Talent. It is a strange thing. Some people ooze it without effort while others strive for it. A talent is a gift and it is a shame when a talent isn’t used. I purchased a guitar for my eldest son Paul when he was quite small. He picked at it and strummed it as small kids do and then it gathered dust. I did try to teach him some chords but he seemed to have little interest. He took up violin in school and actually became quite good at it. He did study music as well. One long hot Houston summer, I came home from work to discover Paul playing my electric guitar. Hours and hours on end in his room he strummed and played. after a few days, heRead More »
Japan and Birmingham
I play a lot of music during the day as I work in my home office. It never ceases to amaze me the power of music. In particular, its power to evoke memories and trigger mood and emotional responses. If I want to meditate, I simply go to youtube these days and select a nice suitable piece of music and I am off to other spheres….. Today, I played some Japan. It has been a long time since I did and I was immediately transported back to Birmingham and 1979. My best friend at college – Steve – introduced me to Japan one afternoon at his flat. We were playing Dungeons and Dragons and he put one of their albums on. I loved the music and the deep rumbling of David Sylvian’sRead More »
On Friday I will be going to see Slade. Yes – Slade. Without Noddy Holder but the rest of them including slimy Dave Hill will be playing. I didn’t much like Slade back in the 1970’s. I was into the more gentle magic of Marc Bolan and T.Rex and Slade seemed raucous and too down to earth. There was no magic, no white swans or Wizards with Slade – just poor spelling and loud music. I moved from T.Rex to Status Quo. Corkscrew hair and spandex was replaced by greasy hair and denim. Fantasy was replaced with a gritty, monotonous reality of life in the north. Of course, now I look back and enjoy a lot of the music of that era. Even stuff I detested at the time nowRead More »
The Power of Music
Music is very important to me. It is my healer, my inspiration and often, helps me get to places I otherwise wouldn’t. I write to music and with music. I work with music too. Music makes my soul soar to the heavens and back again. It also triggers memories as well as feelings and inspiration. Just a couple of bars of a song and I can be transported across decades. There are songs from the 1960’s and late 50’s that instantly put me in a small front room in the house I was born in. I can see the valve radio sitting on a shelf with its complex mapping of wavelengths and stations across the front of it. I can see the large box-like TV with essentially curtains that couldRead More »
The Power of a Song!
It’s just a song But it echoes of yesterday. Memories are triggered By a simple set of chords. Images floating on by Regrets or perhaps simply Happy cherished memories. The simple power of a song Was that a good time? If only I could go back there Meet people and go back to places Now long gone and passed by Perhaps meaningless at the time Taken in with that fleeting feeling Of immortality that only comes With the arrogance of our youth.Read More »
Smoke on the Water (and Everywhere Else Too)
I got my first guitar when I was 12. It was an acoustic. My father also got a guitar at the same time and while he focused on learning notes I focused on chords. He and I would play various folk songs where he would pick out the melody to my chords…. At age 14, I was bought a Woolworth’s electric and small amplifier. Of course, I was soon ‘jamming’ with other kids and we formed a band called Brutus shortly thereafter. actually, we simply met one night a week to sit chatting, strumming and tasting my Dad’s home-made beer shandy. Brutus however eventually became Nemo and Nemo had a weekly practice at the Conservative Club up in Willerby Square. Eventually, we could actually play a few songs…. passingly. TheRead More »
What Happened to Music?
OK – now I am going to sound like my parents but, can anyone explain to me what happened to music? Am I the only one that thinks that what passes for ‘popular’ music these days is complete and utter sh*one*t? Not only that but what happened to self respect? Much of the ‘music’ I hear on the radio is not just mono-tonal and monotonous crap but the lyrics leave a lot to be desired too. One song that gets played a lot over here has some guy singing about how he is gonna have a lazy day and get him some ‘nice’ sex. Lucky him but – it that a topic for a song? There are several songs that simply seem to use the F word at every opportunityRead More »