Lead Vocals - Rhythm Guitars
I guess its my pushy mum's fault...I was 6 years old and a lady ( Mrs Smart ) who lived down the road asked my mum if she wanted to send me and my sister along for Piano lessons. Dragging me away from my Atari and a good game of Frogger - she ushered me out of the house and along to Mrs Smart's house a few doors down. It wasn't until I arrived that I realised that this was the house where the scary MONG man (who we'll call Timmy) lived. He would sit dribbling in the corner of the room singing like Chewbacca to my rendition of English Country Garden.
Although the house smelt of urine and Mrs Smart was quite strict with her teaching, I soon realised that I actually understood all this Major and Minor Chords business. I overcame my fear of Timmy and actually liked playing songs and turning around at the end to see him attempt to clap to what I would now call " My Jazz period" Timmy, Mrs Smarts son passed away and Mrs Smart wasn't the same after that. She would just get on the bus to Bedford and back without getting off and forget about our Piano lessons. She would Charge a pound for an hour's lesson, so I would pretend I went, but go to the shop and but loads of sweets instead. (a quid would get you a lot of mojo's) 4 years on I was still playing the piano and bought a synthesizer. I would buy those "it's easy to play" books and impress family and friends when they came round with my rendition of I Just Called To Say I Love You.
I was hooked on the buzz of the appreciation. A couple of years on, puberty hit and I realised that it just wasn't very cool , so I gave up. I was 18 and saw MTV's unplugged session of Oasis, Noel Gallagher did about an hour of songs cos' Liam couldn't be bothered to sing. I remember thinking "I'm gonna learn how to play the guitar" I went down to cash converters and bought an acoustic guitar and a book called "It's Easy To Play Guitar". Strangely enough, it was! All of my allegros and arpeggios and scales came flooding back and I was soon blowing the dust off my '100 Keyboard Hits For Buskers book and working my way through classics such as House Of The Rising Sun and Let It Be. I then saw an advert in the paper for guitar lessons.
I rang up and turns out that the guy (Mark Hutchinson) lived just down the road from me. 6 months of lessons really improved my playing. Turns out that the £25 guitar I bought was rubbish. The neck was so warped that there was about an inch clearance from the strings to the neck. So I promptly scrapped that guitar and bought a £150 Baltimore Acoustic. My Dad had a Barbeque and invited all his friends round. They all wanted me to play some songs. Not one to disappoint, out came the Baltimore . 1 hour later (and everyone really bored of it) a friend of my dads said that his mate was getting a band together and would I be interested in joining. I went along and thus formed Hobson's choice. A piss- pot band that played really bad covers from Bryan Adams to Bon Jovi. (not really ideal for an acoustic guitar player) Then Kevin Cox joined the band - the brother of the lead singers bird. A superb lead- guitarist, who moved the band forward into the realms of actually sounding quite good.
Having initially sung backing vocals and after a few gigs, people were saying to us that Kev was a shit-hot guitarist, I was good rhythm guitarist and a much better singer than the lead singer. Not really loving the type of music we were playing, me and Kev decided to break away from the band and we formed Suspicious Jack with Kev on Lead, Glen (on bass) Paul Coyne on drums and me singing and playing where I could. We gelled really well, but were really lazy. We wrote our own songs and played a few gigs, but none of us could be bothered with all the gig-getting and buying the kit. It was hard work. Then I started work at Siemens. I was Dave Easton's controller. In a way, he was sort of my bitch. He 'd been in loads of bands and wanted to know if I was interested in forming a band as a bit of a laugh. Chatting to Dave Gould in the canteen, discovered he was an unused bass player and soon Slim 47 was born - Now there is no looking back.