My love of music began at a very very early age 5 or 6…we lived directly above a record shop and every Saturday I would go down with my pocket money and either buy a single or pop-swap magazine…my very first single was T-Rex 20th Century boy (which I now have stuck up on the wall of a spare room in my house) I would jump around my bedroom with a tennis racket pretending to be a rock n roll star to all my glam rock singles, Sweet, Slade, T-Rex, Queen..so by 72/73 I was hooked and pretty much obsessed with all things ROCK STAR…..
I guess for me the love of music and definitely, the idea of playing the drums go back to around 10 years of age. My friend’s neighbour gave us both a pair of sticks and let us have a bash on his marching band snare drum, I instantly fell in love with the sound and feel of hitting a drum. The other option was to play the guitar and I know the basic chords to play on a guitar but that’s about it, you could say I’m shit on guitar so drums it was…
When it comes to my major influence I kinda had to put some thought into this one… I know thinking and drummers don’t go!!!… All those early glam rock grooves had a profound effect on me…rock n roll part 2 by The Glitter band…wow what a groove. Mick Tucker from the Sweet – what a great drummer he was. Then we move on to the night I saw AC/DC at the Glasgow Apollo – oh my god !!! The sheer power, volume and atmosphere. I left that gig knowing right there and then I was gonna put my heart and soul into playing in a rock band. Next came Bonham…in my humble opinion, he was THE most influential rock drummer of his generation, power, groove and that killer ever so lazy backbeat!
My successes and failures…that’s a difficult one! Success is that defined by playing on a hit record? Or is it defined by loving every minute of the many years spent playing, recording, touring… I dunno? Sure a shit load of money in the bank would be nice. My band Babys Got A Gun had serious Warner Bros money invested in us and it was nice to have new equipment, touring budgets and the like but with that comes creative interference…that classic phrase “I don’t hear a hit single” coming from a suit who wouldn’t know a rock n roll tune if it bit him on the arse is frustrating. I guess what I’m trying to say is I measure success by how much I’m enjoying playing the music. HEAVY DRAPES, what a great punk rock band we were! Big tunes big attitude we were on the verge of something huge. We were mates going back 30 years and we knew our shit….then TRAGEDY hit and as we all know we lost our lead singer so suddenly. We were and are still devastated. In came the Derellas, I feel totally blessed to have been asked by the lads to join them, without a doubt these lads saved my soul. I am back out playing amazing shows, playing killer punk rock n roll songs with a brilliant bunch of guys when I had actually said “fuck it I’m never playing again”…. so yes enjoying what you do, that’s my measure of success.
My whole life has been a funny story, those who know me know I live in a carry on movie. I just love to laugh…
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to treat people with respect, be sociable before and after gigs and DONT BE A DICKHEAD…trust me there is a lot of dickheads in the music business…AVOID!!!
My best advice for learning your instrument is practise, practise, practise. Get yourself in a great band, get out on the road and learn your craft, there is no substitute or short cuts! Just get your ass on the road and gig, oh and believe. I’ve got this mantra and it sums everything up…”if you don’t believe your band is THE best band in the world… you’re in the wrong band”…BELIEVE !!!!
What am I up to now and the future? Well, I’m currently on a 6-week break then it’s down to London to rehearse for our run of live shows Nov/Dec and fit in rehearsing for starting to record the new Derellas record. We will do this over several different sessions in between our touring schedule. We have UK shows before the end of the year and more UK shows the beginning of 2019 Jan/Feb and then its Spain in springtime, followed by more German shows and summer festivals…. its Derellas a-go-go, as we like to say…
My first ever kit, what I play now and my ultimate kit!
My very first kit was a piece of shit I bought for 50 bucks, a no-name ha ha. I saved up and went into a drum shop in Glasgow and an old experienced geezer convinced me to buy an old Hayman 4 piece kit, a beautiful old kit which I wish I had of kept.
Currently, have two main kits: I have my Pearl Blx whichIi use for recording and I have had it for 30 years and it cost an absolute fortune back in the day (which i may add Mr Warner Bros paid for). I also have my touring kit which lives down south at Derellas HQ, its a pearl vision birch a mid-range kit around £800 for the shell pack but i take my killer Mapex brass hammered finish black panther snare everywhere…touring, recording or even just rehearsing. In fact, I would go as far as to say its got its own pillow and side of the bed…I LOVE IT…I WOULD MARRY IT if I could!
My dream kit is a Ludwig Vistalite BONHAM replica, for the drums alone it would cost around £4000 so if Santa is reading this….I’ve been a very very bad boy this year can I have one PLEASE!
Thats me signing off…. its only rock n roll but i like it……..