My first gig was as a drummer believe it or not. We played ‘Rocket’ by Mud at a school assembly and while I didn’t enjoy playing the drums I loved the adoration (well, mild applause) that I got from it. I would never look back…….
I started grooving to music as soon as I could stand, with my great grandmother claiming to my Mum that my dancing crazy to The Beatles’ ‘Hard Days Night’ (I was 18 months old) would ‘addle his brain’. Guess the old girl was right. From then on it was only ever music (well and football, and girls a little later perhaps) that I could give any real attention to.
I became obsessed with Slade from my 10th birthday onwards, Slade Alive being my present that year and that album setting the standard for live sound that I would forever try to achieve. I started playing guitar shortly after that first gig on the drums (the thought of all that carrying and setting up all that equipment etc freaked me out as well, although singer would have been a better gig even than bass player, they never touch any gear…….)
My first band was called Electric Sunrise and I played rhythm guitar. We covered Cream, Deep Purple, Quo amongst others – I was 14. We only played a few gigs although there was dissent in the ranks when the singer, Trevor and I wanted to start playing punk covers as well as soon as that genre registered with us – Trevor later went on to front Indie rockers The Bolshoi, so he meant business.
Rough Justice tried to tag on to the new NWOBHM movement that was happening, with bands like Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon and Diamond Head, all of which we would go to see in 1979 and 1980 at clubs (Granary in Bristol) and small halls (Bath Pavillion). We were never really good enough, although we got a bit more punchy when we dropped to a three piece and Mark Godfrey (later of the Mollies) joined us. Rough Justice was also where I started to write songs and lyrics, mainly with Charlie, and discovered that this was what I really liked doing.
The ‘Sunrise’ split up (first case of musical differences for me) and I tried to get a couple of things going – forming Rough Justice with my good friend and our current photographer Charlie Best on lead guitar, Brian the drummer from Sunrise and a mate called Jerry on rhythm. It was here that the switch to bass player came – it seemed everyone was a guitarist but bass players (especially ones with basses) were in short supply. I started studying the bass players in bands and it seemed that you could still look cool with a bass, still dance around but also that you could actually effectively play rhythm guitar with it – as soon as I started playing my first bass, a Fender Mustang, I was hooked.
Sadly, I was also the singer for the band, which may have led to our lack of success…….still, we did lots of gigs and at one point could pull 150 or so people locally – there are some demo tapes in existence which I may put on my anthology collection (!)
I moved to Leicester when I was 19 and within a year had joined the newly formed Chrome Molly – I put a big ad in the local music shop with ‘Bass Player available’ on it and received a call from Chris Green the original Molly drummer – I met the guys in the pub and have been in the Molly circle for the past 31 years…………….