillacs. Still play occasionally with local bands & old friends, though my chops are a bit rusty."
Born in England, I have worked with many bands and performers, as a musician or tech, playing drums mainly with John Goodsall in what would latter become Brand X, building studios in houses on Elgin Avenue in London and working with artists in the arts scene at the Richmond Hill Gallery.
I came to America in January of 1973 and continued working in the performing and recording world working with The J Geils Band, The Doobie Brothers and Toto both in the studio and touring mixing live shows, staying with the Doobies for seven years from 1975-1981 and with Toto for six years from 1981 until 1987. During this time period these two bands received a total of 11 Grammies.
During breaks between their recording and touring I found time to join “Charlie” playing drums. I recorded Fight Dirty with them and did two tours: one, conveniently, playing drums with Charlie then mixing The Doobie Brothers.
While working with Toto I found myself working with different artists on other projects and when the opportunity arose in 1987 I left Toto stopped touring and accepted a position as a staff engineer at The Complex, George Massenburg’s Studio in Los Angeles.
Feeling the need to play again, I started sitting in on Sunday nights at O’Briens on Main Street in Santa Monica with a local band called Gaelic Storm. These Sunday night jams turned into party central with lines around the block and people dancing on the tables and so when James Cameron was looking for an out of control Irish band for his movie he picked us featuring us in his blockbuster hit TITANIC - So it was back to touring again!
As well as playing I also produced, engineered and mixed our first self-titled CD, which remained on Billboard’s World Music charts for over 30 weeks. The four Gaelic Storm CD’s on which I appeared all charted, the third CD charting twice reaching #5 when first released and then getting to #2 a year later.
Gaelic Storm played to record-breaking crowds all over the world. A mini-documentary about Gaelic Storm aired on Cinemax, and the band appeared many times on national and international TV.
And now comes Foundaround Sound! www.foundaroundsound.com.
Before Charlie went professional around 1976, I was working at the Sunday Times and had played in several bands. The first gigging band was The Four Gonks (don't laugh). We actually played with The Who at a youth club in Boreham Wood, and a band fronted by Syd Barret (before Pink Floyd) called Tea Set opened the show... Also played with T Rex on a couple of occasions...
I got involved with Charlie via a band called Gin, with whom a bass player named Ray Bullock took me on to replace Nicko Mcbrain (Iron Maiden), which went on to become Charlie with Terry. Ray did not last long and in stepped John Anderson.
Since Charlie split up in the early eighties, I started working with me old mate Nicko as drum tech for Iron Maiden. I also worked with Status Quo, The Scorpions, and Thunder, to name a few…
It was a strange time for me. One minute I was touring the US with Charlie then I was an out-of-work musician. I often thought something was up when my drum tech was getting £200 and I was getting £30. But then I was off to the Bahamas to do an album with Maiden, working the other side of the fence as it were. And wages coming in!....I stayed as drum tech until the early nineties when I went on to tour management. I worked with various bands including "Wasp" "3 Colours Red" "Spiritual Beggars" before I got a call from Maiden’s office asking me to TM the band’s 1996 world tour. I've been there ever since.
I'm still playing, when not touring, and play in 3 bands (when possible) named Slung Together/ (check us out on YouTube) and Alan Rideout’s Explosion. I’m also involved with a blues band that has a guy called Ian Dunlop (from LA) on sax who played guitar in the sixties with the likes of Gram Parsons (The Byrds)...International Submarine Band and many others...
Have I bored you enough??
Hank Marvin was the guy who really got me going, the sound of that Strat was just incredible. In my teens I was always in bands [including a stint touring with R’n’Roll legend Gene Vincent], I wasn’t interested in much else apart from girls! and the guitar definitely went better than the girls.
The dream was there, just no plan. Enter Terry, a man with a plan!
I had met Terry through the singer who was replacing him in Axe when he went to Portugal. When he returned we got together and formed ‘Charlie’
Terry said “Right! We’re gonna pool our resources, record some demo’s and get a deal.” And with some ups and downs along the way, that’s exactly what happened. Oh yes and we got good, we got really good.
The Charlie years are well documented and I won’t labor the point, except to say that I learnt a lot from him at the time for which I will always be grateful, and nearly forty years later we’re still good friends.
I left Charlie and joined ‘U Boat’ which had some guys from ‘The Spiders From Mars’ in it notably Woody Woodmansey on drums and we had a jolly ride around Europe supporting Uriah Heep.
While working with and before ‘U Boat’ I was becoming aware that I really enjoyed being in the studio and having that creative input. So when the band came to an end in 78’ I thought I would pursue the studio side of things. I teamed up with ‘U Boat’ manager Brian Leahy and started doing anything and everything that I could get hold of that got me in the studio.
Eventually in 79’ I landed a production contract with Bronze Records and did that for the next three years. In the meantime I’d been working with a couple of guys from E.L.O. This association lasted for a few years culminating in Jeff Lynne asking me to join the band!
When that came to an end in 87’ I started Garage studio. And some Twenty-two years later we’re still here. If you would like any further info on who I’ve worked with and discography just go to the web site www.garagestudio.net.