I was born in 1946 in Colwyn Bay. When I was nine years of age, my mother bought me a 'MARTINI COLETTE' guitar, brand new, in a box, costing £8. An acoustic guitar which was just impossible to play with the strings sitting high up above the finger board. I sat in front of the TV every Tuesday evening, waiting for BERT WEEDON to show me how to play this instrument of mine, using his famous 'PLAY IN A DAY' guitar tuition method. The programme was ‘TUESDAY RENDEZVOUS’. Bert and his lovely wife Maggie have become great friends since those days. I was too poor to own a set of pitch pipes to tune the guitar, we used the old method of picking up the phone, as the dialing tone was the ‘G’ note for the third string. Once you had got the third string in tune, it was easy to tune the rest of the strings.
After becoming kind of proficient, well I could play half a dozen chords, I had some first hand experience in a band called 'THE BOYS'. We did a religious show on ITV called ‘THE SUNDAY BREAK’ playing some of Cliff’s songs and making them work to a selection of Hymns. But, we did not expect it to rain. We were out doors doing this programme, and unfortunately my amp blew up as it got soaked. I played at the 'HAPPY VALLEY OPEN AIR THEATRE' in the ALEX MUNRO SHOW on the Great Orme in Llandudno in North Wales. A talent show held at this open air theatre. I had a welsh singer with a really hard accent and it just didn’t work with Roy Orbison’s ‘Blue Bayou’. A great sign was put up ar theatre stating: IF WET - THE TOWN HALL (Llandudno) I joined two different bands 'MIKE & THE INVADERS' and I then changed to playing Bass guitar to join 'PETER GRAHAM & THE GAZELLES'. We named the group after The Gazelle pub on Anglesey. We made a single record which was STILL WATERS RUN DEEP B/W BEAUTIFUL DREAMER. Unfortunately I still have a copy!
We used to play at the end of the pier shows that were twice nightly on Saturdays. One time we performed with HEINZ, as his backing band didn’t turn up, then the same thing happened with the KALIN TWINS. A great experience for us to meet and work with these icons of the day. It was Rhyl Pier Pavillion, and if I remember, Heinz wore a white Jacket. A great reception from the crowd. He was top of the bill and a fabulous performance.
I was then fortunate in 1962 to see BILLY FURY & THE TORNADOS at the Odeon in Llandudno. What a show, what a night. It was just fantastic and it only seems like yesterday. I have been a fan of Billy’s ever since. All we could hear was the chant - WE WANT BILLY. Our very first rock star and he is sadly missed. THE SOUND OF FURY fan club keep his name alive. My tribute to him is my 'REMEMBERING BILLY FURY - CD. A collection of guitar instrumentals of a feast of Billy Fury songs. This CD was recorded a long time in the future after seeing Billy Fury on stage.
Continuing my early years, I listened to RADIO LUXEMBOURG on 208 Medium Wave and RADIO CAROLINE on 199 Medium Wave. listening to the only radio stations that played pop music and all the new songs coming in from America. This is how I discovered the wonderful sounds coming from 'THE SHADOWS'. This, then is where it all began. 'THE SHADOWS' released APACHE which was actually already recorded by BERT WEEDON but they got their version on sale first. I wanted that sound, badly! I gave up playing for some years after this because of the day job, and then the 'Bug' came back, after meeting a local song-writer in Milton Keynes - ALAN RONDEAU. Learning his material, climbing up into his loft to record his songs, in the style of 'THE SHADOWS' on his 4 track recorder, which got me into this business all over again. Then, after meeting BIG GEORGE – a Presenter on BBC THREE COUNTIES RADIO, who one day in the Post Office in Stony Stratford, said that I should get back out there gigging, and I teamed up with JOE PRICE, a 'wee Scot' from Wolverton, who, on stage, has got more front than Sainsbury’s, and we decided to give it a go. BIG GEORGE has a way with words, and duly instructed, we formed the Duo - 'COOL SHADOW'. We worked pubs and clubs all over the place, and have been incredibly successful over the past few years doing 60’s stuff and I concentrated on performing instrumentals by 'THE SHADOWS' which were always popular within our show.
In 2008 I recorded LONE RIDER - GREAT TV & MOVIE WESTERN THEMES which is a CD I am really very proud of. I have had tremendous help from DOUG ABBOTT in the US who has written the Liner Notes for me for this album and selected the track listing. Doug is a western collector, and a very knowledgeable person on this genre, with a web site full of fantastic pictures for sale. I had help from SANDRA MARTINEZ also in the US, selling my CD and making it available at the many western conventions like THE FESTIVAL OF THE WEST where all the western stars gather once a year. I was delighted to have communicated with my boyhood heroes like CLINT WALKER (Cheyenne), PETER BROWN (Lawman), JOHNNY WESTERN (Have Gun - Will Travel), ROBERT FULLER (Laramie & Wagon Train), TY HARDIN (Bronco), WILL HUTCHINS (Sugarfoot), JAMES GARNER (Maverick), HUGH O'BRIAN (The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp), JAMES DRURY (The Virginian) & DAVID CARRADINE (Kung Fu). One special mention for EDD BYRNES who was a western star as well as 'KOOKIE' in '77 Sunset Strip' - my all time favourite TV show.
There are 4 specific tribute CDs in my Remembering series. These are: BILLY FURY, ELVIS PRESLEY, ROY ORBISON & DEL SHANNON. All 4 titles available on my website. As are the 3 titles in my JUKEBOX FAVOURITES series. Always need a vehicle to promote JOHNNY TILLOTSON, RICK NELSON and many of the 50s & 60s singers we grew up listening to on both RADIO LUXEMBOURG and RADIO CAROLINE.
I nowhave 9 titles in the ESPECIALLY FOR YOU series which I have really concentrated on developing. All available here on my website. There is one title which should have been part of this series and that is WALKIN' BACK TO HAPPINESS.
My Voice is my Guitar