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Having learnt how to pose with a guitar almost 40 years ago I am now focusing on how to play one.

I am supported in my efforts by a few instruments and an effects box.

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Many years ago I took up the mouth organ (blues harp). That was immense fun but I kept getting a sore throat so I gave it up. Sad. It really is a tremendously expressive instrument, and fits in the pocket (physically and financially).

I blame my entry into guitar playing on John Harris, a fellow student at Bristol university back in 1974. If I remember correctly John was studying mechanical engineering. We were in the same student accomodation (Baddock Hall), and were on the same corridor. He played rugby, had tidy long hair, had good looks, was chased by the girls, and most importantly taught me a simple Status Quo riff on his acoustic guitar. Hooked!

After university I joined the Royal Navy as an instructor officer, but bought (i.e. had to pay) myself out within one year. You could say “that I could not take a joke” (Royal Navy in-joke). But there was some money left over which I spent on the Antoria bass which I bought from a music shop near the Bull Ring in Birmingham.

In 1979 I went to Liverpool were, sometime around 1981, I found myself working in a large department of telecommunications engineers which included 3 similar aged lads with an interest in music:

  • Nick Trickett-Bell: rythym guitar (a big Status Quo fan)
  • Steve Dunwoody: a damn good guitarist
  • Dylan Jones: from north Wales, spoke Welsh at home and hit the drums. Dylan’s wife was the source of my first daughter’s name, Nia.

To be honest, they could play and I could not. But they tolerated me and we used to get together either in a former fire-station in north Liverpool that was converted to music practise rooms, or at the Plessey Social Club in Huyton.

Some time around 1984 Nick and I were practising in my kitchen at 113 Milton Avenue and he kept pushing me to sing (no way!), and threatened that he would not go home until I had sang the accompaniment to a Status Quo song (Claudie). I sort of gave in.

Today I still can not sing, but I do not let that stop me like I used to.

So in my opinion, blame John and Nick!

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