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I was born in a place called Swansea to the most supportive parents you could imagine. I was given everything to encourage me to play music. At the age of 2 years and 10 months, my brother Gary came along, so my parents bought me a mini drum kit. That must have been nice for them. 

At 4 years old, my noisy drumming made its way onto my mum's pots and pans. I would enjoy beating the living daylights out of them whilst listening to my favourite records at the time. 

Then at the age of 5, my father came home with a reed organ. The most noisiest thing you could imagine. It was like a heavy breathing piece of wood with keys. I used to sneak moments with it when my father was at work....and there lies the reason I migrated over to keyboards from drums, and since then....I've always been a frustrated drummer with a love of great sounding drum kits and their operators. 

It was my mother's suggestion to send me to piano lessons at the age of 5 due to my interest, and after finding a parents attempted to enrol me into weekly schooling of classical piano only to be met with the teacher saying "He's far too young. Bring him back when he is 7". I was disappointed to say the least, but I'd get my own back on her ( later down the page). She also said that my feet couldn't touch the sustain pedal.

"Sustain Pedal" I said to my parents. The Reed organ had no such thing and it would be a total insult to tell her we had a reed organ.

I enrolled on a weekly ear bashing at the age of 7, still with the Reed organ firmly planted in our living room. It was only after a few weeks of lessons that I started to become stuck due to having to use the sustain pedal. 

My father went out and bought me a second hand upright piano, that wouldn't have gone a miss in a pub, due to its tuning. I practised every day for hours on end, and then diverted my attention to pop music. I learned quickly that if I heard a piece of music, I could transfer it to the piano. Playing by ear was something that would stand me in good stead for years to come.

My father then found out that I had an exam coming up. He then told me "If you pass son, I'll buy you a new piano". This was more than enough encouragement for me to continue my lessons and practising.  I passed with 93 out of 100....a good enough result to take delivery of a new upright piano. It was the most beautiful thing I'd seen.

So  my journey began with the piano and my love for music.


I embarked on weekly piano lessons, taking in pop, rock and any kind of music I could listen to outside my lessons and practice. As a shy and timid 7 year old, I was never one to ask if I needed something in someone else's house. So desperately in need to use the toilet, I couldn't ask my teacher if I could use her toilet. These were 1 hour lessons and I was clinging on since I left home. Eventually, she  told me to keep practising whilst she went into her kitchen. It was at this opportune moment, that I chose to urinate on her fire. I thought I had the logic that the heat would evaporate my offerings and everything would be hunky dory when she came back into the room.

What she was met with was a rather embarrassed kid, smoke from the fire and the smell of urine throughout the piano room. I don't think I'll ever live it down. 

She never left me in the room alone after that. Who'd blame her?


At 12, I learned the blues scale...and then I was complete as a blues pianist ( as if) and the world opened up.

I was hugely into Elton John as his writing was fantastic. The piano was at the front of the music and he became a hero of mine. With every bit of pocket money, I'd buy records and particularly his. My good friend Gary Phillips and I collected every other album of Elton's.

If Gary bought 'Tumbleweed connection', I'd buy 'Honky Chateau'. 

I still love Elton's music today. The man is a genius and along with Bernie Taupin, they have crafted some of the most beautiful tracks written today.

At 13, I discovered what would be a life long love affair....the Synthesiser and Progressive Rock. This was to change my life, forever

I heard my uncle's LP of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's 'Trilogy'. It was like magic. The sounds, the playing was fast, Keith Emerson just didn't have a piano....he had 2 organs, hoards of synths and a 'grand piano'. I'd discovered my new hero.


I plagued my father to buy me an organ like Keith Emerson, but I got a Jen Commander organ, which sounded nothing like the Hammond C3 that Keith played. I tried every possible method to get a similar sound, but I failed. One day my mum came into the front room, to see me...a 13 year old...with the organ tipped up on one corner..allowing it to crash down so that the reverb springs made an almighty noise ( I'd finally got one sound close to Emerson's it that of when he threw it around the stage). She was furious to discover the reason there were chips out of the bottom of the organ.

Sadly, when I was 14, my father died and it was a struggle for us all emotionally, but for my was tough as she had to continue payments for the that I may continue playing and also funding my weekly piano lessons. 

As my thirst for new music was leaning more towards Emerson, Lake and rebellious attitude towards my music teacher started. Each week I'd go in with my cassette player and make her listen to ELP and what Keith Emerson had done to classical compositions by famous composers. I once took in Keith's 'Piano Concerto' and was met with total disgust. "This isn't music" she said. So, at 15 years old I had started to rebel against the rules of my teacher. Even down to the fact that my ears had been trained so much, that I'd listen to her play a new piece of music that she wanted me to learn for the following week, and I'd just watch her play...listen....then spend the next week enjoying my prog music...then turn up to lessons, knowing the piece inside out.  It was later that she discovered my reading was suffering and that my ear was as sharp as a pin. Something I regret now as my reading suffered. 

It was at 17, I decided to quit piano lessons. I was now in college and enjoying the fruits of being a young man, playing in bands that never played classical music, but would rock out and then hit the best curry house in town for the hottest thing on the menu. 

I would still practice on the piano as much as I could, but other instruments were being shown in magazines and on TV....I desperately wanted to own them.

The piano stayed with me until I was dull enough at 18 to decide to sell it on, in order to fund the purchase of a string machine that sadly sounded nothing like strings, was very random at staying awake and had the most hideous of colour casings-purple.

I don't know what was more embarrassing...using that or admitting to selling my beloved piano!


At 5 years old I knew that I wanted to become a musician, but to be here now, having fulfilled my promise to my 5 year old self, I feel very lucky and honoured.