When I was five years old
my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to learn the piano. Not
because it was
something I wanted to do or that it might help develop my character or that
it was just a generally good thing to do.
No, it was the usual reason as used by parents everywhere. Their friends'
son was learning an instrument and so
therefore I had to learn one too. Needless to say I hated it but managed to
put a stop to it albeit after a good few
years of trying. Actually I think it was the cost that really did for it.
After another five or six years I found I was missing it but it was too late
- the old piano had gone. So instead I
managed to get an acoustic guitar. A genuine one with a bow in the neck Robin
Hood would have been proud of and real
cheesecutter strings, even the thought of it makes me cringe. It was only
after I got my Hofner Galaxy, a guitar that
really played well, that I realised that I couldn't and it would be a waste
of time trying . Like a lot of failed guitarists I then
picked up a bass (lets face it why else would you want to pick one up) and
found that I could play that. In fact I was quite
well thought of as a bass player in my house. The next few years then were
spent playing in bands in draughty
village halls and seedy working men's clubs, both usually empty when we arrived
and definitely empty by the end of the
second song. I had the good sense to finally call it a day and say goodbye
to all that...
...until the day I came into possession of an old keyboard. Okay it was a
home entertainment one (but a good home
entertainment one) and my appetite was whetted again. I couldn't play a note
after all those years (still can't) but I did
remember all that music theory so those piano lessons weren't useless after
all. My last band reformed but this time with me
as the keyboard player. It was fun for a while but it wasn't what I wanted
to do. I always got shit scared at gigs because
1) I couldn't play very well and 2) I always got shit scared in front of an
audience anyway so I only ended up playing worse.
Then I discovered MIDI and it has transformed my life. That's kind of pretentious
I guess but what I really mean is
that for the first time I was able record my ideas and actually listen to
a finished product. Finally I can do what I
want to do the way that I want to do it. With no one watching or saying it
should go like this or putting me off in any
number of ways it comes out sounding the way it should, well sometimes anyway.
Is there anything better than doing that.
And who were the bands that got me wanting to play again. Well it was the
great progressive bands of the 70's
People like Yes, ELP, Genesis, King Crimson, & Pink Floyd. In my opinion
that was the golden age of music. The
biggest influence of all though has to be Tangerine Dream. All of them still
sound as fresh as they did 30 years
ago. How many record companies will be able to say the same thing about their